Dry as they come, political conventions are in desperate need of drama. Raw, unscripted, reality-TV-show drama that’s like Basketball Wives cat-flipping, fighting, swearing and nail-scratching their way into bigger ratings and contracts. It comes as no surprise then that President Barack Obama would pick former President Bill Clinton as his new political wing man.
In an unprecedented twist, the current President picks a former President to formally introduce his name for nomination. That’s very new, for those not paying attention. It’s never been done. But there is nothing quintessentially Obama or fresh about this. It’s a rare move grown out of raw political survival and, some may say, desperation. Many honking prognosticators would make a thing out of that, with many a Republican pointing to it as a sign of Obama’s lagging poll numbers versus the high rate of likeability Clinton still enjoys. The President seems stuck in the 40s while a predecessor from another century enjoys favorability of 66% according to recent polling.
Ironically, Democratic convention handlers design well-choreographed “Forward” and “Not Back” signs for delegates to wave during a very manufactured speech by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (the man is trying a bit too hard to run in 2016, don’t ya think?). Observers will tease on about that, pointing to the omnipresence of Clinton and his pre-Y2K achievements as an overlooked rhetorical detail.
Still, fearing the emergence of an ugly HBO sitcom, Team Obama scurries for an alternative solution they can live with. There is nothing unconventional or bizarre in the way of the Chicago political Jedi who think pragmatically rather than creatively. But, this is only one minor adjustment in a larger play, because the President must seriously change the game. He’s now averaging 46.8% in the pollsaccording to Real Clear Politics – against Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s … wait for it … 46.8%.