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Friday, September 7, 2012

Obama's Underwhelming Acceptance Speech

As promised, I shall post a recap of this week's Democratic National Convention later this month, but I wanted to briefly remark on the president's speech.

When President Obama said "God bless you, and God bless these United States!" and backed away from the podium, my immediate reaction was, "Wow. That was all?" I must confess, I was not looking forward to the president's speech on Thursday. I knew he could give an incredible convention speech. But after last night, I was left thinking about how less than impressive it was.

I figured he'd tell a lie or two, and he did, and I knew he couldn't recapture the magic of his speech four years ago at Invesco Field--certainly he wouldn't recreate the optics--but even in this smaller, less daunting arena, I still thought he could deliver a doozy, and he didn't.

We heard talk that the president was going to try and fill the "gaps" Mitt Romney left open by not being "specific" enough in his acceptance speech, but when the opportunity came, President Obama was no more specific about what he would do in a second term than Mitt Romney was about what he would do in his first. As the Washington Post editorial board (which has never missed an opportunity this year to bash Mr. Romney) put it, "If Mr. Obama has a plan, [then] Americans who listened Thursday don’t know how he would achieve it."

Even some of the president's supporters were disappointed. The New Republic’s Timothy Noah wrote that, after watching the president’s speech, “it occurred to me for the first time that he might actually lose.” In acknowledging that Obama’s speech also "fell short — of his own proclaimed standards," the aforementioned Washington Post editorial opined that, while the incumbent "offered an appealing, even a stirring, vision of a shared citizenship and commitment to democracy[,] the attractiveness of that vision made all the more frustrating Mr. Obama’s refusal to fill in any substance, his once again promising hard truths that he did not deliver." Time Magazine's Joe Klein conceded that, while he liked Obama's speech more than Mitt Romney's (big surprise), the president "did not close the deal."

As I said...not what I was expecting. Apparently others had a similar reaction.


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  2. If the republicans speeches were *so* great, and Obama/Clinton/Michelle were so underwhelming, how can you explain that Romney got no bounce out of the convention *and* that Obama got a decent bounce in the polls?

    You are seriously underestimating the effectiveness of the pitch that Obama and the democrats made at the convention.