Ben Johnson

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Obama’s ‘abortion-palooza’ convention gives him a one-point ‘bounce’

Ben Johnson

CHARLOTTE, September 7, 2012, ( – Surrounded by a smaller crowd than anticipated, Barack Obama tried to conjure the magic of his 2008 presidential run while simultaneously begging for patience during his acceptance speech Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention. As he tried to excite his once enthusiastic base to give him one more try as commander-in-chief, he revealed that preserving abortion and legalizing same-sex “marriage” is an integral part of his platform.

“If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void,” President Obama warned. These include “Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves,” he said, tying together the issues of unrestricted taxpayer-funded abortion and redefining marriage. 

As a centrist Democrat observed earlier this week, Democrats are increasingly recasting their support for taxpayer-funded abortion through all nine months of pregnancy as a matter of “reproductive rights” or “women’s health.”

“Now you have a choice – between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it,” he said.

Facing an 8.1 percent unemployment rate and a $16 trillion debt, the president looked forward – and took a number of healthy swipes against his opponents, whom he said would turn Social Security “over to Wall Street.”

“Yes, our path is harder – but it leads to a better place,” the president said in rising cadences, building to a crescendo reminiscent of his 2008 speeches. “We don’t turn back.” 

The speech’s reference to abortion was understated compared to the saturation coverage the issue received during the convention from speakers including NARAL president Nancy Keenan, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, among others. In all, 25 speakers promoted abortion during the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

A Gallup poll taken Friday showed the convention won Obama a one percent “bounce” over last Thursday. Mitt Romney enjoyed a modest, six percent bounce after last week’s Republican convention. 

The president laid out few specifics in his speech, offering that he would “keep investing in wind and solar [energy] and clean coal” and “continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet.”

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Bloomberg News called his acceptance speech “a prosaic call for support accompanied by some vague plans for action.”

But the New York Times wrote in an editorial that his first term made great “progress” despite the opposition of a Republican “Congressional caucus driven by an implacable hatred of Mr. Obama that is mostly ideological but also fueled by his race.”

That progress included his choice to “end unconscionable discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans” and to protect “women’s constitutional rights and liberties, despite his own misgivings about abortion.” 

“Misgivings? Really?” Rod Dreher wrote in The American Conservative. “This analysis is like L’Osservatore Romano critiquing a papal address.”

Obama has opposed every effort to curtail abortion introduced during his years in politics, including a provision to protect children born alive during the process.

His acceptance speech came the night before his Labor Department would report that a meager 96,000 jobs had been created last month. The unemployment rate fell, because a significant number of workers had dropped out of the workforce altogether

Friday’s Gallup poll showed the president leading Romney 48 percent to 45 percent. Last Thursday, he led Romney 47 percent to 46 percent.

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