Last week it was the Republicans turn and now, Thursday night is the Democrats turn to weigh in on the Presidential race.
Political strategist Steve Hildebrand worked for Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign and now, he weighs in on the Democratic National Convention.
Hildebrand says he believes Obama speech on Thursday night covered a lot of ground, but also offered substance for the American voter.
“It was a speech with a great serious tone, which I think is very appropriate for the times that we are in right now, with an economy that is still not picking up steam as quickly as all of us would hope,” Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand says there are great differences between the two candidates running for President.
“I think that the President was very instructive on how they do differ on a lot of very important issues,” Hildebrand said.
Despite speculation, Hildebrand says Bill Clinton’s speech on Wednesday night didn’t overshadow the President’s speech Thursday night.
“I think he [Clinton] gave an incredibly powerful speech, but I think President Obama’s speech was the speech that people were waiting for. They needed to hear from him. He is the President. He is the one setting the policy in Washington and from that perspective I don’t think that, even while President Clinton’s speech was so incredibly strong and powerful I don’t think that there was really an overshadowing to be done here,” Hildebrand said.
When talking about the energy, it seems to be lacking from four years ago. Hildebrand says he thinks there wasn’t as much energy from the Democrats until Mitt Romney got the Republican nomination.
“I think once there was side by side candidates to compare, the people who had been supporting President Obama are supporting President Obama and those thinking about supporting President Obama are much more energized, understanding the real solid differences,” Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand says there are two very different paths for the country depending on who wins the election in November.
“I think that the President’s speech tonight [Thursday] was very helpful in laying out his direction, which is a forward thinking direction, verse Mitt Romney’s direction,” Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand says Romney’s direction would go back to the same failed policies we’ve seen before. Those include tax breaks for the wealthy that won’t create new jobs, failed foreign policy and high unemployment rates.
“He’s not a job creator,” Hildebrand said. “I think that’s very clear in the policies he’s putting forward.”
Our neighboring state of Minnesota will be one of Obama’s key states he’ll need to focus on, as will as Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.
“There are a long list of battleground states,” Hildebrand said. “But I think that he does have to do is, he’s got to get his record in front of the American people in the best possible way.”
Hildebrand says Obama needs to focus on the numbers of the jobs he’s created because those are things that the American people need to understand.
“These are real jobs that were saved by President Obama because of the auto bail out,” Hildebrand said. “I think Health Care Reform is a very important issue for him to get out there and get people comfortable with it because it’s a great thing. The fact that a kid can be turned away because of pre-existing conditions, the fact that a 21-year-old can stay on his parent’s health insurance plan, I think there’s a lot of great things.”
And of the elderly population, there’s a lot of differences in Medicare.
“You want Medicare to be saved and protected and lasting for a lifetime. You go with Obama. If you want to go with a voucher system where you hand in a coupon, my 86-year-old mother would never have been able to do that on her own,” Hildebrand said. “I don’t know where they get away with this coupon idea. It’s not going to work.”
In the future, Hildebrand says we’ll see Romney and Obama debate. But, he says Romney’s struggled with debates in the past and Obama has shined.