From Washington Examiner
For all his appeal as a speaker, and for all the love coming from Democrats crowded inside the Wells Fargo Arena, President Obama made a classic mistake in his address to the Democratic convention Wednesday night. Determined to defend his own accomplishments in office as well as convince Americans to elect Hillary Clinton for what would amount to his third term, Obama painted a picture of life in the United States that was brighter and more positive than most voters believe.
“While this nation has been tested by war and recession and all manner of challenge — I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your president, to tell you I am even more optimistic about the future of America,” Obama said.
“How could I not be — after all we’ve achieved together?”
In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of registered voters said the country is on the wrong track, while just 18 percent said it is headed in the right direction. The 73 percent figure is the second-highest in the president’s nearly eight years in office.
The poll was no outlier. These are the wrong-track numbers for the last ten polls in the RealClearPolitics average of polls: 67, 70, 67, 71, 73, 69, 79, 68, 60 and 66.
And yet, in spite of clear evidence that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the president exhorted the nation, “Thank you for this incredible journey — let’s keep it going.”
Obama spoke as if broad areas of American life are better than ever, even if there remains work to be done. When Obama said, “My time in this office — it hasn’t fixed everything,” the millions of voters who believe the country is on the wrong track might have seen that as a significant understatement.
“By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started,” Obama said. On one hand, that is true for some Americans, given the depths of economic distress the country was entering in January 2009. But on the other hand, even with terrible economic conditions, the percentage of Americans who believed the country was on the wrong track went down dramatically in Obama’s first months in office — it fell to 43 percent in April 2009 — because many people had faith in Obama to make things better. Today, with the wrong track number 30 points higher, they no longer believe.
But in Philadelphia, Obama pushed the positive. “The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity,” he said:
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