The speech of Obama’s life…

WELL, dunno about you but I’ve just watched Obama give what was billed as the speech of his lifetime. And what a show it was from a gifted orator. Was it enough to make him the next US president? I think that’s another matter, but tonight was a night in which Obama set out his stall – not in any great detail, but with an appeal for change and a vision for the future that will attract many undecided Americans. I’m not sure that it’s enough though…A few stream of consciousness notes

Obama tried hard to portray John ‘How many homes do I own?’ McCain as out of touch, with many appeals to the middle classes. Healthcare and education were prominent in his thoughts, and he tried hard to side with workers as opposed to big business.

Nothing new there, but the US sub-prime situation doesn’t prove Republicans are best suited to protect the consumer against purely selfish interests.

There were few hard promises, but he did vow to cut taxes for 95% of working families, and, noteably, he was strong on environmental issues, saying America would not be dependent on middle-east oil in 10 years time. I find this hard to believe, but with the promise of $150 billion investment in renewable energy, a dent could be made.

How Obama will pay for his promises seemed quite vague; cuts in bureaucracy was what I got from it.

Obama was strong on rewarding personal responsibility, edging in on family values territory perhaps more associated with Republicans. But BO has made a big deal about his family, and the image his own provides will perhaps help reassure those of a more conservative persuasion that his liberal tendencies are tempered by traditional values.

He returned many times to the military. Like a liberal democrat, he supports the troops, but not necessarily the war, or how it is fought. He obviously favours greater diplomacy than the Republicans. But we also know he’s flip-flopped here, thanks to McCain’s effective negative campaign. His challenge to McCain to debate foreign policy is one the media must be relishing.

I was wondering if he would be as crass as to compare his speech to the ‘I have a dream…’ one, 45 years ago, almost to the day. And he did, but not charging foward in the blundering manner one of expects US politicians. I do wonder if Americans want a dream right now, while hard economic reality is biting. And Obama is sometimes reminiscent of Blair and Clinton, who so convincingly backs him. But these liberal leaders had the benefit of a favourable economic wind which BO doesn’t.

I just wonder if Obama, like the two leaders just mentioned, will end up being as strong on rhetoric and image… but as weak in substance. A fantastic and inspiring speech, but at the moment, I think I’m still betting on McCain to win.

These are just a few initial thoughts. I’m packing my bags for America, so hopefully I’ll have a more informed opinion while blogging next week!

  • Harry Flashman

    “I will create a new America of individual responsibility, pride and patriotism, a strong America, by cutting taxes and eradicating wasteful, failed government programmes and put more reliance on hard work and family values and I will do that by introducing, er, socialism.”

    Nah, I know most people think Yanks are stupid but they ain’t that dumb down in Peoria.

    He’s a phoney.

  • IRIA

    Unionists=American Republicans. Enjoy the next 4-8 years of Obama as President. You guys deserve it!

  • susan

    Harry, you are beginning to come across as a bit of a shrill aul doll. If the election is a foregone
    conclusion, why twitter on here about it all hours of the day and night? Something’s rattling you.

    Gonzo, before you head to the airport, read this interview with McCain from Wednesday:,8599,1836909,00.html

    It explains the somewhat coded reference to McCain’s “temperament.” McCain channeling The Simpson’s Mr Smithers comes as no surprise to many with experience in Washington, (except apparently Justin Webb, bless) — but still it is a shocker to see McCain display it on the pages of a mainstream media outlet with the polls in a dead heat.

    Funny world, when improved access to healthcare, universal health coverage, a sustainable minimum wage and increased taxes only for households earning over $250 k per annum can be tagged as “elitist.”

    The budget deficit in America for 2008 is projected at $289 billion. War dead over 4,000, with 30,000 wounded. Four Supreme Court justices older than McCain — if they die or retire in the next four years their replacements will be cherry picked by the next President.

    Will the Fox network convince millions of Americans to bet their lives — or at least their livelihoods — on four more years of failed Republican policies? Yes. Millions and millions and millions. Just not enough to win the White House. Not this time.

    McCain’s economic policies are even vaguer than Obama’s. He’s stated that keeping American troops, stretched to their limit by repeated deployments, in Iraq 100 years would be, quote, “fine with me.” He referred reporters asking how many homes he owned to his staff.

    Obama’s impressive eloquence is the talk of the globe, but it may yet prove to be the words out of McCain’s mouth that put the Democrats back in the White House.

  • susan

    Correction: I stated that the American budget deficit for 2008 is projected to reach $289 billion.

    It is not. It is projected to reach $389 billion.

  • susan

    oh, and I didn’t mean THe Simpsons’ Mr Smithers — I meant Mr Burns.

    Read the TIME interview. Everyone else will.,8599,1836909,00.html

  • Harry Flashman

    I do seem shrill don’t I susan, but rest assured it ain’t all hours of the day and night, it’s mostly daytime here, and it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do.

    But I do hate seeing mass collective hysteria masquerading as meaningful debate.

    Phoneys really bug me and the fact that so many people who should know better can’t see a big fat phoney when he’s speaking right in front of their own eyes does rather set my teeth on edge.

    Anyway it’s the last Friday afternoon before Ramadhan I’m popping out for a few beers while I still can. I’ll be back later hopefully in a more mellow mood to see how many more people have signed on for the Obama moonie cult. Actually I’m being unfair to Moonies there, they occasionally do think for themselves.

  • abucs

    Our big fat phoney is better than your big fat phoney !!!!!!

  • mac

    “Obama moonie cult?”

    No actually the moonie is McCain.

    This is a dude who in a 2007 interview forgot the make of his car … an aide had to inform him during the show that it was a Cadillac CTS.

    McCain’s gaffes aren’t simply misspeaking. The man is impaired. A product of age, never being bright to begin with (he graduated 894th out of a class of 899 at the Naval Academy) and the use of the sleeping pill Ambien for many years. He’s a liability. He makes the term “space cadet” seem generous.

    He mixes up Sunnis and Shias … stated on Good Morning America that Pakistan shares a border with Iraq … referred to Vladimir Putin as “President of Germany,” … keeps referring to “Czechoslovakia” when it in fact split in 1993 into Slovakia and the Czech Republic, confused the Sudan with Somalia … the list of bloopers goes on and on.

    At least Obama has all his marbles and hasn’t to anyone’s knowledge called Michelle a c*nt in front of reporters or told ape rape jokes to get a few sexist guffaws out of an audience.

    What retro John doesn’t know is truly frightening.

  • willis


    Just so we get a reference point on your bile-o-meter. What do you think of young Kevin Rudd, who recently beat another right wing senior citizen, albeit younger than John McCain, down in your neck of the woods?

  • Back and to the left.

    Back and to the left.

    Back and to the left.

  • BfB

    “If we had some eggs, we could have ham and eggs, if we had some ham.”

    Lying socialist bastard. His voting record (until he has it expunged) proves his socialist, eff the little man and women, attitude. His association with unrepentant terrorists and USA hating “preachers”, and don’t forget all of his financial tom foolery, show the real ‘man’.
    The foolish, nutroot left buy his ‘keep your eye on the spinning ball’ bullshit. A whisper thin veneer that the majority already have figured out. Not one bit of substance to this obie wan. He is a dangerous, fringe, wackjob. His record, associations, words, and actions show this.
    But let’s not let the facts get in the way. Look at his wife…….

  • Relax BfB.

    You and yours have nothing to worry about.

    The man codenamed “Renegade” by the Secret Service
    wont cause corporate America too much trouble

  • Mick Fealty


    I take it you mean phony in the JD Saleinger sense. You may be right. But phonies tend to do very well in politics. An incumbent is tied to his (or his party’s) record and a way that the challenger is not.

    Obama made a lot of promises last night, and I would have big doubts as to whether he can pull through on most of them. But I think you may be underestimating the weakness of the Rep position going into this election. There is an awful lot of negative messaging about flying about the place, not from McCain directly, but from plausibly deniable campaign groups raking over whatever dirt they can get.

    I’m not sure it will stick in the way it did to Kerry and Gore, particularly if Obama can get the electorate to think about what’s gone wrong and tie it effectively to the Republican party.

    The quad of Republican commenters on Larry King last night showed just how much they are relying on old narratives, particular of the Dems. I’m not sure that pointing to Obama’s inexperience is going to win any more than a counter on David Cameron’s relative youth and background in marketing is going to help Brown.

    If Obama refuses to get distracted, and keep some withering fire on the Reps record in government and tie it to the loss of American blue collar jobs, he may surprise all of us yet. If I were a Rep, I would not panic at this stage. But unless they can push some of the smears home, they run the risk of looking shrill and hysterical.

    Again, I rarely rely on Dem leaning media to judge these matters. So Brit Hume’s after speech asides on Fox last night should worry you guys more than anything I (as a foreigner) or CNN might have to say on it. He mentioned ‘landslide’ for the first time.

    That’s worth noting, and remembering.

  • Harry Flashman

    Indeed Mick, and in quiet dark moments my evil, blackened, iron clamped, conservative soul can occasionally look up and ask “shit, they’re not actually buying all that hokum are they?”, and I can shake my ugly knarled head and wonder at the sheer gullibility of my fellow man, but trust me I will never let any such doubts enter my discourse here on Slugger O’Toole.

    I have said before that Obama is an empty suit with a messiah complex, I still can’t work out whether he is Chauncey Gardiner or the Manchurian Candidate but I have to acknowledge that he’s in the home straight now and he might, maybe, crazy as it might appear, make it. One small consequence is an overlooked factor that I mentioned in this forum months ago; McCain’s unpopularity with grassroots conservatives. That’s not an issue anymore, it is dawning on the Republicans that this guy is serious, there’s no time for dissent, they’ll come out 110% for McCain now, he’s got the base sewn up now.

    I still believe however that Obama is a phoney, the Democrats pushed the same manifeso with Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry. Ugly white blokes couldn’t sell it so they hit on the brainwave of choosing a handsome young black dude with a pretty family but the underlying message is still the same; higher taxes, weaker America, bigger government, less choice, less freedom, more state control.

    Hey maybe I’m an oul’ neanderthal, maybe I know nothing, maybe I’m not impressed by fireworks and fancy meaningless rhetoric, who knows?

    I’ll still bet with my gut and my instinct says he won’t win it. We can all have a good laugh at crazy ol’ Harry on November 5th if I’m wrong.

  • Harry. You sure he’ll be around to win it on Nov 4th?

  • Jo

    “We can all have a good laugh at crazy ol’ Harry on November 5th if I’m wrong.”

    It’s no good, I can’t wait that long, I’m starting right now. 🙂

  • spoiler

    In several states, including swing states, polls show Libertarian candidate Bob Barr with as much as 11%(new hampshire) and in 4 other states above 5%. He could be the Ralph Nader of this campaign.

    I hope conservatives fed up with Bush’s spending and other mistakes don’t take it out on McCain.

    If only McCain had beaten Bush in 00…..

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh dear Jo, McCain’s gone and spoilt the party, have you seen his VP choice?

    Smart, good looking woman who just happens to be the only one on either ticket to have executive experience as opposed to bloviating in the Senate.

    It’s McCain by a landslide I’m afraid.

  • willis

    McCain by a landslide eh?
    I’ll take a tenners worth of that!

  • Mick Fealty


    As you know I cannot entertain such self indulgence on my own part. It will be interesting to see who in the end is suffering, as Pete puts it, from political psychosis: the Obamanaics, or McCain’s Reps. :o)

    Full marks to Henry 94, BTW, who counselled such a move when everyone was talking up the men left in the frame.

    But smart, good looking woman is as smart good looking woman does. I also doubt the extent to which you beleieve that Hillary will continue to pull against Obama (though the erratic behaviour of her husband before she backed the newly ‘crowned’ nominee begs questions).

    It never pays to buy into your own side’s propaganda too much.

  • Mick Fealty

    Agreed on McCain and the base. But this fight was never going to be about the base. It’s about who can filch from the others. That’s the upside in this for McCain in trying to get to Hillary’s disillusioned base.

    But it does negate one line of attack McCain’s people have been using against Obama:

    PS: Don’t you ever sleep?

  • Smart, good looking woman who just happens to be the only one on either ticket to have executive experience as opposed to bloviating in the Senate.

    Also happens to believe that God created the world in six days 6,000 years ago. Is (unlike a majority of the American people) anti-choice. Said four weeks ago that she didn’t really know what the Vice President did and didn’t really want the job. Is involved in an investigation over allegedly sacking an Alaska State Trooper who was going through a messy divorce with her sister.

    If she’s smart and telegenic, this may be a genius play. But if she’s another Dan Quayle, then I’m afraid Barack Obama is no Dukakis and McCain gets curb-stomped.

  • Greenflag

    Great sppech by Obama . Not since JFK have the Democrats had such an orator .

    This election will come down to the ‘economy ‘ With McCain voting against the minimum wage ‘increase ‘ not once but 19 times and with supporting Bush 95% of the time in both houses – he’s got little room to manoeuver out of Bush’s negative orbit .

    His choice of a female running mate from Alaska will bolster his support among social conservatives in the South and North West but Alaska (3 electoral votes) will not help him in Florida , Pennsylvania , Ohio or Michigan .

    The fact that he has picked a relative unknown instead of Romney or Pawlenty or Giuliani means that he knows that none of the latter the ‘old guard ‘ could win this election for him .

    His pick of a woman will be seen for what it is an attempt to outflank Obama with female voters .
    However Palin comes with ‘baggage ‘ not least being here ‘babbling in tongues ‘ religion and her anti gay marriage and anti abortion stance .

    Obama has fixed on the economy and on the growing ’emisseration ‘of the American middle and working classes over the past 8 years -it’s been going on longer but the Government statisticians have been ‘hiding ‘ the facts .

    At 72 McCain might not make it full term and thus there will be fundamental question for Americans who is better prepared to be President – Joe Biden or Sarah Palin .

    Even the Republicans know the answer to that question .

    A desperate choice by McCain but it’s not going to work .

  • BfB


    loss of American blue collar jobs?
    It’s the truth…factual, actually happened, verifiable.

  • BfB

    What a surprise a clueless airhead like you puts the two opposites in the same sentence….
    You’re in for a rude awakening…
    Oh, wait…you’d have to be in touch with reality…
    You’ve already started your “those bastards stole the election’ tome..haven’t you?

  • BfB

    anti gay marriage and anti abortion stance .

    Majority of Americans are in favor of these statements.
    Look at the votes on gay marriage…
    Oh, wait…that is factual evidence of the truth.
    It must be obamatized from the public record.

  • IJP


    Indeed… or was it?

    The psychologist in me is genuinely very interested in how Obama will do.

    Because the oratorial skills are without parallel but the content is, well, a big pile of nonsense. Apparently Obama’s going to increase teachers’ pay, smoke out bin Laden, deliver universal healthcare, improve the climate, deliver free ice-cream to all children without making them obese…

    I’m with Mick. It sounds good. But I hope he doesn’t believe all of it, I really do…

  • BfB

    When she ran for governor in 2006, she ran as an outsider and an agent for change. But she’s also an anti-abortion, pro-gun fiscal conservative — something sure to please the Republican base.


    I had to do it.


  • Mick Fealty

    Stick around bob, we are going to come back to this again and again… it’s not going to go away for a month or two…


    I’m looking forward to your reports home!!

  • BfB

    Couldn’t blast me out of here there Mick..
    I can get you a good room in Beantown….

    Did I mention Barack “The Silencer” Obama’s Gangland Assault on Free Speech ?

  • Dave

    Well, when McCain wins the election, the lefty dupes who support Obama won’t be able to squeal about the Republican’s buying it with money from vested interests, since Obama has more than double the war chest from vested interests that McCain has, with his low poll ratings thereby showing that you can’t buy an election with a bad candidate. Much like the mock Doric columns on the Denver stage, Obama is a hollow facade.

  • Greenflag


    ‘ But I hope he doesn’t believe all of it, I really do…’

    If he delivers on even one he’ll have done 1,000% better than what Bush/Cheney have delivered on their ‘promises’ before they were elected .

    The USA needs universal health care . It also needs major educational reform . This will never happen under a Republican administration . The Republicans will lose this election not because of the people at the bottom of the deck who are suffering most but because too many people in the Middle America have ‘discovered ‘ who’s been screwing them over during the past 8 years .

    Obama was right . McCain does’nt get it . But then neither did the Bush /Cheney/Rumsfeld demolition crew get it either .

  • willis


    Thanks, until now I did not know about the fine work being done by Accountable America to counter the disreputable work of Howard Simmonds, but your 9.29 post alerted me. Follow the link fellow left wing dupes and enjoy!

  • willis


    Looks like the blogsphere has already caught Sarah Palin trying to hide a few skeletons in her closet.

  • anti gay marriage and anti abortion stance .

    Majority of Americans are in favor of these statements.

    Except a majority of Americans aren’t anti-abortion…

  • BfB
  • BfB

    Palin knocks Biden on drilling, ties it to national security (she even takes a shot at Bush!!)


  • Wilde Rover

    Spare a thought for Mike Gravel, the former Senator for Alaska and presidential candidate.

    This was the brave individual that took to the floor of the Senate to filibuster against the Vietnam draft, someone who was not afraid of the forces aligned against him.

    And no one was his friend, even when he did his duty.

    Sarah Palin, by accepting this poisoned chalice you assume a heavy burden.

    You assume the mantle of guardian of the republic. It is a heavy cross to bear.

    The cards do not look good. But that’s your problem.

    But who knows, they were so sure about Auld Joe that they never really saw young Jack coming…

    (and yes, perhaps the only redemption is through the expression of the outrage of those who claim they don’t rule at all)

    (but then again, that’s your problem, because you have stepped up to the line)

    (and fair play to you, if you are doing this with a clear heart)

    (but if your’re not…)

  • Bob, from your link

    “the June 2008 poll finds 54 percent of Americans take one of three pro-life positions on abortion”

    Any skilled pollster can get most answers they want just by asking the right question.

    If a majority of Americans are ‘pro-life’, they have an odd way of showing it by also saying that they don’t want to overturn Roe v Wade.

    Just because you want to believe the world is a certain way, Bob, doesn’t mean it is. Does South Dakota Referendum 6 mean anything?

  • BfB

    Any skilled pollster can get most answers they want just by asking the right question.

    Let’s leave it at that. This will be resolved in the next four years.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Agreed on McCain and the base. But this fight was never going to be about the base. It’s about who can filch from the others.”

    Nixon said “you can’t win with just the conservatives, but you can’t win without the conservatives”, up until this point there was a widespread feeling against McCain among the base, a few adopted the line “get drunk and vote for McCain” but quite a lot were prepared to sit this one out. That’s all changed, the feeling is “let’s vote for Palin and if we get that other guy along with her well so be it”.

    Do not underestimate the anger of the Hillary supporters, she had eighteen million of them, she was passed over for a bloke who could only manage nine thousand votes, Hillary’s voters haven’t gone away you know.

    Palin is a remarkably shrewd choice, she has executive experience (ie she’s actually run something, as opposed to waffling on the floor of the Senate for three decades), she’s a mother of five, has a disabled child (she walks the walk on abortion in other words), she is married to a Native American and she is a lot easier on the eye than Joe Biden.

    When it comes to filching your opponent’s voters Palin does a better job than Biden, by a wide margin.

  • BfB

    Hmmm, let’s see.
    Governor of a State…(bordering two foreign countries)
    Mother of five children (one special needs)
    Good, hard working husband.
    Not over-educated but real smart.
    Has religion.
    Chooses life first for our most innocent of citizens.
    Protects her fellow citizens right to defend themselves..(2nd Amendment for you unprotected urpeens)
    Did I say real smart?
    She has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil”.

    And on the other side Joe Biden…..
    # Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
    # Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
    # Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
    # Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
    # Voted NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
    # Voted NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
    # Voted NO on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
    # Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
    # Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
    # Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
    # Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
    # Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
    # Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
    # Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
    # Voted NO on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
    # Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)

    And personally, having listened to him from time to time…he seems a bit dim.

  • latcheeco

    You forgot,
    # Was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it.
    # Tight with indicted Senator Ted Stevens (remember big oil was building him a house and buying his kids cars)
    # Met same old/mccain old only once before he decided she might one day soon be president
    # Is clearly a gimmick chosen as a result of what the the dems were doing and not on her own merits
    # Might just be an insult to many women who aren’t dumb enough to buy it.
    # Is pro-life; the sisterhood of the travelling pants suits are not.
    # How did Tina Fay of SNL disguise herself as AK’S governor?
    # Main achievement so far is getting extra bike helmets for the little town she was mayor of for 2 terms
    # Republican experience arguement now is drowning somewhere off the Bering Straits
    She will hammer Biden in debate though ’cause there aint no liberal way round how much hotter than him she is. Also she has to do is giggle and pout and put a finger on her lips when Matthews asks her a question and it’ll be a home run.

  • latcheeco

    “also” should read “all”. Saturday morning-sore head 🙁

  • Greenflag

    The choice of VP is the first major decision which any Presidential nominee has to make .

    By any standard Obama’s choice was taken following long counsel and the work of his selection committee. There are very few doubts among the majority of Americans that his choice was logical , and puts America first .

    Senator McCain’s choice of somebody whom he has met only once up to yesterday looks very much like ‘desperation’ . A vain attempt to ‘steal’ what he can of the Hilary Clinton vote in order to win the election . He could have picked Tom Ridge of Pennsyvania with 27 electoral votes or Romney or Pawlenty.

    Senator McCain could think no further than a ‘pretty’ face and a nice pair of pins for VP .

    As for his ‘Country First’ they should change it to ‘Country Last’

    It will be seen in the course of the next few weeks to have been a ‘poor decision’ .Some are already saying that the Republican top dogs have shafted McCain by ‘foisting’ Palin on to his slate .

    The women of America will not be bought off by this kind of political gimmickry . Not after the last 8 years

  • latcheeco

    I heard Cindi Mc hates her already for upstaging her in the former beauty queen stakes.

  • latcheeco

    Apologies to UMH but I think this political move goes something like “Hail Mary, full of Grace…”

  • IJP

    Greenflag [in response to your earlier response to me above]

    Yes, that’s a fair point.

  • abucs

    Still think Obama will win but ‘spoiler’ makes an interesting point about a split in the liberal vote.

    I wonder how many Hillary feminists have that little extra push now with Palin as a vice presidential candidate to switch to the republicans ?

    Nowadays, you almost want your opponents to get in so you can scream out – see what you’ve done to this country !!!!

    Something not quite right there.

  • Greenflag

    Harry Flashman ,

    ‘Palin is a remarkably shrewd choice’

    Indeed Harry -she’ll deliver Alaska , Utah , Texas and Kansas -states that otherwise would have gone to the Democrats 🙂

    Say goodbye to your ‘wager’.

    And now we read that Messrs Bush/Cheney/etc etc cannot make it to the convention because of a ‘hurricane’ . Would’nt do to remind the punters who was in charge of the Katrina fiasco .

    So popular are Bush /Cheney with Americans that John McCain and his new runner up beauty Queen will be disappointed that Dubya or the Shooter could take the time to spend even 30 minutes on the podium because they’ll be so busy planning and executing the New Orleans ‘rescue’ program.

    Oh yeah.