Monday, August 25, 2008

Democratic Convention Day One

As Michelle Obama prepares to address the Democratic National Convention in Denver the pundits are talking about the tone of the convention which so far has been very much a sort of cozy, feel good affair rather than a presentation of the talking points most strategists think the Democrats must hammer home to win the election - points such as economic challenges and the Iraq war.

However it appears to me the strategy is solid, and is to present Obama as a friendly and unifying force rather than a combative one. Appealing to people's desire for change is complicated because many of our natural tendencies
are to keep comfortable with the status quo and view agents of change with great skepticism. This is a natural and functional response and playing off this tendency will form much of the McCain strategy moving forward. Already Fox news and other conservative spokespeople are trying to paint Obama as an unknown force of change - almost as a foreigner rather than a dedicated pubic servant.

Thus I think the counter strategy by the Democrats is to make people feel comfortable with Obama. Look for an almost constant dialog promoting this agenda - Obama as a composed, friendly, stable fellow American who will make the changes many Americans feel are needed in the country.

Michelle Obama's delivery is brilliant so far - she's polished and confident, yet speaking almost conversationally with the very enthusiastic Denver crowd. Her mother and brother's introduction was touching and it is not hard to believe Michelle Obama is herself an exceptional example of the American dream.

John King at CNN is very correctly noting that the idea is to make a connection for people who otherwise see little in common with Obama.

David Gergen "She rescued the evening for the Democrats"