President Barack Obama speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

They’re Making a Play for Republicans

The President stood on stage in Philadelphia last night and said

Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. it’s precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward.

But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know.

This came after hearing from a Gold Star mom who lost her son in Afghanistan and after hearing from Tim Kaine, Mike Bloomberg, and Joe Biden about how Trump is a fraud.

The Democrats are beginning their triangulation. They think they now have established party unity and they want persuadable Republicans to come over.

Polling shows #NeverTrump is much stronger than #NeverHillary. Trump only had about 70% of the GOP headed into Cleveland and Hillary had 90% of the Democrats going into Philadelphia. There are a high number of persuadable Republicans.

Look, like it or not, all Hillary has to do is keep Obama’s coalition from 2012. But she’s also starting to steal college educated white voters. They went for Romney in 2012. Obama’s speech might be particularly effective toward them.

This passage in particular read like a Party of Reagan Republican response to Donald Trump’s nomination speech last week:

Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster. Apparently, he doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known.

He suggests America is weak. He must not hear the billions of men and women and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom and dignity and human rights. He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection.

Well, America’s promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. We bear our burdens. That’s one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office.

America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness does not depend on Donald Trump.

In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election, the meaning of our democracy.

Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix. It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.

And that’s another bet that Donald Trump will lose. And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short. We are not a fragile people, we’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled.

Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that we the people can form a more perfect union. That’s who we are. That’s our birthright, the capacity to shape our own destiny.

That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent.…

America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard and slow and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

That is effective stuff for Republicans. The Democrats are going to try to make a play at the middle now. They won’t get those who are strongly pro-life. But the moderate suburbanites who don’t go to church on Sunday, but vote Republican because of taxes may just decide Clinton is the safer bet.

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Erick Erickson

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