The convention “bump?”

CommentarySeptember 14, 2012 

In the political realities of today, it seems unlikely a national party convention is going to sway many votes.

I believe that’s mainly due to the fact that many of our politicians have no clue how to cross the aisle, work together and show some non-partisan spirit. And that divisive attitude certainly filters down to voters.

Either people have already made up their mind or they’ve checked out. Few may still be in that undecided group that could be nabbed when the debates play out next month, but otherwise, it would take a massive meltdown to move the needle.

Democrats are claiming a minor needle move after last week’s DNC came to a close. For the first time in a while, the polls did move a smidge in favor of President Barack Obama. Instead of sitting at 46 to 49 percent each, Obama is tracking as high as 52 percent in some polls; Republican nominee Mitt Romney, still in the mid-40s, didn’t seem to get that same bump after his party’s party a few weeks ago.

But really, what does this little move mean? Likely not much.

One of the most popular politicians, from either party, had nearly 50 minutes of national spotlight. Bill Clinton was in his usual form, pontificating, nearly preaching, and showing how massive he still is within his own party and, yes, maybe even with some moderates who can vote either way.

Vice President Joe Biden’s talk was OK; Obama’s was a bit of bore. But on the other side, save the nominee himself, no one was really wowing the electorate either. Paul Ryan’s talk was as empty as Obama’s and that God-awful Clint Eastwood thing…well…let’s just say thank goodness he’s got a day job.

So the conventions come and go and not many people are impressed.

Why not blame our current elected leaders?

Can you imagine a Ronald Reagan-Tip O’Neill camaraderie going on now between the President and Speaker of the House? Are members of Congress from competing parties doing anything to make policy together in the name of good government?

The conventions should be more than pomp and circumstance. It should mean something as we nominate our leaders and set policy.

Until our current leaders can show a propensity to produce results, these conventions will continue to mean little in the polls.

John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Cass County Democrat Missourian. To comment, call 816-380-3228 or e-mail

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