Thursday, August 28, 2008

Democratic Convention Day 4 - Stepping Down From The Mountain

This was about the best and safest speech that Obama could give. He did not speak of the oceans parting tonight. Nor, despite the Grecian motif, did he claim the powers of Zeus. This was a very well delivered speech, but it was uninspiring - and did nothing more than dust off the liberal wish list.

You can read the entire speech here. The guy is really good from a teleprompter. We will have to see how he does when really pressed in a debate. He did not fare well at all in Philly. At any rate, here were my notes from his speech -

We are in a second depression.

It can only be solved by

- massive increases in government programs and spending.
- cutting taxes
- taxing corporations heavier
- some cut in the capital gains tax for small businesses

A lot of anti-business rhetoric in here.

It can all be paid for by a massive reorganization of the entire government.

No drilling. Push alternative energy.

McCain = Bush on all things

He will solve all of our foreign policy problems, though he does not explain how. He gets real opaque here. No specifics at all beyond repairing alliances broken by Bush.

Obama again tried to inoculate himself from charges that he places ambition over country. He acknowledged that McCain is patriotic and expects the same in return. Don’t question his patriotism, irrespective of whether you believe he places ambition over the best needs of the country.

Abortion rights – he didn’t say much here, just a mention that we have too many in America. He ignored his vote on partial birth abortion.

Gay rights – same as abortion rights, Obama was supportive but very hazy, again not taking a real position.

Gun Rights - Obama differentiated between hunters and everyone else. This ought to set off the spidey sense of everyone watching from NRA headquarters.

He can’t wait to debate McCain. Someone hold him back . . .

Change. Change. And more change. We need change. Can anyone spare some change?

Most incredible line of the night: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from." The amazing thing was that Obama was saying this about McCain. I believe our phsychologist friends call this "projection."

Update: One interesting point raised by Obama in his speech. This from CNN:

If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have," he told supporters at the Invesco Stadium in Denver, Colorado.

I mentioned the bit about debate earlier. I only point out this entire quote since I have seen a series of attacks recently on McCain and his supposedly mecurial temperment. Harry Reid raised this two days ago. Time Magazine, an operation that has run five covers of Obama, ran a similar story the other day, and now we hear this from Obama. I do not think that this argument will go anywhere, and indeed, it got no traction when tried out two months ago. But it is interesting to see the argument gaining new life and see it being made by seemingly unconnected parties. This has the distinct smell of a deliberate strategy. If so, we will hear much more about McCain's temper from various sources in the near future.

Final thoughts:

He will get a bump because he really reads well from a teleprompter.

The bump will not be permanent because there are just too many holes in his resume and some of his key factual claims are just too outlandish.

There was nothing motivational about this speech. It was a vague laundry list.

On to Minnesota.

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