, CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, Sept 6, 2012 (AFP) – President Barack Obama will tell America on Thursday it faces the clearest election choice in a generation, as he asks for four more years to right the economy and restore the middle class.
Obama, 51, battered by a first term haunted by global economic turmoil and bitter partisanship which shredded his vow to bring Americans together, planned to sketch a stark picture of unpleasant political choices.
The addictive mix of hope and change that lifted the first African American president to the White House was to be a distant memory as the greying president warns: “I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have.”
“You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth,” Obama will say, according to excerpts.
“And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.
“It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”
Democrat Roosevelt took power in 1933, amid a banking crisis that threatened American capitalism itself, and steered the country to recovery and through the flames of World War II.
“When you pick up that ballot to vote — you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation,” Obama said, in excerpts of a convention address leavened with optimism that his nation’s ills can be solved.
Obama was to take the convention stage at 0210 GMT to formally accept the Democratic Party nomination, in the knowledge that history suggests a sickly economy often dooms an incumbent president seeking re-election.
“On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties,” Obama said in the excerpts, comparing his own vision for a second term with the philosophy of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
“It will be a choice between two different paths for America.”
The prime-time address comes with Obama waging a too-close-to-call race with Romney, who argues that 8.3 percent unemployment and sluggish growth prove the president is out of ideas and should be sent home to Chicago after one term.
Romney, who made his own convention pitch to voters a week ago, called on Obama to issue a report card to Americans on “forgotten promises and forgotten people.”
“Over the last four years, the president has said that he was going to create jobs for the American people and that hasn’t happened.
“He said he would cut the deficit in half and that hasn’t happened. He said that incomes would rise and instead incomes have gone down.
“This is a time not for him not to start restating new promises, but to report on the promises he made. I think he wants a promises reset.”