Ulman from DNC 2012: 'It's Going to Be a Tough Fight'

Ken Ulman suggested ways that Obama might approach his nomination acceptance speech at the DNC, scheduled for Thursday evening.


Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said spirits were high at the Democratic National Convention (DNC 2012), but there was one thing that scared him: money.

“Knowing that …  that this would be the first incumbent president to be outspent, we’d better work harder to overcome that onslaught that certainly seems like it’s coming," he said.

Ulman, a delegate at the 2012 DNC, was speaking to Dan Rodricks from Charlotte on WYPR’s Midday Wednesday afternoon. He spoke of the energized crowd, the powerful speeches and the positive outlook.

He also talked about “two countries.”

“We don’t see the attack ads every time you flip on the TV like you do down here in North Carolina,” he said. “So there’s almost two countries; one in swing states and one in safe states.

“We all know it’s going to be a tough fight,” he said. “It’s going to be close.”

Ulman had some advice for President Obama, who is scheduled to accept the Democratic nomination Thursday evening. First, Ulman said, Obama should acknowledge, “We haven’t made as much progress as any of us would have liked.” 

However, he added Obama should tell listeners that “This is a very clear choice about a set of values that says if you work hard, you do well in school, there are opportunities for you.” 

Tell us in comments: What would you like to hear from Obama tonight?

Obama should lay out a plan, saying that he needs four more years to make progress and, Ulman said, he should be “reminding” people “Where we’ve come in four years … we still have a lot of work to do,” he said, “We made progress and with four more years we can continue to do so.”

Ulman and the other guests agreed that tonight’s speech will have to be much different than the speech made in 2008 by then-candidate Obama.

“Nobody’s going to be as enamored as they were four years ago,” Ulman said. “That was a unique moment in history.” 

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