Roundtable: Will voter disappointment turn into rejection?

"Economic hangover" hurting enthusiasm
John Dickerson says with an economic hangover, it's harder to find excitement in Charlotte. Trish Regan, Michael Eric Dyson and Dan Balz share their take on voters' enthusiasm, the RNC and what to expect in Charlotte.

(CBS News) President Obama has a tough task ahead this week: Energize his coalition of voters who elected him in 2008 in order to win reelection, a roundtable mostly of journalists said Sunday on "Face the Nation." But they said that GOP nominee Mitt Romney has an even more difficult challenge: Convince voters that they should turn away from the president.

"They went hard on the idea 'He's not a bad person, but he's not been a successful president,'" CBS News' John Dickerson said of the Republican convention last week. "The key, I think, is whether they can turn disappointment into rejection."

Dickerson said Mr. Obama has to do two things at the Democratic convention in Charlotte this week: "Something has to be done to energize or re-energize the coalition he put together. " He also said the president must "give a clearer sense of what a second-term agenda is."

Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson said in 2008 President Obama had an impressive coalition of voters, including minorities, young voters and independents, which will be difficult to replicate this year.

"It's hard to repeat that magic - you know, you want to go back to the hat and try to pull out the rabbit again," Dyson said.

He added that the Obama campaign will try to reengage his coalition by pointing to Romney's policies toward women and minorities. "[The] Obama campaign says, 'Imagine what it's going to look like under Romney and [vice presidential nominee Paul] Ryan,'" Dyson said.

Dickerson added that the Democratic convention is less exciting than the Republican convention, "in part because of the hangover of the economy." He added that former President Bill Clinton's speech will help to energize Democrats.

"He is better than most politicians alive today at connecting policies with people's lives," Dickerson said. "That's what Barack Obama ultimately has to do, but Bill Clinton gets to kind of plow the field and prepare it for President Obama when he comes and talks Thursday night by saying, 'I understand, we understand the difficulties of the life you lead now, and here are specific ways that we are trying to help you,'" Dickerson said.

"And that's where the Democrats think Governor Romney missed a step in his convention," he added, by not saying "'I understand you, and here's a specific way in which the way I understand you is going to make your life better.'"

Washington Post journalist Dan Balz said he thinks both candidates will get a small bump in the polls after their respective conventions, but that the race "will settle back to where it has been, which is almost a dead-even race."

"[T]his is an election at the end of the day that's going to come down to the economy. People tend to vote their pocketbook," Bloomberg host Trish Regan said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for