Impressions On The Obama Speech
Okay, I didn’t want to distract myself by blogging, so I saved everything for the end, and I’ll try to organize my thoughts a little.
First, some general impressions: very, very effective. He pulled it off, and I was on the record as doubting the setting and doubting his ability to rise to the moment. You would have to be a very cold fish, indeed, not to be moved by the historic nature of the moment. Much of the speech was quite good; there were some very effective applause lines, and he answered my call for laying out an agenda, as I suspected he would.
Now, to the specifics (I’ll be a little free-form and scattershot here) – I like much of what Obama said: focus on renewables, including nuclear energy? Yep, great idea, and I support it…but biofuels have proven to be a disaster, literally taking food off the table for the world’s poor, and the promise to do away with our dependence on foreign oil in ten years? Pbbbbst…I don’t think so. Reduce it, yes, do away with it? Sorry, but NO WE CAN’T…
The health care pledge: similar sentiments. Great applause line – if you don’t have health care currently, we’ll give you access to the same health care Congress votes itself. But is that doable? I highly doubt it.
Obama did meet the Commander-in-Chief problem head on, though…he rightly focused on Afghanistan, and got off two of his better lines on foreign affairs (I’m paraphrasing both from memory):
If John McCain wants to have a debate on who has the temperament and the judgment to be Commander-in-Chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.
John McCain says he will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won’t even follow him to the cave that he lives in.
I appreciate the bits on both sides loving America, and the fact that Republicans and Democrats both proceed from a love of country, and that “our soldiers didn’t fight together for Blue America or Red America but for the United States of America”.
Conspicuously absent from Obama’s speech and pre-speech biographical film were his long association with the cause of campaign finance reform.
I may have other thoughts later, but let me sum up for now by saying that it was a job well done, he answered my criticism of no agenda, even if I didn’t agree with all of the agenda, the delivery was fine, for the most part, the occasion was historic, and I’m more convinced than ever that Obama will be the next President.
Oh, and I still won’t vote for him…but there you go…