I predicted Barack Obama would be president three years ago when he was barely a blip on the political landscape. Last night he showcased why he is presidential material and why I believe he’s going to be elected. He is a deep thinker, an amazing speaker and someone who has transcended his race in the eyes of many Americans. Only hardcore racists think of skin color in regards to Oprah, Tiger or Jordan. Also, add Obama to the list of celebrities who only need one name.
My Republican friends call Obama arrogant and condescending. I don’t know about that. I think he comes across with confidence and humility. At least he knows how many homes he owns, didn’t cheat on his wife and can deliver a speech without looking like death warmed over.
I find Obama to be inspirational in the same way Kennedy or Reagan were inspirational. They looked good on camera, spoke to the American people directly, had high ideals and hopes and dreams. In 2008, John McCain is none of those things.
When Barack Obama appeared on stage to speak to 85,000 people in Denver and 38 million people tuned in across the country, he was calm, thoughtful and charismatic. He was eloquent and endearing. He was direct in language, mannerisms and presentation. It was, by far, one of the best political speeches of the 21st century.
The speech seemed to be a rope-a-dope, letting the Republicans attack with petty jabs for weeks and then hitting right back by stating when they have nothing else of any substance to hit with, they try to make a political issue about staging, flag pins and celebrity status. In that moment, he told all Americans that he isn’t Kerry, Gore or Dukakis. He will fight back and move the narrative to the issues that mean something to the American people.
The line of the night, the one that irrevocably ties McCain with President Bush, was this one, “We are better than these last eight years.” Obama directly reminded people that the country is not better off than we were eight years ago. Americans, for the most part, are hurting economically. Our status in the world has been diminished internationally. The blame rests solely on the policies of these last eight years. Add in McCain’s voting with Bush over 90% of the time and the American people were shown the clear connection.
I’m not some doe-eyed, Obama-crazy, drooling at the new messiah. He’s a politician. I get it. But what he said in his acceptance speech resonated with me. He called out the GOP bullshit election attacks and illustrated why Americans should not view the Bush administration and, by default, a McCain administration as the way this country ought to do business.
Barack Obama is a candidate of extraordinary talent and skill during what I feel is a critical moment in our history. Gore called this moment an opportunity for change.
A change will do us good.