Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Speech

With expectations at least a mile high, Barak Obama delivered an unspectacular speech in Denver Thursday night.

Obama has a reputation as a top-notch speaker capable of soaring rhetoric, but this speech rambled and failed to establish a clear, succinct theme.

Perhaps he overreached. The stadium setting was too large. The important thing was that his acceptance speech play well on television, not in a football stadium. His critique of corporate American greed was blunted by the large "Invesco Field" signs above the podium. His pacing was disturbed by the applause lines. He spoke too specifically when we wanted a speech with lofty concepts, worthy of etching in stone.

We expected nothing less than MLK's "I Have A Dream." In reality, he didn't even approach Jesse Jackson's 1988 speech to the Democratic convention.

Still, he confirmed his position as a thoughtful, tough leader, and we couldn't help but be amazed that this gifted man has achieved so much, starting with so little. He stands in stark contrast to George Bush, who, as Anne Richards famously noted, was born on third base thinking he hit a triple, or even John McCain, the son of an admiral who was the son of an admiral, and married his way into wealth and privilege.

One can only hope that African-Americans, seeing this man stand before his country not because of his athletic prowess or musical abilities, but rather, for his intellect and political skills, will take part in this important election in November. They alone can sway the vote. If they vote.


johnNokc said...

Last night was probably Obama's only opportunity to reach so many people at one time. I think it was a speech directed to Independents and disaffected Republicans as well as to Lunchbox Joe in PA, OH, IND, and IL and Democrats, of course. A big criticism of Obama has been that his speeches were long on oratory and short on ideas and specifics. I think a "I Have a Dream" speech, while exhilarating to hear, would have been a tactical and strtegic mistake. Keep in mind that McCain has apparently hired almost all of Dubya's slash-and-burn advisers. McSame no longer seems to be his own man; rather, he appears to be taking pages from our v-p, Darth Vader's play book. I think Obama is in for a desperately mean and low campaign. Last night was perhaps the best and only opportunity to get fence-sitters thinking seriously about his candidacy. IMHO.

I think on last Monday night, Teddy said it best: "The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."

johnNokc said...

Besides, he's saving his "I've Got A Dream" speech for his inauguration!

Weezie said...

I recall a young Weezie being blow away by Jackson's '88 speech. Thanks for the link!

Weezie said...

Kind of off topic here, but the media are breaking that McSame has selected Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his Veep. I see the strategy there, trying to appeal to the Hil supporters. I think it will work because the women have so much in common. Let's see, they both have a vagina. And, um, let's see what else. Um. Ummm.

Palin is a first-term governor of about 9000 people. She's strongly anti-choice. Yep, she's just like Hil. Thanks for pandering to us chicks, John.

grizzard said...

It's understandable why Obama would want to flesh out an agenda, but that seems to be something McCain has demanded, not the American people.

In 1932, Roosevelt promised a New Deal, but he stayed away from specifics. The promise was enough to a battered country.

I just wish I could sum up Obama's speech in three or four words, but I can't.

johnNokc said...


And, on the other topic, just ask yourself this question: if whoever wins is unable, for whatever reason, to finish his term, who do you want as successor: Biden or Pallid (sic).

I'm beginning to think that McSame is actually dumber than President-shit-for-brains.

Weezie said...

VP hopeful Sarah is super-conservo crazy.

Let's hope BO's peeps hammer the "heartbeat away" issue, in light of McSame's age and cancer history.