President Barack Obama shouldn’t give an acceptance speech tonight that sounds like a State of the Union address or “tutorial,” his former White House chief of staff said.
“It’s a visionary piece with big goals set out for the country, somewhat of the roadmap we will take, but not the 10-point plan,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said yesterday at a Bloomberg-Washington Post event at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Emanuel, 52, also said the president should avoid talking too much about the role of government in American society.
“I would not give a speech about the role of government,” he said. “I think you can talk about the goals you have for the country, define those, without having to define government. I think that would be a mistake. This is not a political science class.”
Emanuel declined to predict odds for an Obama victory over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, as he highlighted the closeness of the race and the “consequential” importance of three, October debates.
The undecided voters, typically less than 10 percent of the electorate in polls, “are going to hold out to the very end to make a decision,” he said.
Romney’s missteps in recent months amounted to missed opportunities, he said, adding that the former Massachusetts governor's gaffe-plagued foreign trip in late July was a “disaster” that weakened his standing and credibility on global issues.
“Middle-class Americans have been crushed in the Obama economy," Amanda Henneberg, a Romney spokeswoman, said in a statement. "President Obama has put in place big-government policies that have led to record high unemployment, record high debt and declining incomes."
Emanuel said the Democratic convention has already displayed “more energy” than the Republican National Convention last week in Tampa, Florida.
Republicans aren’t “too happy with their nominee” and are already looking toward the 2016 presidential campaign, including the potential presence then of Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, on a future ticket, Emanuel said.
The growth of the U.S. Hispanic population is helpful to the Democratic Party, Emanuel said, although he said his party can’t solely rely on demographics.
“I’d rather be us than them,” he said. “I think they’re making a fundamental mistake. An exclusive party is not the future. You have to be an inclusive party. It’s just a big mistake. And the smart ones in their own party know it.”