If night one of the Democratic National Convention was about the power of women, night two was all about using policy particulars and a popular former president.
The three prime-time speakers, Sandra Fluke, Elizabeth Warren, and President Bill Clinton, made a clear contrast between the Obama administration and a possible Romney administration from three distinct angles.
Leading off the prime-time slot unexpectedly was attorney and women’s rights activists Sandra Fluke. Fluke’s convention speech was supposed to come earlier in the evening but was moved to give her a more coveted slot, making it even clearer that Democrats are going all in for women in 2012. Fluke spoke about two Americas, one under a President Romney and one under a President Obama and what that would mean for the everyday lives of women as they make critical health care choices and struggle to maintain power and control over their own bodies and, by extension, their futures.
Romney and Ryan, who are both staunchly anti-choice, would lead an America “in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need. An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don’t. We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it’s the America we could be. But it’s not the America we should be. It’s not who we are.”
Fluke’s speech built on the message set in a spirited night one, that the Republican legislative assaults on women will not be tolerated and that Democratic women are fired up and ready to fight back. In an America under Democrats, women would be trusted and afforded equal rights, protections, and pay. This increased economic security for women means increased economic security for American families.
The Wall Street watchdog and champion for the middle class, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, spoke next and continued the narrative that there really are two distinct visions and two different possible outcomes for American families depending on who they choose to win in the fall. Warren is the mastermind behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and her speech focused on the impact of Wall Street greed.
Like Fluke, Warren was able to present a case for the Obama administration on policy grounds, namely the idea that a Romney administration would implement nearly identical economic policies as George W. Bush which created the crisis in the first instance.
An opposition that believes corporations are people is not the appropriate protector from corporate greed. “Corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people and that’s why we need Barack Obama.”