Heading into the Charlotte, N.C., convention, President Barack Obama was in trouble with independent voters. But instead of winning them back with appeals to national unity and promises of compromise, he told them: You've got a stark choice - so choose.
He tossed them (us) a few rhetorical bones - a reference to the Simpson-Bowles debt commission he previously ignored, a bow to free enterprise as a jobs engine, acknowledgement that government can't do everything and needs reform.
But basically, Obama's acceptance speech was defiant, confrontational and contemptuous of Mitt Romney and Republicans, portraying them as heartless tools of millionaires, job-exporters, lobbyists, oil and insurance companies, toxic polluters, banks that break the rules - and as enemies of old people, students, women and gays, to boot.
His message was: "forward" with me or "backward" with them. There was no softening of it: It's war until Nov. 6 and, most likely, prolonged government gridlock after that.
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