The reviews are in: Barack Obama gave an outstanding nomination acceptance speech last night at the close of the Democratic National Convention.
To me, this wasn’t Obama’s most moving or inspiring speech. His keynote address at the 2004 Convention was certainly more uplifting than this.
The distinguishing feature of this speech was its “meat and potatoes” content: it (a) laid out in detail what Obama would do if elected and (b) it made pointed attacks on the opposition.
This was not a motivational speech, but rather, a persuasive closing statement for why Barack Obama should be elected president. It made the stakes of the election clear. It showed who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. It made the argument for change.
Two lines resonated with me. The first: “eight is enough.” Pop culture references like this one always add flavor to political speeches. For older voters, this is the kind of zinger that will stick in their heads. That’s going to make a great line for a t-shirt.
I also liked Obama’s comment that, based on McCain’s record of voting with Bush 90% of the time, American had a “ten percent chance of change” if McCain took office. For business professionals, that will be a catchy line.
The bottom line is, Obama made it absolutely clear why people should vote for him and against McCain. He gave specifics, he set goals. This wasn’t fluff.
Obama has made his case, and next week, McCain will make his. The battle is joined. Let the real campaigning begin.