Friday, August 29, 2008
Senator Barack Obama delivered his acceptance speech last night in Denver before a crowd of 85,000. It was a speech that was in-your-face and and specific. A highly detailed, centrist buffet, served up with unflinching aggressiveness.
Taking aim at his Republican rival, John McCain, Obama’s words surprised even his most ardent supporters.
“I’ve got news for you, John McCain,” he said in one passage that was typical of his direct tone. “We all put our country first.”
Obama questioned McCain’s judgment.
“John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush was right more than ninety percent of the time?”
The toughness seemed to suggest an awareness that Obama, who maintains only a small lead in the polls, had to make a stronger case against the Republicans.
On energy and McCain’s long tenure as a Washington insider.
“Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them,” taking direct aim at McCain’s enthusiasm for off-shore drilling, “In that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.”
“Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know,” a swipe at McCain image as just another rich, out-of-touch Republican, “Why else would he define middleclass as someone making under five million dollars a year?”
“It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.”
Obama proved he wasn’t afraid to break the Senate’s code of silence and go after McCain’s temperment.
“And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America’s promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.”
Obama left no doubt that not only is he ready to lead on day one but that John McCain should be afraid, very afraid of the general election campaign to come.