What a difference four years makes.“College students from across North Carolina will arrive in Charlotte by the busload. Same with members of predominantly black churches in neighboring South Carolina. Their goal: help fill a 74,000-seat outdoor stadium to capacity when President Obama accepts the Democratic nomination Thursday night. Anything short of a full house on the final night of the Democratic Party’s national convention will be instant fodder for Republicans eager to use empty seats as symbols of waning voter enthusiasm for Obama.”

What a difference four years makes. “Obama-care is either a good idea or a bad one, with merits or deficiencies that are easy enough to grasp and argue about right now; there’s plenty of evidence to decide whether it was an act of hubris. And the president’s economic stimulus, to cite another example, has been a failure even by the criteria he himself set (‘If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition’). Pretending that the merits of the Obama presidency are somehow undefined forestalls the debate — how can you defend a record that’s inconclusive?”

What a difference four years makes. “Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, slammed President Obama’s handling of the economy on Monday, seizing on hesitant responses by Mr. Obama’s top strategists when asked whether the country was better off than it was four years ago. . . .Republicans are eager to put the Democrats on the defensive on the question at the start of the Democratic convention. Polls suggest that many people remain pessimistic about the state of the economy and their own financial future — a fact that Republican hope will help to undermine Mr. Obama’s convention message this week.”

What a difference four years makes. “The president’s goal here in Charlotte will be to recharge that 2008 machinery. He needs to energize young and minority voters on the one hand, and reassure wavering middle- and upper-middle-class voters — especially women — that they made the right choice.”

What a difference four years makes. Watch the video of President Obama making his pitch to the Janesville GM plant. I think the “broken promises” theme is a problem for Obama.

What a difference four years makes. Actually, Obama is saying exactly the same thing; it’s just that so few believe him any more.

What a difference four years makes. “Right rallies for ‘Empty Chair Day.’ ”It probably wasn’t a good idea for the left to harp on Clint Eastwood. The man knows something about marketing.

What a difference four years makes. The New York Times reports that “even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. . . . Even some Democrats in Washington say they have been irritated by his tips on topics ranging from the best way to shake hands on the trail (really look voters in the eye, he has instructed) to writing well. . .For another, he may not always be as good at everything as he thinks, including politics. While Mr. Obama has given himself high grades for his tenure in the White House — including a ‘solid B-plus’ for his first year — many voters don’t agree, citing everything from his handling of the economy to his unfulfilled pledge that he would be able to unite Washington to his claim that he would achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace. Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could.” The mainstream media is only discovering this now?