Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 27, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA....Hey, that Obama guy is pretty good! The actual content of his speech was pretty close to zero, but that's fine for a convention keynote. He had lots of good lines, great delivery, and worked the crowd well.

Biggest applause line (as near as I could tell): "If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties."

At least, I think that was the line that got the biggest applause. But I'm not sure if C-SPAN switches the mikes to pick up crowd noise at certain points, or if the noise coming out of my TV set is really a consistent indicator of what it sounds like on the floor. Does anyone happen to know?

UPDATE: A bunch of people in the comment thread didn't get this, so let me just clear something up: by "content" all I meant was policy content. And like I said, that's fine in a speech like this.

And while a single good speech may not automatically make someone a star, this was a pretty damn good speech, tugging all the right heartstrings and getting deep into the core values that liberals hold dear. At this point, political superstardom is his to lose.

UPDATE 2: OK, OK, I give in. It was the best Democratic speech since FDR's first inaugural address. Can we stop the pummelling now? Pretty please?

In return, for your pummelling pleasure, here is Roger Clegg's galactically condescending review of Obama's speech in The Corner:

Barack Obama gave a fine speech, but it was not a speech that reflects the current Democratic Party. It celebrated America as "a magical place"; it did not bemoan our racism and imperialism. It professed that this black man "owe[d] a debt to those who came before" him; it did not call for reparations. It spoke of an "awesome God"; it did not banish Him from public discourse. It admitted that black parents, and black culture, need to change the way black children are raised; it did not blame or even mention racism. It quoted "E pluribus unum" and translated it correctly as "Out of many, one"; it did not misquote it, as Al Gore infamously did, as "Many out of one." Most of all, the speech celebrated one America, "one people," and rejected the notion of a black America, a white America, a Latino America, and an Asian America--a notion completely foreign to the multiculturalism that now dominates the Democratic Party.

Boy, Clegg is a real hack, isn't he? So, um, maybe we can all start picking on him instead? Yeah, that's the ticket....

Kevin Drum 10:08 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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