Eddie, you forgot to mention one of the most intriguing speakers to be announced so far!
Democrat Artur Davis, the former four-term Alabama congressman who officially seconded Barack Obama's nomination for president at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, will be taking the stage at this year's GOP convention to condemn Obama's governing style and give his official endorsement to Mitt Romney.
In 2008, the New Republic caught up with Davis to get his take on Obama's candidacy:
But just 4 years later, the man who was once dubbed the "Obama of Alabama" lamented to radio host John Fredericks his disappointment with Obama and today's Democratic Party:
"This exciting group of headliners includes two successful governors, two outstanding senators, the next senator from our convention state, and a former Co-Chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign," RNC chairman Reince Priebus said of today's announcement. "The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future. Former Congressman Davis especially will give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction."
In an op-ed coinciding with the announcement of his RNC speaking spot, Davis, an African-American, criticizes President Obama for suspending America's progress on race relations for his own political benefit:
There has always been a measured slickness in how Barack Obama’s political operation has handled race, the third rail in politics. They have taken the guards off the rail and made an old obstacle an instrument of fashion. And they have done so with an instinct for the genuine and legitimate guilt surrounding race in American life. As political maneuver, it is a thing of grace in some ways. ...
Of course, there are different kinds of progress. There is the inconvenient fact that Obama has governed while black unemployment and the level of child hunger in the black community have risen to the highest rates in the modern era, and while educational achievement among African Americans continues to bottom out at appalling levels. This record is one that the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said last summer would lead blacks to march outside the White House if it had a different occupant.
The Obama message, implicitly, is that the conditions on the ground, including in the black community, are small, grudging details when weighed against the epic fact that a black man occupies the Oval Office. It’s a point of view. But that argument is too charged, too at odds with Obama’s official de-emphasis on race, to be made out loud and in the light of day. Better to work through the hidden-hand approach, through surrogates who create plausible deniability and through commentators who can be disavowed. Interesting that the Sixties-era figure whom the Obama reelect campaign conjures up is neither a Kennedy nor a King but that great hidden-hand stone thrower, Richard Nixon.
Speaking of disillusioned Obama voters...
Americans for Prosperity has a new ad out this week featuring former Obama supporters who say the president hasn't earned their vote this time around: