Debt clock hits $16 Trillion as DNC celebrates Hope and Chair 2012

Well, the scene is already set for an uplifting week of healing rhetoric and outreach to independents.

Democrats are having plenty of high-profile problems dealing with the simple question: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

Expectations are being managed.

What they thought was a rambling speech by a fading old-timer turned out to be the perfect metaphor for the president’s lack of leadership, perfectly suited to the age of memes.

There’s a blow-out end-of-summer sale at the Obama store.

The Raleigh News & Observer delivered less-than-welcome news to incoming DNC attendees today:

The debt clock will deliver a similarly unwelcome message when it clicks over to $16 trillion as the DNC kicks off Tuesday.

But, the man of the hour remains fully secure in his own awesomeness.

Will he be enough to overcome the perils before a Democratic National Convention and deliver an electrifying call to duty that can overcome 8 percent unemployment, in the Stadium Whose Name Cannot Be Spoken?

The theme of the convention is “building the economy from the middle out.” But Obama will be relying heavily on the Clinton legacy, not his own, to convince voters he’s the best path to the future. Let’s build a bridge to the 21st Century again! It’s shovel-ready!

There will be no dynamic bullpen of speakers on display, painting a picture of the future of the party.

There are three promising names on that list, three with a reputation for a combination of charm, skill, and centrism that endears them to independent voters— President Bill Clinton, Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, and the young Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland. All three have been rebuked for the sin of being far too reasonable in public for Team Obama to countenance.

But I’m sure this week there will be no need for hostage videos. Right?

I’m heading to Charlotte for the convention, along with’s Guy Benson and Katie Pavlich.

While you’re getting ready for the convention’s kick-off tomorrow— I hope you’ve been training your snark gradually because this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint— please read this great column from Ben Smith of Buzzfeed if you haven’t. I’m sure he’s gotten plenty of blowback on it, but he makes a convincing case that “the Democrats’ attack on Republican honesty is a campaign ploy, not an argument…one reporters should be wary of echoing.” It’s a great read.