When I first heard Joe Biden use his quick pitch for the Democrats last week I was impressed that he could be so succinct: “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” Steve Benen linked to a video of Biden saying this above. He also pointed out the significance of the use of this brief elevator pitch:
Democrats have traditionally struggled to craft compelling “elevator pitches” when it comes to their policies, records, and visions. But Biden’s 10-word pitch, a blunt instrument as political rhetoric goes, at least has the benefit of summarizing the points Obama for America hopes to stress: the president and his administration turned the economy around at home, and has scored high-profile national security successes abroad.
It’s seems likely the Democratic campaign will face considerable pushback if officials keep using this pitch out loud — the politicization of the bin Laden strike may prove tricky — but the fact that the likely Republican nominee opposed the policy that got the al Qaeda leader, and was inclined to “let Detroit go bankrupt,” the health of GM and demise of bin Laden at a minimum sets up the contrast the White House wants to see.
In an election year it is more important to contrast Obama’s achievements with his likely opponent, but I also cannot help but contrast this with George Bush’s record. While GM’s problems went beyond those of the economy as a whole, it was Bush who brought us to the brink of a depression. Obama’s policies prevented a depression, while Republicans would return to the same policies which got us into this economic mess. Obama is destroying al Qaeda, while Bush’s policies acted to strengthen it and placed the United States in greater danger. It was also the failure of George Bush to follow the recommendations passed on by the Clinton administration, and his failure to respond to CIA warnings of an imminent threat, which allowed the 9/11 attack to be a success.
There are a number of things which I wish Obama would do differently, but on the major issues of the day there is a clear difference between what Obama has accomplished and what the Republicans would do. There is no problem with Obama which would be improved upon by having a Republican in the White House.