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Sreedhar Pillai Headshot

Should Obama Do an Invisible Bush Act at the DNC?

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Despite the gloss over Ann Romney tried to give the historic improvisation of Clint Eastwood, who tried to address and insult an invisible Barack Obama who had no way of defending himself, the Democrats will be eager to pull off something in return at the DNC.

Letting the GOP get away with a piece of stage drama to score a political point against them will be a political sin the democrats can't afford. They can't let the insult go away unpunished like the way the convention managed an important debilitating debate on abortion, which preceded it, to totally disappear from the agenda.

Though it may not be entirely in style for a sitting president, who has already declared that he is no way offended by the episode, to stoop to such silly political theatre, it actually gives Barack Obama a precious chance to defend his records by "Eastwooding" George Bush. After all, Bush, from whom he inherited the economic mess, was conspicuously absent from the RNC to evade having to defend his poor record which would definitely have hurt the claims of the GOP.

George Bush must have evaded the convention under pressure from the GOP, precisely not to remind anyone of his legacy or what the Republicans really did to the US economy in the eight years they were in power. In any case, George Bush couldn't have defended his record convincingly and might have ended up with embarrassing remarks, for which he has a solid record, which might have turned in to the high lights of the convention.

Though George Bush himself was on record about his decision to stay away from the convention, For the GOP itself, who is trying to win back the power in Washington, not being able to hold their ex president in front of the nation, as a guarantee of the rosy state of affairs they promise, is an indefensible weakness.

Whether the political managers of the Democratic Party can see this massive hole in the defense of the GOP and capitalize on it can make a real difference to the message they will transmit from Charlotte in the next few days.

Under normal circumstances any attempt by President Obama and his party to go back several years in history to defend their records would have been torn apart by the GOP as weak defense for incompetence. However, the GOP can no more complain about being unduly attacked if some one will do an "Eastwooding" on any of their leaders as they have publicly praised and justified what the Octogenarian Hollywood icon has enacted during the RNC.

But what will be the best way to delicately tap in to the enormous opportunity must be the thought which has kept the DNC managers sleepless for last week. Obviously a copy cat performance by another celebrity or any of the leaders will be deemed ridiculous and can easily backfire.

Their best bet is President himself, who has time and again proved his entertainer appeal, especially during the White House Correspondents Dinner Speech. Obama has proved not only that he can pull off effective jabs at his political opponents, but that he can do such things convincingly while unbelievably difficult situations like the operation Geronimo was being carried out under his command. President Obama no doubt is as much a theatrical performer as Clint Eastwood is.

It is hard to see that Barack Obama and his political managers will let such an opportunity go untapped. A rebuttal in some form or the other must be expected. It will certainly be one of the high points of the DNC.

In what form and way the president will deliver that will determine the political maturing of Barack Obama.