Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have a lot of respect for Andrew Sullivan and read his blog almost every day. I think he summed up what needs to be said about Obama after the speech this evening.

This is his commentary on the speech

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.

I know who I'm voting for...


John said...

Vote won't do any good...especially if McCain chooses Romney as his running mate. Obama is already down significantly in the polls. He's a celebrity politician with no experience. He does happen to be African-American which gets him votes from people who love "firsts in history." Mark my words, when he loses he will fade into obscurity, just like John Kerry and many other "golden children" of the Democrat party past. Checkmate. It may be "cool" and "current" to vote for Obama...but it just isn't smart.

One piece of advice however...Obama would gain much more ground against McCain if he would focus on running against McCain and not Bush. Bush is not running for his 3rd term and you'd have to be an idiot to think that McCain is just like Bush. McCain is the Republican candidate the LEAST like Bush and Obama stretched the truth when he said that McCain voted like Bush 95% of the time. Most votes in Congress are anonymous, but who cares right? It makes for great misinformation.

roy said...

we'll see John...

a few comments though...

inexperienced? no modern candidate has been less experienced or less able than W... did you make that same criticism of him?

Most votes in congress are anonymous? I don't think that is accurate. check your info. And if it is true than how can conservatives say that Obama has the most liberal voting record in Congress? There would be no way to know. And there would be no way to know what your congress people are doing.

All of the data that I have seen agrees with Obama's figures. McCain has voted pretty much in concert with W and that does tell us something about his judgment and what we can expect if he is elected.

Personally, I think McCain is one of the worst options that any party has put up for election in decades. He is uniformed, doesn't think before he acts, seems to have the beginnings of Alzheimer's, has not demonstrated any of the values I look for as a Christian, and basically brings nothing to the table but raw ambition... his own words...
"I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time." – John McCain, "Worth the Fighting For”, 2002

Do you really think he'll choose Romney? I used to think that but I'm not sure any more.

fernando said...

I was listening as critically as I could to Obama's speech, but he simply didn't say anything I could disagree with. Sure, I still have my doubts about his ability to deliver on everything he is promising and I worry about the agenda his party may try to dump on him in certain issues.

But, in terms of ideas and substance, he is everything I would want in a potential US president.

As for McCain - I had a lot of respect for him in 2000 and really believe he would have done a lot better than Bush. But, in this campaign, especially in the last few months, he has said some things that are really worrying. I kind of hope he chooses Romney, because that guy is a rogue. But, my guess is that he will go for a safer candidate, especially since the far right have already worked themselves into a froth about Obama/Biden.

Michael Mahoney said...

I'll agree that Obama did a great job in his speech - but what presidential nominee doesn't? His speechwriters should get nice raise when he's out on the lecture circuit next year.

I couldn't disagree more about McCain's seeming "uninformed: or at the "beginnings of Alzheimer's" as you put it. Look over some of his interviews again. He has such a deep understanding of most issues he could give lectures on them. In fact, he often does.

McCain just announced Sarah Palin as VP candidate. What a greart choice. Family minded, conservative, pro-life. Unafraid to hold her ground and speak her mind. A true moral center, which has not been evident from the Obama side. Not that he's immoral, he just doesn't come off as particularly holding the moral ground. Kind of a "I'll say what it takes to get through the day." kind of guy.

Dave Miller said...

Roy, while I did not think his speech was all that memorable, I was glad he decided to take on McCain.

John, now that McCain has announced Palin as his VP pick, what does that do those in the GOP who have argued that Obama does not have the experience to be president?

Anonymous said...

Hey Roy, Bishop here..
I watched and listened to Obama's speech and felt he did a fantastic job of making sure his agenda was very evident. He laid it all out quite well. Andrew Sullivan's article was spot on. A long time ago I watched McCain and thought he was a different type of leader, but even the most basic understandings of economics seem to be things he does not comprehend. He used to act against his party when appropriate, and now he is so into the mix that it is sad.

I want rights for women. I want my family to not go broke for healthcare and someday buy a home. I want good education for my child, and an alternative to oil, without drilling in Alaska and other areas, and preferably no coal, either.

I don't want to be patronized by a candidate choosing a woman just because another candidate did not. We aren't just lipstick and heels........

I know who I am voting for, too. Obama/Biden.