Obama’s Dour Presidential Address at the DNC

Overall, Obama was rather dour save for his crescendo at the end of the speech. It was nowhere near his best speech. However, that is hardly a fair critique because that ship sailed in 2004. He was very Presidential- “The times have changed –- and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president.” I take that to mean he was assertive and much less cold and intellectual than he is often perceived.

One thing that struck me was that the speech did not feel totally built for his base. Some preaching to the choir, but most of it outlined the choice against Romney argument and built his Commander in Chief visage. This was especially clear in the foreign policy section. This has to be the most non-sensical contrast in the election. There is almost no daylight between Obama’s foreign policy and a hypothetical Romney-foreign policy.

Two takeaways:
1) The DNC showed that there is no more effective campaigner than Bill Clinton. The GOP has yet to really refute the bulk of Clinton’s substance. I take great heart in that. Not just because I appreciate the arguments but because out of both conventions Clinton was the only speaker to address actual policy differences between the parties with depth, substance, and length. He mustered ethos, pathos, and logos to make a policy-oriented argument for a candidate. The candidates should feel ashamed they lack that ability or are restrained by their consultants from using it.

2) Conventions matter, but a bump is unlikely. Unemployment fell today, by proxy of people leaving the workforce. That is bad news. At the end of the day the President has less control steering the economy than other factors. Nonetheless, this report will tamper what little momentum may have come out of the DNC. I am not a quantitative scholar and so I don’t prognosticate but those I watch (and whose methods I pay attention to because method matters) look for post-convention polls to return to pre-convention levels.

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1 Comment

Filed under news and Culture, Rhetoric

One response to “Obama’s Dour Presidential Address at the DNC

  1. Were people any brighter when leaving the convention than when they entered? As for foreign policy the only mention I recall was this HIGHLY qualified claim, “From Burma to Libya to South Sudan, we have advanced the rights and dignity of all human beings”
    WHY draw a tight triangle around the middle east? What about American allies like the people of West Papua?

    According to UN records West New Guinea became a UN Trust territory in 1962, there is NO record of Trust territory status being removed (UN charter article 78) yet magically its name was removed from every UN listing of Non-Self Governing territories. In other words, it is a colony that has been victimized for 50 years with the effect of profiting the Freeport corporation and business partners in Jakarta… Obama’s response, smile and pretend the world’s largest gold & copper mine is not known to him.

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