I don’t think even the most cynical observer or committed Republican partisan could watch that speech all the way through and not be moved. It was simple, yet soaring; it was idealistic, but gritty; it was about him, but it was about us.
Some of the highlights (weighted towards the beginning of the speech – I lost interest in note-taking as the speech progressed):
The speech was a moral call to arms: “We are better than the last eight years” and of course, “I am my brother’s keeper.”
Patricularly moving was his description of how his mother, his father, his grandfather, and his grandmother all contributed to him standing on that podium – and yet, he pointed out, his critics will never understand that the campaign isn’t about Obama at all.
And finally, the speech was a ferocious indictment of John McCain’s false claim to being a maverick:
“We are here because we love this country too much to let the next 4 be like the last 8. Eight is enough.”
“What does it say about your judgment if you think George W. Bush was right 90% of the time?”
Though it must be noted that Obama had genuine praise and respect for McCain, saying several times that he believes McCain loves his country, and it’s not that McCain is wrong because he doesn’t care, it’s because he doesn’t know. The quote about “a nation of whiners” hit particularly hard – and spoke volumes.
Still, I did have my quibbles. On oil and energy independence, no mention of the Electric Future alternative. Also, a ten-year timeframe for true energy independence seems an impossible goal, I just can’t take that seriously. Most discomfitting was the stance towards Iran, though the reality is that anything even slightly more nuanced than “stop Iranian nukes at all costs” would have been immediate fodder for the AIPAC/Israel-first lobby. But these are indeed quibbles – at least compared to my more serious disagreements with Obama, but that we can save for later. Tonight was a night of true grandeur, hope, and vision, and it stirred this patriot’s soul.