The Gabfest: The 2012 DNC, Clinton and Obama.

The Gabfest on Obama and Clinton at the DNC

The Gabfest on Obama and Clinton at the DNC

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Sept. 7 2012 3:10 PM

The Cool-on-the-Outside, Burning-for-America-on-the-Inside Gabfest

Listen to Slate's show about the 2012 Democratic Convention and the rhetorical powers of Presidents Obama and Clinton.

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Events: David will interview—or interrogate—his wife, “Double X” co-founder Hanna Rosin, about her new book, The End of Men, on Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C., (Tickets here), and on Sept. 12 in NYC (more details here).

Live Seattle Gabfest: Oct. 4, 6:30 p.m., at Town Hall—tickets now available! Bring your friends, enemies, and pandas. For tickets and more info.

Live D.C. “Hang Up and Listen” Gabfest: Oct. 1, 7 p.m., at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., (tickets here).

The Gabfest welcomes all of our new listeners from WNYC! For more info, visit the WNYC Gabfest Radio show page.


On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz review the 2012 Democratic Convention and the rhetorical powers of Presidents Obama and Clinton. And they discuss the latest effects of both party conventions on the overall campaign, and what today’s poor jobs report means for Obama.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:

The full texts of speeches by President Obama, President Clinton, and Michelle Obama.

The Labor Department released their latest jobs report Friday morning; U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month—a weak figure, according to the Washington Post.


The New York Times’ Nate Silver thinks the polling landscape now favors Obama; Gallup finds that the RNC had minimal impact on voting intentions but notes the mixed predictive record of post-convention bounces.

What is the enthusiasm gap facing Democrats? This report, from MSNBC First Read, describes an August 2012 NBC/WSJ poll that found significantly fewer Latino or under-35 voters expressing high interest in the 2012 election.

Emily asks John about the crowd response in Charlotte, N.C.; in his full write-up, John finds a crowd “ready to be moved” but also a more “earthbound” Obama.

While Emily doesn’t think Sandra Fluke hit the right note, Slate’s Amanda Marcotte argues that angry conservative reactions to the speech may work in the Democrats’ favor.


David references Sasha Issenberg’s story about Milwaukee disappearing black voters.

Emily chatters about a takedown of Naomi Wolf by Ariel Levy in The New Yorker.

David chatters about a proposal: Convention speeches should be more like TED Talks.

Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest

The email address for the Political Gabfest is (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Podcast production by Bill Smee, Dale Willman, and Andy Bowers. Links compiled by Jeff Friedrich.