As Ed noted earlier today, it may very well be true that not many voters pay a whole lot of specific attention to the parties’ conventions, but the conventions can set the tone for the remaining two+ months of the presidential cycle, when a lot of voters will really just be starting to tune in and and take notice of the day-to-day of campaign politics. And I have to say, just from what I saw in Tampa today of preliminary convention activities, I’m pretty darn pumped about the way things are shaping up on this side of the aisle. Granted, I’m not exactly an ‘objective outsider’ or anything (heh, far from it), but even just from the quick session that opened the convention earlier this afternoon, during which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus directed our attention to the tremendous national debt, Republicans are demonstrating their willingness to go for the jugular of the national debate by attacking the big issues. The debt, the economy, jobs — these are the bread-and-butter issues that affect all Americans, in a big way, and the GOP isn’t shying away from them. They’re the focus of our convention, even.

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How do you like them apples, Democrats? The Obama camp doesn’t really care to touch the issue of the national debt with a ten-foot pole if they can help it — only insofar as it affords them an opportunity to talk about how Mitt Romney wants to cut taxes for his bajillionaire buddies and raise taxes on the poorest Americans, or something. Obama’s proposal of hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans isn’t a solution to our country’s fiscal problems: It’s a talking point that allows Democrats to focus on class warfare, and the cheap populism is infuriatingly small-potatoes. In their hypocritical anti-corporate crusade, they’re still not even calling their convention’s venue by it’s proper name:

Beyond the class warfare, their convention is quickly shaping up to be all about trying to convince the ladies of the United States that “it’s a scary time to be a woman” and that Mitt Romney is a wife-murdering, birther-believing, corporate-vulture criminal who doesn’t pay taxes. But this election is not about social issues, and the character assassination has already shot way past desperate. I suppose Democrats can talk about those items until the cows come home if they really want to, if they want to make their campaign all about the small beans. But the Republicans are gearing up to tackle the problems that need to be our priorities, and I’m feeling the palpable optimism on the ground here — be sure and stay tuned the rest of the week for our up-to-date coverage, bazinga!