"He needs to talk to people and not preach," a coworker told me about last night's speech. Seemed to me he that he did that. I was going to like what Obama had to say no matter what. But what I liked was the feeling of homeyness that his visage on the TV screen brought. How presumptuous of me! I had forgotten what it would feel like to have a president that doesn't prod a nasty thorn into the entirety of American culture (and the late-phase Bill Clinton did this at some level, tho' not into the stratosphere as "Decider" Bush 43 has done).
Obama's confidence succumbed me. He has potential weaknesses: 1) he's black/African-American; 2) he's young; 3) he's "inexperienced" (only in the sense that he excels in his work in order to get a better job). For me, Obama flew above these potential hindrances, and his confidence and charisma -- in front of 80,000 in person and millions watching on TV -- can't be denied. I liked how he looked directly into the camera -- he kept my attention for many minutes.
We've been trained to "see" blackness, "see" authority in a certain way, "see" celebrity. Obama's persona cruises at altitude above all of these -- it's only when people forget Obama and hear others talking "smack" about him that they perceive him in terms of his weaknesses.
"It was just a speech," a naysayer could say. Well, the public address is the sine qua non of political life dating back to Plato's time. Saying "It's just a speech" is like saying "He's just a fast swimmer" of Michael Phelps or "He's just a fast runner" of Usain Bolt. Or: "He just makes money" of Bill Gates.
Like these examples, it's simply pointless to critique someone for excelling at the ultimate skill of their craft. If you can't acknowledge that, you're insecure, and you, Sir, are what's called (colloquially) a Hater. Go back to your hole in the ground.
Speaking of that, did you see the line referring to bin Laden?
All of these Obama's points seem so readily obvious. But we are not graced with an electorate to match our ideals, but my hope for a changing of the guard of the last seven/eight years -- the Prodigal Era of American culture -- has never been stronger. (George W. Bush plays the part of prodigal son like no other.)
You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.
How about the articulateness of Al Gore? I liked his honest assessment that if he'd have been elected, we would not be in this mess -- simple, true, direct.
Obama submitted that our nation may go from an Empire of Hate to an Empire of Hope.
I will be protesting the RNC over in St. Paul, and taking pictures. But I'll be waiting patiently for McCain's address, since I've seen him have woeful problems with a teleprompter in front of 50 people; how will he respond with millions?
Regarding the visual presentation of the night at Invesco Field in Denver, we must acknowledge that this is a golden era for the proscenium (to be more precise, "theatre in round"). Obama spoke in front of a beautiful and masculine stage, with hints of the White House, the Rose Garden, and the Lincoln Memorial (especially in coloration).
Just pretty damn inspiring. Now we'll get to hear how Obama "isn't qualified" and "what has he done, what has he run?" But when it comes to communication, Obama is off the charts.