That is the first word that can be used to describe the events of Denver this evening, Thursday August 28th, 2008. Truly history in the making. No matter your political leaning or affiliations, no matter your wealth or poverty, no matter your standing in society, the nomination of the first African-American biracial individual to a major party for the office of President of the United States is a moment to stop and ponder just how far this nation has come and how its ideals have endured.
On to the speech... apparently Barack woke up on the wrong side of the bed because he came out swingin'! The speech had three main themes: 1) Attack John McCain/link him with the "failed policies" of George W Bush, 2) Work the highlights of all his previous speeches into one super-speech, and 3) rehash and rework the past 50 years worth of presidential nomination speeches of both parties.
1) Barack Obama sounded like he was trying to hurl a Category 5 hurricane of criticism at John McCain and linked him many times with certain failings of President Bush. The change in tone came as a response to the notion that he has gone soft on John McCain so far and that it was "going soft" that lost the election for Democrats in 2004. There were quite a few good jabs but some were just plain ol' ridiculous. For instance, he cited statistics and anecdotes about the problems with economy but then he cited McCain for stating that to be poor one had to making less than 5 million, a comment which was clearly a joke! I don't think its wrong to attack a person based on their views, policies, or beliefs but to repeatedly bring up an innocent joke and try to turn it into his platform is really just "old" dirty politics.
2) Barack also tried to stitch together his highlight reel of quotes and soundbites from former speeches. For people who have been watching the campaign (like me) or even have incidentally heard the news in the past 19 months, it was like having deja vu. I ended up yelling out places, dates, and events when Obama first said the quotables. He used his "father" speech, his "one America" speech, his "religion" speech, his "race" speech... I felt like he was recycling! Given he was recycling some great stuff.. but it didn't feel original or new to me which was a bit of a let down.
3) Obama then touched on all the past nomination acceptance speeches since Eisenhower to make his bid for Independent voters, dissatisfied Republicans, and Democrats. He used Kennedy liberally (oh my.. I crack myself up..) to speak about service to country and youth. He used Reagan/H.W. Bush to talk about a re-awakening of America to a new tomorrow full of hope. He used Reagan/H.W. Bush again to speak about self-reliance and rejecting Big Government when it doesn't work. He used George W. Bush to deliver the message that "Eight is enough!" referring to eight years of the Bush Administration just as Bush had in 2000 referring to Clinton. He talked about the refusal to hand over the country for a "third" Bush term for McCain as W. did in 2000 referring to Gore. He came across all "rural America" and seemed almost about to choke up when he talked about economy woes just as Clinton did in 1992. He even threw in a touch of peace and prosperity a-la Carter 1976.
All in all.. it was pretty good and I suggest you go out and watch it in its entirety so you know just what Obama is talking about later. I'd give it a B overall.