Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama:Acceptance Speech
2008 Democratic National Convention

I can't add anything to this:

(alt. video link: to be added, visit if you can't see the above)

But you know who can add something to this? Andrew Sullivan, that's who. I have no idea how he wrote something this good, this fast. (Andrew: I hope you don't mind that I posted the whole thing. I wanted a copy for myself, as soon as Twin let me know about it.)

Barack Obama, accepting the nomination, 2008

The Hope We Confess   (Andrew Sullivan)

It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.

What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rove Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check.

He took every assault on him and turned them around. He showed not just that he understood the experience of many middle class Americans, but that he understood how the Republicans have succeeded in smearing him. And he didn't shrink from the personal charges; he rebutted them. Whoever else this was, it was not Adlai Stevenson. It was not Jimmy Carter. And it was less afraid and less calculating than Bill Clinton.

Above all, he took on national security - face on, full-throttle, enraged, as we should all be, at how disastrously American power has been handled these past eight years. He owned this issue in a way that no Democrat has owned it since Kennedy. That's a transformative event. To my mind, it is vital that both parties get to own the war on Jihadist terror and that we escape this awful Rove-Morris trap that poisons the discourse into narrow and petty partisan abuse of patriotism. Obama did this tonight. We are in his debt.

Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.

I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Know hope.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty.)

[Added] Andrew has the full text of the speech, posted here.


John Evo said...

And hardly a word about "faith", unlike his near-pick for VP - Tim Kaine. I don't know how the Dems lose this one, but it will be an interesting couple of months, won't it?

Unknown said...

One aspect of the pre-speech smears not mentioned concerned the stadium. There was a media report of a prominent evangelical praying for rain to wash out the venue. There was buzz about the hubris of a 70,000+ gig, and compared it to the Berlin speech.

Yet, what is remarkable about the venue choice was, that it was an "open" event, not just for registered Dems. Also, voter registration and volunteer recruitment, plus a fee, was the price of admission. Of course, the venue evoked President Kennedy's 1960 LA Coliseum speech. By comparison, McCain's acceptance speech will seem like a country club roast.

Also, Jimmy Carter - who? President Reagan won big this week.

Sornie said...

The best part of Barack's speech was when he mentioned that we can't expect a different result with the same party in power and the same policies. This was the best possible launching pad Obama could hope for with rounding up even more volunteers on the ground for the homestretch.

bjkeefe said...

Regarding the prayer for rain: real Christian-like, huh? To ask God to fuck up someone else's celebration on your behalf?

Oh, wait. I forgot. It's okay to ask Him to smite your enemies. Not to mention the Antichrist.

But here's something that makes me want to believe.

I actually did read this story: right around the time this wingnut was praying for rain, a sprinkler head in one of the TV broadcast booths at Mile High Stadium let go (at about 5 in the morning), and before the fire department could get there and turn it off, something like 250-500 gallons of water had flooded the booth.

The booth belonged to Fox News. Really.

Moral: There is no God, but at least She's got a good sense of humor.

bjkeefe said...


Yes. Sounded like the definition of insanity, didn't it? (Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.)


Did you think Kaine was that close, in reality? I had always believed his short list status was mostly the MSM swapping imaginings.

Not that the Obama team wasn't happy to have his name gossiped about, I'm sure -- makes Virginia that much more winnable, and made Biden seem that much more appealing. Bait and switch, in a good way.

I felt the same way about Evan Bayh -- let the Villagers chirp about him all they want, for the same two reasons (except replace VA by IN, of course).

Isn't my hindsight keen? ;^)