[Democratic National Convention] This is what it came down to the final night of the DNC, before a crowd of 80,000-plus in Denver's Mile High Stadium: Barack Obama had a few things to nail in his acceptance speech. He had to show substance to his rhetoric, grit to his glitter. He also had to retell his story as a healer while at the same time standing up to John McCain.
“The record is clear: John McCain has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really what does it say about your judgment when you think George W. Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time?” Obama asked the roaring crowd.
Obama kept his McCain attacks in reference to George W. Bush and his party, not stooping to such potshots as McCain's anmesia for the number of homes he owns.
“For over two decades he’s subscribed to the discredited Republican philosophy to give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else,” Obama said. “In Washington they call this the ownership society, but what it really means--you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it...
"... Well it is time for them to own their failure. And it’s time for us to change America.”
After remininiscing about his time as a community activist on Chicago's South Side and how he learned a work ethic from his scrappy grandmother, Obama ended on what he promises will be the key to the next 68 days: “That’s the promise of America. The idea that we are responsible for ourselves but that we also rise or fall as one nation.”
And finally, a few of Obama's plans, as outlined in his speech:
*Cutting tax breaks to corporations that shift jobs overseas; rewarding companies that keep jobs in the U.S.
*A tax cut for 95 percent of all working class families.
*Eliminating capital gains taxes for small businesses and high-tech startup companies.
*Affordable health care for all.
*Pledging to end foreign oil dependence in 10 years.
*In foreign policy, the focus will return to Afghanistan rather than Iraq. “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of hell—but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives,” Obama said.
Then in a magnanimous conclusion, Obama recalled his experience and reflected on the good of all Americans.
“It is that American spirit that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen—that better place around the bend.”
It was a place called hope hat seemed at long last to subdue the week-long hype surrounding Obama. (Eric S. Peterson)