As the 2012 Democratic National Convention concludes with an epic oration by incumbent President Barack Obama on Thursday night, one thing is for sure: You might not agree with his policies or his philosophy. Maybe you’ve questioned certain decisions over the last four years. Maybe you’re a disappointed liberal fan or a hardened conservative skeptic. But Barack Obama is still a force to be reckoned with.
In 2008, Obama rode a wave of GOP malaise into the White House in an unprecedented victory: the first black man voted into the highest public office in the land powered by a massive grassroots organization. He trumped John McCain in the youth vote. And he inspired America with an idealistic message of hope and change.
Then he got a reality check. Washington moves slowly, and even Obama couldn’t prevent the midterm congressional losses that tend to inflict first-term presidents. And going into the DNC, Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney were virtually tied in the polls.
The content of Obama's speech was nothing revolutionary – in fact, close observers of the political process and this year’s conventions have probably heard it all before. But the excitement in the DNC hall was palpable and Obama’s spirit was contagious. For the first time in years, he sounded not like a battered incumbent, not like a partisan panderer, but like the man Americans elected to office four short years ago.
Obama is going to have some serious momentum going into the fall, and his message tonight may potentially be bolstered tomorrow if preliminary positive jobs reports are true. It won’t be easy for either candidate by any stretch of the imagination, but Obama, at the very least, just got his “it” factor back.