Interestingly, they have Joe Biden introduce some ordinary workers, giving them their fifteen minutes of fame. This seems a lot like daytime tv. I’m sure this has all been focus-group tested though. It may have made me cringe at times but it probably went down well with that mythical entity also known as ‘middle-america’. Just to reiterate that, Barney Smith gives a line about putting Barney Smith before Smith Barney. One thing to note is the that out of the speakers there were more women than men.
I think it was a great touch to have the last two people as life-long republicans who were saying that they just couldn’t afford to vote for Republicans anymore.
Was this the first time that Born in the USA was used appropriately in a public setting? Maybe it was done intentionally so that people who know the lyrics got the irony, while others thought it was part of the standard convention playlist.
Anyone else notice that during the convention, there has been very little explicit mention of abortion and protecting a women’s right to choose. I’m guessing that they don’t want to get pro-lifers worked up and will get the message across to pro-choicers through more direct means. Interesting to see if McCain also does this next week or whether he explicity sets out his pro-life credentials.
Excellent speech by the senior Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, although I’m not sure the reference to Abraham Lincoln works so well. Great President but he was hardly a uniter was he?
Ok, I thought this was the introductory speech, but it appears as if this video is going to do the introduction. Not surprisingly the video is very well put together. Some biography, some accomplishments, a lot of photos of him talking to ordinary folk.
Excellent beginning. Accepts the nomination firmly, but without dwelling on it. Straight to praising Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. The Obama people must really be worried about the Hillary supporters voting for McCain. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
The American Dream - Judging by what Bill Clinton said as well, it seems like this is going to be theme number 1 for the campaign from now on in. Essentially, they’ve subsumed ‘the Economy’ into the broader vision and hope associated with the Dream. I like that – makes the message seem hopeful rather whiny.
Katrina reference. ENOUGH! Obama goes on the attack. No mention of McCain, instead saying that the Republicans are the party which gave us George W Bush and Dick Cheney. I think thats the first Cheney reference all week. About time too.
John McCain – ‘we owe him our gratitude and respect’. Also like Bill Clinton, recognising that McCain has shown independence on some issues.
McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time. Bingo. Obama’s winning line of attack against McCain becomes clear. Normally the Republicans would come up with some metric about how Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate. This year that would just emphasise the break with Bush-Cheney.
Did McCain really say that the middle class was people making under $5 million? John McCain cares about America but just doesn’t get it. McCain’s campaign person said that he thinks America has become a nation of whiners. The great thing about Obama is that this won’t stick. The self-confidence and calmness he projects is on a completely different plane to Al Gore (lecturing) and John Kerry (over-whelmed).
Obama has a sister?? I didn’t know that. Surprised neither she nor their grandmother is at the speech.
He just demolished the ‘Obama as Paris Hilton’ celebrity meme by putting it in the context of his own ordinary family. Made the whole idea seem pretty silly really.
Tax-Cutting for 95% of families. Very important he put this across in this speech. People forget that in 2000, Al Gore was also backing a $800 billion tax cut. Yet the Republicans made it seem like Bush was cutting taxes (only for the wealthy of course) and Gore would raise taxes. They will try this with Obama as well – lets see if they succeed.
Energy Independence within 10 years. Clever that he linked this with security and creating jobs rather than catastrophe caused by global warming. No mention of nuclear power but then this isn’t really the time for that is it
Education – Invest in teachers, give people who want to the chance to get a college education.
Health Care – Really moving smoothly through the issues now. Again, reassuring people who already have health insurance that their premiums will actually be lowered under his plan.
Equal pay for Equal days work for Women -
The Money Issue – Closing tax loopholes. Removing waste. Can’t meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy. Taking away one of McCain’s big ‘economic’ arguments.
With Money also comes Responsibility. I think Cameron’s been tapping into this feeling as well. That no matter how much money you spend, you also need to encourage civic and family responsibility.
Big theme number 2. Hopefully he mentions the surge.
John McCain won’t even follow Osama Bin Laden to the cave in which he lives. Really attacking this with gusto. ‘You don’t defeat a terrorist entity in 80 countries by occupying Iraq’. ‘You don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country’!
Confirmed his commitment (also shared by Bush Administration now) to end the war in Iraq and defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. Importantly, he won’t start wars unless necessary and making sure that the troops are properly equipped.
Attacked the whole patriotism thing front on. No one should be challenging anyone’s patriotism.
The Whole Post-Partisan Thing
Disagree about abortion, but agree on reducing unwanted pregnancies.
Gun ownership rules different for people in rural Ohio to tackling gang violence in Clevealand, but agree on keeping AK-47′s out of hands of criminals.
Disagree about same sex marriage, but agree that they should have rights to visit partners in hospital.
All good stuff, the type that independents and new voters should eat up. The thing which keeps me optimistic about the election is knowing that because of the primaries Obama has an effective 50 state ground campaign and simply the greater number of people voting in the Democrat primaries compared to the Republican primaries.
‘This election has never been about me. Its about you’. Interesting.
Finally, the Martin Luther King reference. Tastefully done and another good sign of the promise of America in becoming better and to ‘always march ahead and never turn back’.
The thing which stood about this speech for me was the fact that Obama really became passionate and angry about what has happened in the past without losing the message of hope for the future. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t a big post-convention bump out of this even though McCain is going to try and divert media attention by naming his veep choice today or tomorrow.
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