Friday, September 07, 2012


Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination last night, and a critical consensus is forming: his speech wasn't so great. Remember how amazing he was in '08? He just didn't recapture the magic.

Some reviews:

"More substance than style; more specifics than rhetorical flourish." --Chris Cillizza, The Washington Post

"[A] lack of specifics." --AP

"The speech was uneven in delivery, too long, and suffered from the curse of comprehesiveness, which at times made Obama seem almost more defensive than feisty and may have even allowed some viewers to drift off between the best lines." --Katherine Marsh, The New Republic

"A bit of a letdown." --John McWhorter, The New Republic

"For the most part it felt surprisingly banal and jury-rigged, and it suffered throughout from a failure to cohere around any single theme or rhetorical style." --Ross Douthat

"Obama Gives Generic Speech" --NewsMax

"No match for the keynote address he delivered at the 2004 convention in Boston." --David Broder

David Broder? Hunh?

Oh, wait -- all those are pundit reactions to the 2008 convention speech. You know -- the one to which last night's speech is being unfavorably compared.

Funny thing: that awful, awful speech he gave at the '08 convention somehow didn't hurt him in November.


Victor said...

I'm tired of all of these pundits.

I don't buy newspapers anymore. I try not to watch too much MSNBC - though that's the only tolerable news network - most of the time, anyway.

I don't go to websites to read them.
I don't read their tweets.

Why don't these arbiters of he-said/she-said just go the feck away?

Maybe if we all stopped encouraging them?

Oh, the hubris to think that others care what the feck you think?

And sure, I do it, too.

But I ain't being paid a nice salary and benefits to opine. And I have no expectations that andy more than a few like-minded people will read my word-turds.

And besides, if I never wrote another word on this, or other blogs, or didn't have an immediate opinion, I don't really think anyone would miss me and what I'm blathering on about.

They do.

They think they're god's gift to wordsmithing and opinionionioningating, and we rubes won't know what to think without their clever guidance.

My advice: Ignore them!
Maybe they MIGHT go away...

BH said...

I must not have the chops to be an official pundit. By the time O's speech last night reached its conclusion, the wife and I were clapping and grinning like Cheshire cats. I thought Biden's was good & rousing, too, no doubt further proving my unworthiness for employment by Politico.

Smith said...

Somehow all the punditizers forget one thing about that 2008 speech: It was the first time a black candidate had ever received a major party nomination for president. Whatever the merits of the speech itself, to everyone hearing it it was much more freighted with meaning than just another political speech. It was a good speech, but the emotions of the listeners inevitably made it unforgettable. In contrast, last night Obama was making a president's renomination speech. It should be compared to other renomination speeches, not to historic First Ever speeches.

BH said...

Excellent point, Smith.

Batocchio said...

Well played. Dead David Broder was the kicker.

Tom Hilton said...

Well played, Steve.

Also: what BH said.