Firehouse Partner Alex Conant Talks with The Atlantic About Democrats’ Decision to Forgo Discussing Policy at Convention

August 24, 2020

The Missing Piece in Biden’s Convention Speech

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Alex Conant, a GOP public-affairs consultant and former communications director for Marco Rubio, says the Democrats’ choice to downplay discussion of their plans through the week reflected their determination to keep the focus on Trump. “For the most part, conventions are never heavy on policy, but this one is striking in its lack of any real policy discussion,” he told me. “At the end of the day, they want this to be a referendum on Trump’s four years in office, not a choice between their vision of the future and Trump’s.”

The risk for Democrats, Conant said, is that this approach leaves more room for Trump to define Biden’s agenda. “If I were Trump, I’d spend all next week and hundreds of millions of dollars in September telling you Biden is going to give you single-payer [health care], higher taxes, and the Green New Deal, which would ruin any chance for the economy to recover,” Conant said. “And force Democrats to have that economic debate.”

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