I was tempted to pound out a draft speech, but that would be a lot of work … so I’ll just share a few thoughts.
First, a few things that I would have Mr. Obama NOT say:
Spend very little time bashing Romney-Ryan, and not much more bashing their policies. There are only a microscopic number of people who will leave the R-R camp by doing this. Very few moderates, independents and ‘undecided’s will be swayed by doing it either. It will make you look cheap and out to foster more polarized politics. It would only help slightly to energize the base that is already going to vote for you.
Don’t provide us with a long, long laundry list of all the different programs you would wish to push through, each of which kisses the toes of one element or another of the liberal wing. You shoot at everything, and hit nothing.
Things that should be said:
Rather than demonizing R-R or even the Republicans, go after the dysfunction in Congress. (Personally, I think much of the blame for the dysfunction falls on the Ultra wing of the Republican Party.) Pretty much everyone hates the job that Congress is doing. They all deserve a good tongue-lashing. Sound themes related to win-win solutions, cutting waste, promoting personal responsibility and being open to meaningful compromise, especially with Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, defense spending and several subsidies.
Give attention to some of the things that both liberals and conservatives share. Honor the military’s service. Give generous credit to churches, non-profits, schools and universities for the important work that they do. Verbalize that you clearly do not wish for a ‘Nanny State’ or over-reaching government, but rather a public- private partnership to address several important challenges. Lift up a government “of the people, by the people and for the people … “
On the fiscal front, advocate for working with Repubs to cut wasteful spending and fraud. Refute mindless tax cuts in favor of tax fairness across all income levels.
I think that there would also be some points to be scored by bashing the Super PACs and Citizens United, and championing campaign finance reform.
Encourage everyone to look longer term. Remind us that we will soon hand this nation off to our children and grandchildren. Affirm that climate change is a looming problem. Warn of the serious dangers of our burdening national debt. Remind us that if we fail to make any progress on our challenges, we all go down together.
Just a thought … DonC