I’m watching Barack Obama’s speech, and I’m frankly surprised how negative it is. He stresses how awful everything is, and blames Bush, says McCain is clueless and out of touch, and keeps talking about the need for the government to take care of people.
In short, he’s making the case for socialism, and he sounds angry. Much angrier than usual.
Whether it will work, who knows?
There’s not much talk of freedom.
He keeps echoing the “I am my brother’s keeper” theme and characterizes McCain’s philosophy of saying “you’re on your own.” Im reminded of how much I prefer the latter.
Frankly, he’s sounding more like a scold than ever before.
10:34 — Now he’s talking about reducing oil dependency, and bashing McCain for advocating drilling.
Talking about investing in renewable energy.
Education. (Right. Will we hear about Chicago Annenberg Challenge?*) He’ll make sure kids can afford college.
10:37 — Health care. What Congress has, everyone will get.
Equal pay for equal work. (Equals more government in the workplace.)
I don’t know whether I’ll get through this….
10:40 — “If John McCain wants a debate over who has the temperament to serve as the next Commander in Chief, that’s a debate I’m willing to have.” Says McCain was wrong about Iraq, he was right.
McCain won’t go after Obama “to the cave where he lives.”
The Iraqi government and the Bush administration echo Obama’s call, while McCain stubbornly refuses. Obama looks to future, McCain stuck in past…
10:43 — We are the party of Roosevelt, of Kennedy. Don’t tell me we won’t fight. Bush administration has squandered this legacy.
Will end Iraq war responsibly, stop Iran from getting nukes, stop Russia, restore America’s moral standing….
10:46 — Have to change the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character or patriotism. (I agree with this, and hope he means it.)
“I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We ALL put our country first!”
If you don’t have fresh ideas, you need stale tactics.
10:50 — “All across America, something is stirring. This election is not about me. It’s about you.” Enough to the politics of the past. At defining moments like this, change doesn’t come from Washington, it comes to Washington.
10:53 — American spirit pushes us forward. Promise is our greatest inheritance. Refers to King’s Dream speech of 45 years ago.
We cannot turn back! Cannot walk alone. Keep that promise.
That’s it.
He kept it short, which was smart. It got better towards the end, but it was not exactly what I’d call a fun speech.
I would characterize Obama’s overall position as a communitarian one. He believes that not only are we all responsible for each other, but that the purpose of the presidency is not to carry out the constitutional duties of office, but to take care of everyone by providing jobs, health care, etc. I haven’t heard him sound this shrill (or negative) in any of his previous speeches.
Well, at least it wasn’t boring. For Obama, it was guns blazing.
MORE: Speaking on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer thinks the speech was brilliant, as Obama needed to abandon his conciliatory tone he adopted while running against Democrats. Made himself the agent of change as defined very simply — not Republican.
11:25 — I think it’s possible Obama deliberately came out with guns blazing because he wanted to show that he’s not a wimp.
I just watched McCain’s gentle congratulatory message, and what a stark contrast!
I like the way Ann Althouse made mincemeat out of Obama’s Second Amendment remarks:

9:48: “We can keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.” All right, then! Can I have an AK-47? I’m not a criminal. He’s trying to say we can accommodate gun rights and gun regulations, but he won’t admit to anything near the level of gun regulation he’d support, so he ends up sounding silly.

And Stephen Green did a great job of drunkblogging!

8:38PM More Clintonesque requirements of people who get government help. That’s not a bad thing — but it’s not how he campaigned in the primaries. He’s not just running against one lame duck, he’s running as another.
8:37PM The longer this goes on, the more I remember why I suffered such Obama Fatigue during the primaries.
8:37PM Yeah, he just tried to buy Michigan with promises that he’ll retool Detroit. Honda and Toyota build cars here people actually like, so why not give them money, too?
8:35PM The first person who gives me an accurate count of the number of times Obama says “McCain,” I’ll send a crisp twenty dollar bill. That’s right, twenty dollars. But I’m not sure science can count that high.

MORE: Via Glenn Reynolds, I see that media people were observed cheering. And via Glenn Reynolds, here’s the full text of the speech.
(Sorry to plagiarize Obama’s word, but that’s just the way I feel.)
* Yes we will! Here!