WASHINGTON, July 28, 2016 — The point of televising political conventions is to introduce the presidential candidate to the vast majority of Americans, people who often don’t know their mayor’s or representative’s name. The hope is that after the convention balloons drop and the band strikes up an energy-charged tune, the candidate will see a “bump” in the polls.
After last week’s Republican Convention in Cleveland, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump gained an average of four points over his rival, Hillary Clinton.
On Wednesday evening, President Obama delivered his farewell speech to Democrats gathered in Philadelphia. He told them and the nation that Hillary Clinton is “more qualified … to serve as president of the United States.”
But Matthew Cooper at Newsweek observes that Obama’s speech “could have delved further into this summer of chaos—dead cops, dead black men, dead tourists in France, dead young people in a Florida nightclub, dead ax victims on a German train, dead masses in Baghdad, Kabul, Dhaka and Istanbul. This is a particularly anxious moment, and Obama perhaps diminished the worry that fuels Trump’s rise. He cited Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy experience without acknowledging Trump’s truth—a lot of this happened on her watch.”
The previous evening, First Lady Michelle Obama attempted to downplay today’s international chaos and America’s economic immobility—the detritus of her husband’s failed presidency. “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this, right now, is the greatest country on earth,” she said.
The Gallup organization finds 83 percent of Americans dissatisfied “with the way things are going in the U.S.,” down 12 percent since last month. Gallup credits “high-profile police killings of black men and mass shootings of police” for the drop.
A further breakdown by party affiliation finds 94 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of independents are unhappy, and even 71 percent of Democrats disagree with Mrs. Obama’s assessment of America’s current greatness.
During his address Wednesday night, President Obama made a comment that proved poignant. He said of the woman who would succeed him, “She’s been there for us—even if we haven’t always noticed.”
The morning after, a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll found Trump’s lead over Clinton had grown to 7.3 percent, a nice post-Obama-speech bump for The Donald.
It appears lame-duck Obama is finally getting Americans to notice Hillary.
Just not in a good way.