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Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Did You Think of Obama's Speech?

Posted by on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 8:27 PM

This was my view. President Obama is down there somewhere. Can you find him?
  • This was my view. President Obama is down there somewhere. Can you find him?

I don't think I have ever heard anything quite as loud as the cheer that erupted at the end of President Obama's speech here at Time Warner Cable Arena. It was a human thunderclap. Personally, I was a little surprised to see the president didn't try to best Clinton's—or even Michelle Obama's—speech. What he offered up was the same kind of speech he's been giving for months now, with some extra, and very welcome, nods to climate change, and marriage equality, and using military money to nation build at home. But what I think this means is that President Obama likes the conversation the Republicans are having right now, because he thinks he can win that conversation.

What do you think? Were you moved by this speech? Was it all downhill after Gabby Giffords? Will tomorrow morning's jobs report add or detract from this speech? Was it a successful convention? Could you have used more hope, or less Biden? I'm about to go navigate the partying streets of Charlotte; it's up to you to figure it out while I dodge bootleg Obama t-shirt salesmen and angry anti-abortion protesters.


Comments (52) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
It was great!
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 6, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 2
I couldn't be more pleased, and I think that much of North Beacon felt the same way: I had to abandon Comcast and go over to 3G.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on September 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM · Report this
originalcinner 3
I haz warm fuzzies.
Posted by originalcinner on September 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM · Report this
Watching it at a sports bar in Columbia City was insane and wonderful. Standing room only crowd from 6pm on, all whooping/hollering/chanting. 37th District folks on hand to get us all signed up to volunteer, too.
Posted by alight on September 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM · Report this
I haven't heard Kerry's or Biden's speeches, which were supposedly very good, but I'm surprised that the official pundit reaction - including from you, Paul - is that it wasn't that great.

I thought it was awesome, and I'm not just saying this because I agree with the guy. It wasn't dazzling like Bill Clinton's, but it was much more emotional, I thought, and it felt very genuine and sincere. I actually thought it was better than Michelle's speech, or Elizabeth Warren's, or even Cory Booker's.

Okay, now I'm ranking speeches, and that's impossible. But I thought it was excellent, heartfelt, honest, entertaining, detailed, a fine piece of oratory. It was way, way better than anything on the Republican convention. That convention just looks so haplessly boring now, after three days of the Democratic convention. And I will also say that Obama's speech, although he took some good shots at Romney-Ryan and talked a lot about injured soldiers, was overwhelmingly positive. Romney's speech - all of the Republican convention speeches - were overwhelmingly negative. They were just such downers. Deep in my gut, I don't know how you can watch Romney's speech, then Obama's speech, and prefer Romney. I really think that Obama will see a real bump from this, even if modest, in spite of what the pundits are saying.
Posted by floater on September 6, 2012 at 8:46 PM · Report this
seatackled 6
It was a powerful speech. For me the part when he was crediting the voters ("It's you, you're the change) and gave examples of the citizens who give him hope was probably the most inspiring. I guess it also fits with the overarching themes he's been emphasizing for years that we're all in this together, that we're all one nation rather than different factions.
Posted by seatackled on September 6, 2012 at 8:49 PM · Report this
very bad homo 7
I look forward to 4 more years of Obama. And not just because the other option scares me to death.
Posted by very bad homo on September 6, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
I liked it a lot. All in all, I was very pleased with this year's convention.
Posted by SolM on September 6, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
Janell8me 9
It was a great speech! The contrast in views regarding civic responsibility was perfect and hitting the surrogate talking points that republicans keep fucking up was just right.
He did come across a little beaten down from his last four years, not quite the zealotry that things can be discussed rationally and productively that he once had.
Posted by Janell8me on September 6, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
seatackled 10
MSNBC reported that Romney/Ryan issued a response about half way through Obama's speech that was clearly written beforehand (and not updated).
Posted by seatackled on September 6, 2012 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Catherwood 11
I thought Biden's speech was more, oh, what, dynamic, maybe? Certainly the vocal dynamic range was wider. But Obama does what he does, and he does it really really well; it would have been silly for him to try to out-Bill ol' Bill. I think this convention did a good job of telling those possibly mythical "undecided voters" (and really, WTF is WRONG with those people?) what the choice is.
Posted by Catherwood on September 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
I'm probably biased, what with having Democratic sensibilities and all, but I honestly think that the general quality of the DNC Convention was heads and shoulders above the RNC one last week. The GOP was playing to the television audience with shallow themes and focus-group-tested concatenated soundbites.

By contrast, the Dems were playing to the room as well as the country. The speeches were better, the program was tighter, the theme was clearer, the specifics... existed, and the speakers were a fuck-ton more natural, energized and buoyed by the room

I'd almost like to say that the worst of the Dem speakers were better than the best of the RNC. Alas, that's not true, but damn, there was a definite quality difference. Organizing Democrats is usually a little like herding cats, so this convention was truly impressive. The folks who orchestrated the convention deserve a raise.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 6, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
sperifera 13
I certainly think that the DNC will help Pres. Obama's chances, but the real question is, how do you get the two sides to play nicely afterwards? Until the GOP looks up the word "compromise" in the dictionary, which I do not expect, then we will continue to have dysfunction in the right coast Washington. We need more than the 2 major parties, I think...
Posted by sperifera on September 6, 2012 at 9:10 PM · Report this
monkey 14
4 more years!
Posted by monkey on September 6, 2012 at 9:13 PM · Report this
DOUG. 15
Good speech. Serious and workmanlike.
Posted by DOUG. on September 6, 2012 at 9:14 PM · Report this
I thought it was great .. Obama was natural, connected and optimistic in the face of much adversity. He projected pride in us to be the change and the hope ... he let us know it is up to us and I think that is exactly what he needed to do! Bravo and 4 more years!
Posted by olive oyl on September 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM · Report this
artistdogboy 17
Great Speech marvelous convention.
Posted by artistdogboy on September 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
He's done. 48 to 44 Romney? And I think the spread will continue to grow.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on September 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
As far as the jobs report, we have two clues in today's unemployment claims and the ADP employment report. Judging from the two, we'll see significant gains in the private sector but, keeping with a worrying trend, additional losses in the public jobs sector, especially on the state and local levels. This is the Republican's fault for blocking aid to local government that would help them keep teachers, first responders, and other state and municipal employees.

ADP projects an additional 200,000 private sector jobs were created in the period, but the unemployment claims number has me guessing that we'll be lucky to see more than 140,000 net.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 6, 2012 at 9:27 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 20
@18 can you please post the name and number of your dealer? Because that stuff is amazing.
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on September 6, 2012 at 9:30 PM · Report this
bhowie 21
This man has blood on his hands. He's murdered 29 people in the last couple of weeks in Yemen.

This is just one of many countries with escalating drone attacks.

He. Murders. People.…
Posted by bhowie on September 6, 2012 at 9:33 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 22
I didn't watch it, but I saw the end of the MTV Video Awards. M.I.A. lost to Rhianna. No surprise there, unfortunately.
Posted by dnt trust me on September 6, 2012 at 9:34 PM · Report this
smade 23
@21 So what do we do about that?
Posted by smade on September 6, 2012 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Sean Kinney 24
I like Occupy white kids. They have so much to add to this discussion. I mean seriously.
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on September 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
Yes, @21, we know about the drones. We may be Democrats but we're neither stupid nor naive. You may vote for Romney if you think that will help, but that would prove that you're naive.
Posted by sarah70 on September 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM · Report this
I can haz 4 more years!?!
Posted by Random Poster on September 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM · Report this
KingofQueenAnne 27
I think people were expecting to be smoking a post-coital cigarette now that the speech has concluded, and are barking that it was "underwhelming." I think he took a steadier, sober approach. I think if he crescendoed with an intense hope/chane speech ala 2008, he'd open himself up to the storyline the right is trying to push on him, that he is out of touch and hopelessly naive.
Posted by KingofQueenAnne on September 6, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
McBomber 28
@21, so you're not going to vote for anyone because it's the brave thing to do? To sit down and not participate? Look. It's unfortunate, but the people will choose between two, and only two, candidates. By your statement, I'm guessing that you will not vote at all in protest, but by doing so, you favor the candidate who has explicitly pledged to bring more war to the world. That's it. Those are your choices. Either some killing or more killing. The true profiteers of war are counting on you to be so disillusioned that you don't vote at all.
Posted by McBomber on September 6, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
Watch what they do, not what they say.
Posted by anon1256 on September 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM · Report this
@27, that sounds logical. He did throw it back to us: "you give me hope". What can the Repugs do with that? Well, they can do a lot, but it will sound mean.
Posted by sarah70 on September 6, 2012 at 10:13 PM · Report this
I will never understand this. If someone brings up the fact that Obama and his administration are killing people in countries we are not at war with, or the further erosion of our civil liberties, or the increase in spending to the Drug War or any of the other things that one might find morally objectionable, everyone shits all over that person. If one chooses not to vote because they do not wish to participate in this shambles of a 2 party system, or chooses to vote for a third party, Democrats are howling about how all you are doing is supporting the Republicans.

You know what, Obama's administration has done some really bad things and some good things. And just because someone like myself might have more of an issue with the bad things does not mean I fucking support the Republicans.
Posted by sisyphusgal on September 6, 2012 at 10:56 PM · Report this
@31 Keep on keepin' on, your energy is needed for the political struggles to come, and they are many. But meanwhile, please vote, really, please.
Posted by crone on September 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM · Report this
@31 politics suck. Politics have always Sucked. People die. Religion sucks, Religion has always Sucked. People die.

The challenge is to make it less so.

Sorry but it is a slow...... very slow process.

And yeah that sucks.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 7, 2012 at 12:31 AM · Report this
levide 34
Started as a SotU address, got in a couple of admirably eloquent zingers towards the middle, then turned into watching the Democratic Party lurch even further to the right (which was only satisfying in getting to see the Democrats as stronger on military policy, but the "USA" stuff was kinda gross...I understand, but I don't approve), ended with a preacher act complete with a fake drawl. I dunno. Stirring at points, and probably exactly what he needed to do, but I feel like I just ate something I shouldn't have.
Posted by levide on September 7, 2012 at 1:03 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 36
@21: Because no president before him has ever used military action. By your logic, every president murders people. Therefore, it is meaningless.

I guess Clinton was a cold-blooded murderer because he bombed terrorist camps too. You were saying the same thing then right? Right?

Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 7, 2012 at 3:58 AM · Report this
#36 - Clinton was a murderer for allowing the mentally handicapped to be put to death while he was governor. Remember Mr. Rector?
Posted by catsnbanjos on September 7, 2012 at 4:40 AM · Report this
@19 Well, the official BLS numbers look nothing like the ADP numbers. This is not the first time this has happened, either. The report this morning shows a gain of 103,000 in the private sector, and a loss of 7,000 in the government sector for a net gain of an anemic 96,000. Both the raw and seasonally-adjusted stats declined, for an official unemployment rate of 8.1%. While better than last month's 8.3%, it's more just statistical noise than a trend. (Basically, the unemployment rate has been at 8.2%, +/-0.1%, all year.)

I'd really like to see the President call a press conference and demand cooperation from the Republican House to address unemployment. Maybe try to call them back into session. It's time to shift the onus to where it belongs.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 7, 2012 at 6:07 AM · Report this
smade 40
It's all well and good to remind us all that power corrupts and the exercise of power on an American scale inevitably results in the death of innocents and that those deaths are the result of presidential actions. However, there are many, many other lives, neither more nor less valuable than the ones lost in Yemen that are at stake here. You can help save those lives, perhaps in the tens of thousands, by voting for the person, Obama in this case, whose policies will in a greater saving of lives. A Romney administration would result in more deaths, by far, from the implementation of his economic policies, such as they are. By choosing not to vote for either Obama or Romney you are saying you don't care enough about those lives to stop wallowing in your indulgent self-righteousness and you are thereby complicit in their deaths.
Posted by smade on September 7, 2012 at 6:08 AM · Report this
bhowie 41
Folks, don't assume I'm not voting for the scumbag, I'm just not going to feel good about it or think I'm doing anything to make the world better. Yes, Romney would be worse, but worse than bad is not good. Too many people in my Facebook feed are WAY too excited about a few speeches filled with empty platitudes, meanwhile the war machine picks up speed. I realize we all need things to celebrate and feel good about; maybe find something less...deadly?
Posted by bhowie on September 7, 2012 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Well after watching that speech I envisioned America looking very futuristic. With wonderful roads and bridges, clean air and water. A place where we all have equal opportunity if we dare dream. If we get sick we can go to the doctors both rich and poor. However under Romney I see a horrible fascist government where the people on main street are the slaves to the 1%. Where the rich run the government. Where America as we know it will fall. That's what I got from watching both the RNC and DNC conference. We all need to do our part to save America from falling. Peace and Blessings
Posted by Lady Gidorah on September 7, 2012 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Well after watching that speech I envisioned America looking very futuristic. With wonderful roads and bridges, clean air and water. A place where we all have equal opportunity if we dare dream. If we get sick we can go to the doctors both rich and poor. However under Romney I see a horrible fascist government where the people on main street are the slaves to the 1%. Where the rich run the government. Where America as we know it will fall. That's what I got from watching both the RNC and DNC conference. We all need to do our part to save America from falling. Peace and Blessings
Posted by Lady Gidorah on September 7, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 44
@36: Words have actual meanings:

@41: Using drones instead of thousands of soldiers in an invading force is not a "war machine picking up speed."

It is the opposite.

Like it or not, you live in a democracy where most of the country wants our military engaged in disrupting global terrorism. So you can opt to invade, use manned pilots to drop bombs/missiles, or use drones to drop bombs/missiles.

We are already using local police forces to root out terrorists, but you can only ask for so much, and expect even less, as people are not likely to turn in their friends and family. Drones and solid intelligence are by far the best option.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 7, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
bhowie 45
@44: "...disrupting global terrorism." Hook. Line. Sinker.

Also, Obama has increased arms sales to third world countries six-fold. So the war we are not making directly (yes liberals, shooting missiles from robots is war) we are making indirectly. "Change" indeed.…
Posted by bhowie on September 7, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
Pick1 46
I liked that the DNC in general had some balls this year. Anderson Cooper and the other reporters on CNN were constantly surprised by the "negative jabs at Romney" which they apparently weren't expecting.

When the entire RNC was about "Fuck Obama" it seemed a great contrast.

I thought Obama's speech was excellent and it filled me with Hope. However, I do think Clinton did better. There is something about Clinton that made me feel that he believes the American people are smart enough to understand policy (and the reasons behind those policies) which is empowering.

After watching both conventions the one word summary of each is:

RNC: Fear
DNC: Hope

It will be interesting to see which emotion is a more powerful motivator at the polls. I would point out that I believe fear is a terrible motivator because it doesn't allow people to think, but that doesn't mean it isn't an effective strategy.
Posted by Pick1 on September 7, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
@32 I always vote. I love voting for local and state. I can't tell you how excited I've been about what has happened with Kshama Sawant. That is what I hope the future of politics looks like. Smaller parties starting local and then moving up into state and finally national positions.
Posted by sisyphusgal on September 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
@44, @45 You have to reelect Obama so you can at least try to exert leverage over him. If Romney beats him, the war machine falls back into the hands of the analloyed neocons, and lots of luck with that. Wars overseas, to them is just another domestic political tool to distract and control the populace.

This is beyond just the choice of lesser-of-two-evils. This is a choice of, will you even have a voice, or will the country slip further towards fascist, jingoistic, permanent war?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Jesus, you people have some rosy views of the past there. Drone strikes started under Clinton. We murdered people covertly during the Cold War (another "Not Official War" Bhowie, if you're keeping score). Internment Camps. Spying on everyone since, oh, pretty much the invention of intelligence agencies. Extrajudicial killings.

Americans and their government have always killed people outside of the law and the rights we have, have always been tenuous. It is our duty as citizens to be upset and push for change. But in doing so, let's not pretend that the past was somehow better and that we've fallen off some weird-ass moral cliff. We may kill a couple hundred this year, but ask Ta Nehisi-Coates if we haven't gotten better on actually not selling black people as property or deliberately giving minorities diseases.
Posted by FonsieScheme on September 7, 2012 at 9:15 AM · Report this
I would take the Democrats seriously who tell me that they're upset about the drones too but that I should still vote for Obama because he's the best of the two options if just once I saw them in the streets protesting said drones. Because logically, that is a very good argument.

But halfway through the Bush administration, y'all turned the anti-war movement into a wing of the Democratic electoral machine, and I haven't seen a single one of you since 2008, even though the war's still going on. And I remember torture and surveillance and CIA assassinations in foreign countries being huge moral outrages and major talking points several years ago and now I don't hear a peep, even though the situation hasn't changed much.

So no, I don't take you guys seriously. You're right that Obama is still way better than Romney, but that doesn't change the fact that you guys are hypocrites.
Posted by redemma on September 7, 2012 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 51
@45: Just saying "Hook. Line. Sinker." is not an acceptable argument outside of elementary school. Keep trying!

@49: For the ideologically pure, fantasy-land liberals, history began the day Obama took office, or maybe somewhere in the Bush era if that is convenient.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on September 7, 2012 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Pick1 52
@51 In the same way that the Republican party seems to have spontaneously sprouted in the last 3 1/2 years? Bush seems to have been the president of some other party. Both sides gloss over their history when it's inconvenient.
Posted by Pick1 on September 7, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Posted by DavidG on September 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
President Obama cheated in the speech delivered to the Democrat Party Convention in Charlotte.

Obama may have simply procrastinated, leaving himself short the time required in composing and editing a solid speech.

Possibly Obama felt that he must cheat at least some in order for him to win reelection.

whatever the reason, the President cheated in an example he provided in support of his argument for our vote.

He provides an essentialy marginal argument for our vote, then weakens it more by offering an example which is disqualified due to cheating.

You struggle, you sacrifice, you remain humble and virtuous, you eventually achieve your goal, your victory, your redemption. Reelect me as your President and you can still achieve your dreams through dedication and sacrifice - I may not offer any assistance, but at least I will try not to stand in your way.

Then the President's speech offered a few examples of individual sacrifice and diligence which eventually results in individual triumph.

That is where Pres. Obama blatantly cheated. In one example - a man gets layed-off from his job and begins a period of sacrifice and struggle. Eventually, the man is rehired and resumes working, then he wins the lottery and generously shares the proceeds among family/friends.

Winning a lottery is an example of the principle of randomness. Hard Work, sacrifice, dedication, ingenuity, honesty, ethics have no correlation with your chances of winning a lottery. Neither does who may be the president or who you decide to cast your vote for.

This cheating by the President in his speech casts doubt over his actual intentions for seeking reelection and calls into question his essential credibility.

Posted by Grover Steveland on September 9, 2012 at 5:22 AM · Report this

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