When a sitting president fails to inspire and motivate even the most liberal of columnists during a DNC nomination speech, you know that speech must have truly been a dud. So it was for Barack Obama last night…
Obama: A Pedestrian and Overconfident Speech
by Michael Tomasky
Let’s be blunt. Barack Obama gave a dull and pedestrian speech tonight, with nary an interesting thematic device, policy detail, or even one turn of phrase.
…This was the rhetorical equivalent, forgive the football metaphor, of running out the clock: Obama clearly thinks he’s ahead and just doesn’t need to make mistakes. But when football teams do that, it often turns out to be the biggest mistake of all, and they lose.
…The night’s big thematic device, the “it wasn’t me, it was you” business, sounded like a somewhat forced attempt, frankly, to come up with…something. He was trying to re-inspire the Obamabots of 2008. But it felt very superficial to me. Nothing in this speech was developed, nothing given hard thought, nothing that built to a great moment. Jeezy peezy, did Mitt Romney give a better speech last week? Not quite, but almost.
…If he comes out of this convention with under a three-point bounce, that will constitute a horrible missed opportunity. This thing was teed up for him to build a five-point lead. If there’s little movement in next week’s polls, then there’s also little doubt whose fault it is. Michelle did her job, and Clinton more than did his. LINK
NOTE: I must disagree strongly with Mr. Tomasky on one particular point – Mitt Romney’s speech was in fact a far stronger offering than was Barack Obama’s last night. What Obama gave was yet more platitudes that have been rehashed over and over again the last four years. What Mitt Romney did was manage to successfully introduce himself to a far wider swath of Americans than was possible during the Republican primaries – and based upon the reasonable post-convention bump in the polls, Mitt Romney succeeded.
As for Barack Obama – not so much… -UM