America makes history again on this day, Thursday, August 28, 2008. Tonight Barack Obama, a man who embodies the melting-pot portrait of the United States, delivers his acceptance speech on the last day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. He is the first black nominee of a major political party in the United States of America.
The expectation and hype that preceded Senator Obama's big speech have to have made his supporters nervous for fear that the political junkie might not have been able to step to the plate and clear the bar that was set so high. Yes, he had made great speeches in the past, but everyone knew this was different, and no one seemed certain if he would deliver as hoped or hyped.
Well, as a habitual critique of Barack Obama throughout this election, I am forced to admit that not only did Mr. Obama meet those high expectations, he totally surpassed them.
Among the a lot of words I could use to describe the historic speech, let me capture the essence of Obama's rousing speech in three key words: prescriptive, combative, and inspirational.
The speech was prescriptive. The first part of the speech had the touch and style of President Bill Clinton, taking and making simple the complex policy issues of the economy, taxes, national security, international affairs, and social programs. Obama in conclusion was able to answer his critics on the charge of being big on rhetoric but slim on substance. Tonight there was more than enough meat on the plate. In the prescriptive part of the speech, Barack basically stated, 'This is the issue or problem; here is how I will solve it; this is how we will pay for it; and here is the difference the solution will make.' That is the style of speech making that Mr. Clinton has mastered; Obama has borrowed Clinton's style well and nevertheless made it uniquely his.
The speech was combative. At a lot of points during the primary, it seemed like Mrs. Hillary Clinton had the fight and killer instinct that Obama supporters wished for their guy. Tonight, Barack showed a side to himself that we have not really seen: as well as Mrs. Clinton, he has what it takes to take the fight to his opponent. His supporters need no longer worry about the three upcoming presidential debates between Obama and McCain. Yes, Senator McCain holds the record as the soldier, but Senator Obama now seems and sounds ready for a real verbal combat, whether defensive or offensive. Die-difficult Democrats got the red meat they have been craving for, and that ought to result in even more grassroots efforts aimed at getting out the vote on elections day.
The speech was inspirational. The home stretch of the speech connected the oratorical dot all the manner back to none lesser than Dr. Martin Luther King himself. What a trick of history it was that Obama's speech fell on the 45 th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech! This was the original Barack Obama, the master public speaker that stirred a lot of America during the early part of the primary elections. It was good to hear that Obama again. This means that Obama has in conclusion ignored his opponents' attempt to sever him from his rhetorical strength by calling him nothing more than a man of fluffy words. It would have been a huge mistake for Obama to dumb his inspirational charisma in an effort to prove that he is able to talk straight like McCain. Let Senator McCain keep his mantle as "Mr. Straight Talk Express". Barack Obama doesn't must apologize for being a charismatic orator.
Beyond this night, one can only hope that Obama will stick to this more complete version of his delivery, which mingles and mixes the prescriptive (Bill Clinton's simplicity) with the combative (Hillary Clinton's fighting spirit) and the inspirational (that lifts folks's spirits for something bigger and higher than routine politics).
One other thing was striking about the experience, even for those who were not physically at the stadium in Denver: more than a political event, the climax of the convention seemed to have become a religious encounter, with so a lot of folks shedding tears as they sought to take in and savor the moment.
What more can I say? Never in my lifetime have I heard such a political speech. Simply put, it more than got the job done. The speech was a blast, and whether Obama is elected president of the United States or not, history has already been made, in that he and our nation have proven that America can and will elect a non-Caucasian for the highest office in the land. Obama's success proves America's progress toward a more perfect union. We are getting there, and the destination is in conclusion at hand.
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