Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

Some People Love Obama in a Way No One Loves Romney
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Sept. 4 2012 5:30 AM

Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention


Millions of people are still passionate for Obama.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

John and Sasha,

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The furor over the "better off" question reminds me: What is the upside of going on these Sunday shows? Rarely do we get emails from flacks advising us to "look how awesome our team did on that CNN show that 300,000 people watch." No. We are told that first- or second-tier campaign spokesmen have bungled something. I remember the days we spent in 2008 discussing the meaning of McCain spokeswoman Nancy Pfotenauer's "real Virginia" gaffe, which I think was made during some show at 2:23 p.m.

By which I mean that much of the political press corps is now in Charlotte, in various stages of disorientation, and the comments of a possible 2016 candidate are more substantial than anything else. At a midday hangout at the Huffington Post Oasis, Nancy Pelosi got not one but two questions about "better off." This irritated some bloggers in the room, who didn't understand why they'd come all this way to hear the same hacky questions. 

Queens for Obama
Drag queens welcome the Democratic National Convention at a kick-off Sunday brunch at Hartigan's Irish Pub, called "First Ladies United".

Richard Kalvar / Magnum Photos for Slate.


But it's a good question! Charlotte, especially by comparison withTampa, is a perfect "ideopolis," all cafes and new restaurants and a skyline that glistens with the windows of corporate headquarters. It's good to remember that things are still rotten. North Carolina's unemployment rate is tied for the worst in the South—9.6 percent. The Occupy protests have a different feel when they tromp past black Charlotte residents wearing Bank of America gear, because they work at Bank of America, and they like their jobs, and the state isn't brimming with better ones.

John, I like your formulation of the Obama campaign demanding credit for deeds and wanting minimal blame for results. Part of that strategy, as you really can see in Charlotte, is pulling inside straights in the states that are demographically sound for the president. After two years of "Obamania fades" articles, in Charlotte, you see people wearing cheesy Obama shirts and carrying Michelle Obama "First Lady of Fabulous" bags and buying street art of the smiling president. You have never, and probably will never, see this for Romney. And you remember that there are millions of black, Hispanic, and gay voters who still feel passionately that Barack Obama's been looking out for them. Barack Obama won North Carolina in 2008 despite winning only 35 percent of white votes. Lo and behold, he's still competitive here.

I'm just interested to see how he sells his agenda to everybody else.


Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 8:15 AM Ted Cruz Will Not Join a Protest of "The Death of Klinghoffer" After All
Sept. 16 2014 2:35 PM Germany’s Nationwide Ban on Uber Lasted All of Two Weeks
The Vault
Sept. 16 2014 12:15 PM “Human Life Is Frightfully Cheap”: A 1900 Petition to Make Lynching a Federal Offense
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 9:03 AM My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. And Then I Found Myself With Someone Like Dad.
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 8:27 AM Only Science Fiction Can Save Us! What sci-fi gets wrong about income inequality.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 7:30 AM Ring Around the Rainbow
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 8:41 PM You’re Cut, Adrian Peterson Why fantasy football owners should release the Minnesota Vikings star.