Maryann Tobin

If there was an obvious difference between the Republican and Democratic national conventions, it is the result. Obama got a bump in the polls and Mitt Romney did not.

Recent tracking polls show President Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney has widened to 4 points, 49% to 45%, since the DNC.

There are a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which may include the fact that when Americans actually got to see and hear President Obama and the Democrats, much of the GOP anti-Obama hype looked far less credible.

There were no socialist monsters on the DNC stage last week. And President Obama did not appear to have evil horns popping out of his head. More importantly, the DNC message was clear. Obama and the Democrats have far more to offer working class Americans than Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Republican Party.

There was also quite a different tone and atmosphere at each convention. At the RNC, the tone was defensive and negative, consisting more of attacks on President Obama than of details for a positive future for the country.

The crowd also was more subdued than at the DNC, and it was made up of mostly white people. Through it all, there were reports of millionaire donors, like Sheldon Adelson, lurking in the background trying to avoid the appearance that the event was little more than another secret fund-raising event solely for the interests of the elite.

After the RNC, Romney's vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan got caught for lying in his speech. And many thought the entire convention was disingenuous. This coincides with Mr. Romney’s weakest poll numbers. People just don’t like him, personally.

Neither Romney nor Ryan have ever struggled a single day in their lives, financially. In difficult economic times, it’s hard for a pair of multi-millionaires to sell I-feel-your-pain to working class voters, especially when the budget cuts they are offering will only make the lives of all but the wealthy much worse.

Let’s face it – there is no such thing as job creation from supply-side economics. If there were, the U.S. would be overflowing with jobs right now, no matter who was sitting in the White House.

If the conventions themselves are any indication of which party has their act together, the Democrats win hands-down. Even Republican pundits admit that the RNC fell well below expectations and was poorly organized.

Demonizing the President of the United States, no matter who he or she is, is not patriotic. Most Americans know that. But doing just that has been the mission of the Republican Party since Obama took office.

The Tea Party has been the arm of the GOP that has caused more government paralysis and dysfunction in the past two years than any political mission in memorable history. They took the debt ceiling vote hostage and used it to globally threaten the financial credibility of the United States. And they have used their hatred for Barack Obama as a tool to divide the country, as well as an instrument for a self-serving religious agenda that the majority of Americans do not want or support.

And let’s not forget that it was the last Republican president, George W. Bush, caused the economic mess America is still recovering from.

"No president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he (Obama) found in just four years,” former president Bill Clinton said at the DNC.

What Obama did at the DNC was more than just show voters that he is indeed an American president, but that he believes government is not the evil monster the Republicans have portrayed it as.

Few Americans can relate to Romney’s life of privilege. But almost all Americans can relate to struggling to get ahead.

No matter what you think of Obama’s political positions, there is no denying that he represents the American Dream, much like Clinton did before he first took the Oval Office. Both men were raised my single moms and had to borrow money from the government, not their parents, to put themselves through college on their way to holding the highest office in America.

When you scrape away all the rhetoric and negative spin, you are left with Romney, an elitist who shrouds his money and political positions in verbal gymnastics, and Obama, who overcame all odds to become the first black president of the United States.

Both Romney and Obama pursued the American Dream, but went reached it in completely different ways.

Obama and the Democrats recognize that government can play a role in helping people achieve their goals, and Romney and the Republicans do not. Perhaps more Americans agree with the fundamental difference, and that is why Obama is really pulling away from Romney in the polls.

This election is not about whether or not you are better off now than your were four years ago, but whether or not you will be better off in the future if Mitt Romney is elected and moves America back to the economic policies of the Bush administration.

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