The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rocky On The Road: Thoughts and Video from Last Day of #DNC12 #yourconvention

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The Rockefeller Center is happy to bring you first-hand coverage from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this year.  Ester Cross '15 shares observations and reflections for this "Rocky On The Road" blog series

Read on for Ester's most recent update.

The Democratic Party may have presented a unified front during the three-day Democratic National Convention, however, the party is strongly divided on God and foreign policy. The original Democratic Party platform had no mention of God. Furthermore, for the first time, the platform excluded commitment to maintaining Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Republicans and many Christians and Jewish Americans expressed concern about the stark omissions (read more here).

On Wednesday, the platform was changed by a floor vote to include God and Jerusalem. Voices of descent during the vote were strong but ignored in favor of upholding the status quo in American values and foreign policy precedents. Changes in the platform reflected divisions within the Democratic Party between the new radical factions and the party’s establishment. I am interested to see how the party will continue to change given the next four years of an Obama or a Romney presidency.

On the last day of the convention, the Time Warner Cable Arena was still buzzing with excitement about former President Clinton’s speech and expectations for Obama were high . Prior to the evening speeches, I interviewed delegates about their expectations form the President. The issues of major concern for them were health care, jobs, education, and immigration (see my article for the Talk Radio News Service here).

President Obama’s speech on the last day of the DNC was a culmination of speeches delivered that praised the president’s record, justified his policies in a still lagging economy, and asked for Americans’ votes to allow him to “finish what he started.” The President’s speech, I think, can be divided into three parts: emotional statement and evocations, policy proposals, and criticism of Republicans in Congress and Mitt Romney in particular. The President told the American people that the accomplishments of his administration, including Obamacare, the end to the war in Iraq and the Dream Act are all due to the American people – “you did that.”  See photos on the Rocky Facebook page.

“If you turn away now – if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible,” President Obama said. “Well, change will not happen.”

The consensus I have heard among reporters and delegates alike is that President Obama’s speech was unremarkable in comparison to Michelle Obama’s emotional speech and former President Clinton’s blistering criticism and excitement generated. Though the President’s speech may not have been earthshattering, he inspired his base as he always does.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences