Obama Nails It

Critics praise Democratic nominee for historic speech

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CSNPhilly.com Staff

It looks like Barack Obama hit a home run at Invesco Field during a rousing and historic acceptance speech that critics dubbed hard-hitting, heavy on substance and underscored by unity -- one that appealed to his supporters, reached out to Hillary's and even courted independents.

In a speech many  feared would be oversaturated with rhetoric Obama capped off the DNC by delineating his vision for the country, making repeated jabs at McCain and defending himself against Republican attacks that he was nothing more than a celebrity.

Obama's speech was of course steeped in history - but, most agreed, not overwhelmed by it. 

It was a moment that he -- speaking to a Kennedy-era stadium crowd of more than 80,000 on the forty-fifth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s appeal for racial equality -- made his own, delivering a gem of a speech that mixed substance and anecdotes.

It was also the blow to Republicans that many Democrats -- critical of their party's unwillingness  to go for the jugular -- were waiting for. Obama drew sharp contrasts between he and McCain, likening the  Republican nominee to Bush and the failed policies of the past.

"We are better than these last eight years," Obama said. "We are a better country than this."

Reaction was immediate:

  • "The most impressive campaign speech from an American presidential candidate I can recall in my lifetime," Marc Cooper wrote
  • "This is an iron first in a velvet glove. Or is it a velvet first in an iron glove?" wrote Kevin Drum on MotherJones. "[He]
    put a serious dent in McCain's ability to continue campaigning with dumb soundbites."

But some argued that Obama's speech was weighed down by all the substance and didn't have enough pep and that the first part of Obama's speech was hackneyed and indistinguishable Democratic rhetoric.

That said, the speech was enough to diminish criticisms that had bubbled up earlier in the day over the Greek-revival stage design as garish and over-the-top.  Instead, Obama's speech -- considered by many to be the most important of his career -- was a hit.

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