Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quick Thoughts on Obama's Speech

OK, so I gave in and watched Obama's speech, and before I drown in a sea of punditry I'll throw my thoughts out there. First, I thought he did pretty good. It wasn't an amazing speech, but it was stirring at times and dealt with policy a lot more specifically than he had in the past. Since I knew most of the policy stuff going in, nothing was really new to me there, but he stated it well and made a convincing argument. Obviously I'll get more in-depth on what I think of his policy ideas in future "Election 2008: The Series" posts, so I won't analyze line-by-line here.

The best parts were his bit about individual responsibility and the limits of government's responsibility - since he phrased it as and it seemed to be a direct challenge to Democratic orthodoxy - and his attack on those who would use patriotism as a tool to win elections. Both resonated well with me, especially the former bit since I think he made points that aren't made often enough by pols of either party. The worst was the "off foreign oil in ten years" crapola, but I'll forgive him that. The speech seemed to wander a little as long speeches are wont to do, but he tied it all together pretty well at the end. I guess I wasn't as ready to jump out of my seat shouting as I was back in '04, but the last 10 minutes or so was pretty darn inspiring.

A few other notes - I really hope Obama does actually go line-by-line through the budget cutting and trimming. That would be awesome. Second, are Brooks and Dunn - both pretty hard-core Republicans, as I understand it - happy about having "Only in America" used after Obama's speech? And was "Born in the USA" really necessary? Does anyone listen to the lyrics of that song?

Instant update: Brooks and Dunn headlined the Republican convention in 2004. It takes some cojones grandes to choose a song by someone who headlined the opposing party's last convention as your send-off song.


Mike said...

"Does anyone listen to the lyrics of that song?"

Nope. When I lived in Japan, my parents used to play it a lot to make us feel at home (or something). I remember years later telling my mom what it was really about, and she said, "Oh really? We always just liked it because of the 'born in the USA' part." I love that Reagan wanted to use it as his '84 campaign theme and Bruce said, "Um, no." I'm amused they played it last night.

But I didn't know, because I missed Obama's speech (unlike Biden's and Hillary's, which I caught). I was a little saddened as I usually watch most of both conventions (I'll be tuned in next week fo' shiz), but my saddening went away because of what I was watching instead: Vanderbilt's 34-13 drubbing of Miami (OH). GO DORES! Bring on Spurrier and the other Cocks.

Ben said...

The reason they played "Born in the USA" is because it sounds really good. I mean, they played "City of Blinding Lights" when Obama entered. Why? Probably not because Obama thought he looked so beautiful tonight. But because it sounds really upbeat.

Interestingly, Springsteen apparently recorded a very downbeat, acousting version of Born in the USA. (I heard it in church, of all places.) The studio encouraged him to go back to the drawing board and make it a rocker. The rest is history.