My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Notes On The Obama Speech 

I had to watch the speech from The Obama in an odd way tonight: with no sound. The Mrs. and I had other plans for the night, in a big room, and so I had to watch the speech while in the midst of a big, loud crowd, only occasionally being close enough to see the closed-captioning.

I know, it was kind of wierd, but what are you gonna do when the wife wants to spend some time with you?

At any rate, my first impression in that venue was that The Obama was really looking the part of President. He was serious, he had the intellect on full display, he worked the crowd with the appropriate eye contact and gesture, and he seemed extremely comfortable. Exactly what one would expect from one of the best rhetoricians of our time.

But troubling for us Republicans.

At any rate, it was only later that I actually got to see significant portions of the speech--with sound. And, as expected, he was good. But "change?" I don't think so.

The programs he's actually proposing--not the fluff about "responsibility" and the role of dads--could have been lifted straight out of the McGovern or Johnson or Carter speeches. His understanding of the American role in the world today was painfully naive, and I think his tone was distinctly "old politics." And he welcomes a debate? Seriously? Maybe he ought to have taken advantage of the McCain offer over the last 12 weeks.

If the McCain camp is as nimble as they have proven to be over the last few weeks, they will highlight all of the old programs Obama proposed in the speech in ads over the weekend, and simply ask "This is change?"

Some notes on the stage craft:

: the cameras did a very nice job of keeping a close pan on Obama so the casual watcher would never see the Temple Obama

:the music at the end was just wierd--a great soundtrack for some movie somewhere, but very odd for this particular event

:I thought the McCain ad congratulating Obama was one of the most gracious--and politically astute--things I've seen in quite a while; made Obama's repeated attacks on him seem small

I predict Obama will get a nice bump from this speech, maybe one that will last through September. But, like most of his speeches, it'll end up being a lot like Chinese food--tastes great, but doesn't keep you going for very long. Whether that bump holds or not depends very much on the kind of campaign McCain runs over the next six weeks.

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