Jansing and Co | September 05, 2012
>>> good morning, the democratic national convention is firing up the base. there was an electricity as democrats tried to recapture the energy from 2008 . the speakers last night making clear appeals to the middle class to hispanics and to women . the night's headliner michelle obama , she blew the roof off the place.
>> at the end of the day , my most important title is still mom in chief.
>> keynote speaker julian castro touched the crowd with his story of humble beginnings the first hispanic to deliver a keynote speech at the dnc. he talked up the president but delivered a punch to mitt romney .
>> i don't think governor romney nent meant any marm. he has no idea how good he's had it. mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it.
>> it was a democratic party so speakers served up a lot of red meat .
>> if mitt was santa claus , he would fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.
>> women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. maybe 23 cents doesn't sound like a lot to someone with a swiss bank account , a cayman island investment.
>> put simply, women in america cannot trust mitt romney .
>> i want to bring in ruth marcus , columnist for " washington post " and political reporter nick con sore ri. let's talk about michelle obama . it was called a resounding trium triumph. what do you think she accomplished?
>> i think it was very important as we saw with ann romney 's speech. spouses serve a very validating humanizing function, it's not that people don't know president obama , but they can speak about their spouses in a personal and real way that nobody else can. and i thought michelle obama 's speech was terrific last night. and i was not a huge fan of most of ann romney 's speech because i thought they both had the same fundamental goal which is to really speak to the women of america. you saw it in the most recent poll, there's a narrowing of the gap the gender gap between barack obama and mitt romney . and i thought ann romney did it in very heavy handed way, women i love you. i thought michelle obama 's approach was more subtle and effective.
>> let me play another clip from last night's speech.
>> and he believes that when you've worked hard and done well, and walk through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that help you succeed.
>> the way it was described, both a political and politically masterful. you were there. depending on your point of view, i suppose, it could be considered a -- not so thinly veiled shot at mitt romney or at least a comparison. give me your headline out of my shell obama's speech.
>> in some ways i thought it was the sharpest attack on mitt romney , it was cloaked in the language of fairytale of president obama but really a series of contrasts, quite scathing in her way, contrasting her husband and ann romney 's husband. i thought it was pretty effective.
>> let me interrupt you. we have breaking news coming to us from the convention site. my guess is neither of you may have heard this and that is a change of venue i understand for tomorrow night's big speech. the president himself. let me go to chuck todd .
>> officials have made a weather call. they say the forecast they've been relying on has thunderstorms coming into charlotte, bank of america stadium , an open-air stadium with thunderstorms that would come and potentially start dumping water and lightning over the air right when vice president biden's speech would begin at 9:00. so they had to make this weather call. they had frankly they had -- they made this call i think midnight then went public with it a few minutes ago. that was the deadline the see kret service had given convention planners in order to have preparation to secure the site. they said they've had a couple of problems, chris, because of all of the rain storms and every day we've seen water dumped on charlotte over the last couple of days. a lot of this is remnants of isaac, they had trouble getting bank of america stadium prepared the way they would like. they had some 60,000, 65,000 north carolinana sen virginias coming in, earned their right to get a ticket for this. the question is where do they put them? i can tell you, convention planners are in a meeting to see if they get lucky, vice president biden and president obama will speak inside the time warner center . if they get lucky, they have a whole bunch of concerts planned, do they go back out there if somehow the rain clears up at night and at least give some entertainment for the 50 to 60,000 that made plans to watch the speech. big organizational blow to the obama campaign .
>> it's a very different visual when you have the inside of that auditorium and then you have this big open air . we saw it in 2008 . how big of a blow is it? and what does it mean to even how you deliver that speech?
>> look, i think on television it's minimal. i think, you're setting -- you create these visuals for television. the thing that really hurts the obama campaign is the open air event they put on in denver when they were able to get 70,000, 80,000 coloradons and used it before candidate obama spoke, getting them field training if you will, for the remainder of some 90 days before the election and obviously colorado an important state to the president's coalition and he won it. that's what they want to recreate in north carolina . a state the president is behind in. the real blow is organizationally, it's minimum impact on television and maximum impact to do what they wanted to do here in north carolina .
>> chuck, i know you're going to stay with us. let me bring back in nick and ruth. nick, your thoughts?
>> i think chuck is right. the optics are he can speak well anywhere and do a speech anywhere. it will be tighter shots. won't have the crowd shots we had in colorado, the sweeping aerial views but it will still be a good speech. what's important to hear, how do they use events to transform the base to turn them into an activist class. i'm not sure it matters for the speech itself.
>> let's talk about night one and look ahead in this hour obviously to tonight because we're going to be hearing from former president bill clinton . but it's clear that one of the things that the democrats wanted to do is to show that this election was a choice. let me play you some sound.
>> and now we need to make a choice.
>> progress is a choice. job creation is a choice. whether we move forward or back, this too is a choice.
>> women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and health care .
>> that fundamentally is the choice in this election.
>> we have a clear choice on november 6th .
>> one thing did he this very well, ruth, they took these little snippets and pounded them over and over again. rather than a referendum on the president, the democrats want this election to represent a choice between two very different candidates. were they effective and can that be a game changer?
>> i think they've been effective in making a choice. we were just at a breakfast with rahm emanuel and he talked about two phases of the campaign that they had sort of made the distinction between the president and mitt romney . but that the next phase of the campaign was to be sketching out more clearly and that's what we're looking for from the president on thursday night. exactly what a second term will look like and where he wants to take the country. one quick thing about the change in venue. these are not little rain drops that are falling on us here in charlotte. here's are torrential pounding rains. i was trying to listen to james take taylor at an outdoor concert and you are drenched and it would have been the worst visual in the world to have the wet poncho dripping democrats out in the open air arena. i think they made the right call there.
>> let me ask you about what happened last night and, chuck, i heard you talking throughout the evening be inside there and how different it felt from the republican convention in terms of the energy and enthusiasm. and i can tell you that as someone watching it on television, i was in fact virtually flabbergasted by how much energy there seemed to be, how much wrapped attention were being paid and how many speakers seemed to hit a home run. but of course, that didn't stop the criticism. let me play with paul ryan said this morning on fox.
>> what you did not hear is that people are better off than they were four years ago. what you did hear was simply attacks against their opponents.
>> that's what we're hearing this morning from a number of republicans. they didn't tell you what they are going to do about the economy. they didn't defend his economic record, right?
>> well, i and i think that the obama campaign would say that's what president clinton is going to do, that's what he's best at doing and what president obama will do. i want to go back to the passion issue. like i said, it reminded me a little bit of the 2004 democratic convention . as far as the way that there was 2004 republican convention , there you had all of the passion for george w. bush and his convention. at the 2004 convention all of the passion was against george w. bush . the same person was creating the passion. that's what we see here. it's the same person creating passion on the affirmative here, the democratic convention is barack obama . in the against the passion in tampa was against barack obama . so there was no passion there for mitt romney . and that's what was missing. it was last night you saw the delegates, every one of them, they were listening to speeches at 6:00. i can tell you the delegates and i was on the floor both conventions, at 6:00 in tampa , they were not on pins and needles listening to everyone one of their speeches, maybe they should have been. but that seemed to be what was missing. that was i think the passion disconnect between the two and goes to the challenge mitt romney has had leading this republican party . almost as if he's the invited guest.
>> and you have very specific constituencies that they clearly were going after. they were looking to women . they were looking to latinos and they also made a very pointed effort, tammy duckworth and others to mention the military. and one of the criticisms of mitt romney 's speech and there you see all of the women there from congress and who are running for congress, a lot of democrats criticizing -- even republicans, mitt romney for not even mentioning the military during his speech. how effective were they last night in going after those core constituencies who they have to not just hold but love to energy obviously?
>> it's fascinating to see how choreographied the speeches were and in this one push. in tampa it was not like that. and as chuck said, it was almost like mitt romney was a guest at his own convention, unplanned speaking, clint eastwood . it wasn't a push in the same way. here we have an orchestrated party organization moving forward. all teeing up to the same places, hitting those constituent cies and capping it off with michelle obama , who's job is to take the greatest advantage of the election, even people who don't like the job he's doing, remind people of why they vote for him, it was pretty fascinating.
>> nick confessore and chuck todd , thanks to you for bringing ugs the breaking news that the speech will move from outdoors to indoors. and ruth marcus putting on her rain hat.
>> i have a collection of ponchos.
>> i have a collection of ponchos.
>> very wise, very wise indeed. thanks to all of you,