Byron York
"This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment," says former President Bill Clinton in a new ad released by the Obama campaign. Most voters would agree, at least if one believes countless polls that show the economy and jobs are the nation's top concern.

So why are Democrats planning to make their convention a celebration of abortion and gay marriage? The Obama campaign has given a new and prominent surrogate role to Sandra Fluke, the former Georgetown law student and full-time lefty activist who achieved notoriety after Rush Limbaugh called her a bad name because of her energetic promotion of taxpayer-financed contraception.

This week, Fluke's role has been to attack Republicans over Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" statement. "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan tried to distance themselves from the remark," Fluke wrote in an Obama campaign email, "but the fact is they're in lockstep with Akin on the major women's health issues of our time."

Fluke is just one part of the Democrats' plan to target Akin and the GOP on abortion. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard writes that the Democratic convention is becoming an "anti-Akin affair," with party leaders lining up NARAL Pro-Choice America's Nancy Keenan, Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards, the actress Eva Longoria, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, in addition to Fluke, to highlight "women's issues" in Charlotte.

There will be a lot of talk about abortion, all of it from one side. But not all Democrats agree with Fluke and her fellow speakers when it comes to abortion; in May of this year, Gallup found 34 percent of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life. And, perhaps more important to President Obama's re-election prospects, 47 percent of independents describe themselves as pro-life.

Why would a party that wants to attract the largest possible number of votes this November make such extravagant pronouncements on abortion, knowing that one-third of its own members and nearly one-half of independents disagree?

And that's just abortion. Democrats have already decided to make support for gay marriage a plank in the party's platform. The party's 15-member platform drafting committee unanimously voted to do so last month after hearing testimony from advocates of gay marriage. They did not invite any opponents of gay marriage to testify, suggesting that when it comes to writing a platform, the Democratic process is not entirely democratic.

Byron York

Byron York, chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner