I got home last night just in time to catch the speech. Watched by more than 38 million people, it was definitely a speech to remember. It wasn’t as intimate and honest as his race speech, it wasn’t as optimistic and inspiring as his 2004 speech, but it got the job done. Peeps needed specifics, he gave them plenty – although some of it sounded a bit, shall we say, lofty (oil independence in 10 years? C’mon). He responded to McCain’s bashing pretty well; I liked his line about the lives celebrities lead vs. his own, a classy response. But this is not to say that he didn’t get his hands dirty. He gave the press several soundbites to work with.
Here are a few of the most effective in my opinion:
John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
We are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”
Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know.
You go girl! I uh, mean, boy.
He did a good job of equating McCain with Phil Gramm’s “nation of whiners” quote, only briefly mentioning that an adviser said it, and then proceeding as if the words had come directly from McCain’s mouth. A Republican tactic but hey, they started it.
My favorite line of the night was this Clintonesque quip:
In this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us – that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.
This wasn’t an inherently risky speech – which is why it won’t exactly go down in history as one of his best – but you don’t save your surprises for the convention. The speech had to be smooth, confident, and tasteful for the swing-voters who suddenly found Obama on all of their TV channels one night. It was a good closing to a convention that started out mediocre and ended with a bang (literally, you see those fireworks? damn.). I’m pretty sure Obama is going to win the election. Obama/Biden is a smart, charismatic ticket. They are confident and rather clear on where they stand. These are all things that the Gore/Lieberman (!) and Kerry/Edwards tickets sorely lacked.
Let’s hope they win anyway, or this is one stupid fucking country.