Obama surrogate Jamal Simmons says recent Democratic convention the most successful in the modern era

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In retrospect, the Republican appear to have wasted the three hours of prime time allotted to them in Tampa for their convention at the of last month.

Simmons says he was speaking to a group of 20-year-old college students in south New Jersey on Thursday and he asked them what their top memories were of the Tampa RNC.

He said the first thing they said was the keynote speech given by their governor, Chris Christie.

The second, inevitably, was the 12-minute speech actor/director Clint Eastwood gave to a chair mocking the president. As a political professional, Simmons calls the decision to open that last hour of prime time of the convention on the biggest political night of Mitt Romney's life was "about the biggest malpractice of political professionalism I've ever seen."

As numerous other commentators have noted, leading up to Eastwood's somewhat spontaneous moment was a 10-minute feature film depicting the personal side of Romney, which was considered as moving and effective as anything produced by the campaign this year (and is now being shown at some of Romney's political rallies).

"It was the biggest waste of an opportunity that I’ve seen in politics in years, " Simmons said. "And it coiuld have been avoided."

Last week Simmons penned an op-ed in Politico where he blasted Romney's Boca Raton speech that has dominated news coverage the past two weeks.

Called "A reality check about the 47 percent," Simmons said the speech showed the GOP nominee to be
"incredibly offensive and showed that he was clueless about most Americans."

Last week a poll published by CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac showed Obama leading Romney by a stunning nine percentage points in Florida. Stunning in that when Obama was at the zenith of his popularity, in November of 2008, he defeated John McCain in the Sunshine State by a 51-48 percent margin.

Count Simmons as one Democrat who isn't taking that poll that seriously, saying, "The notion that this is some huge blowout that’s about to occur is probably overly enthusiastic."

Jamal Simmons is no stranger to Florida. In 2004 he served as the press spokesman for former Democratic Senator Bob Graham's very short lived presidential run. But he's extremely optimistic that his guy will get the prize again in a little over five weeks time.

"I was at three places today and all of those volunteers were jazzed," he exclaimed.

  • Jamal Simmons

10 days before the October 9 deadline to register to vote in November's election, the Obama for America campaign held a series of events in the Tampa Bay area to mark the opening of their 100th campaign office in the Sunshine State on Saturday.

That included stops in Tampa and in Pinellas County led by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the keynote speaker at this month's Democratic convention in Charlotte.

Some conservatives openly question the veracity of the polls that show President Obama leading Mitt Romney in every battleground state, wondering how he could be doing better with the economy not showing any signs of improvement.

But it's also undoubtedly true that Obama got a "bounce" from the convention that he hasn't let go of yet.

"The Democrats had perhaps the most successful party convention of the modern era this month," Obama surrogate Jamal Simmons declared Saturday afternoon speaking in CL's Ybor City offices.

Best known for his frequent appearances on cable news representing the Democrats and now the president, Simmons said that for base of the party, "there was nothing more exciting than this show of strength from leaders of their party about where they want to head," referring to the speeches by Michelle Obama and especially former President Bill Clinton.

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