At first I wasn't sure what I thought about Barack Obama's acceptance speech last night. But as I've considered it more, I've decided that I think it was exactly the right speech to give.
While I've seen tons of Obama speeches, for many people this was going to be the first real introduction to him. This is where they would get to see the candidate himself rather than read what other people say about him. I think that he seized that opportunity as best as was possible.
True, there were no "Yes We Can!" moments or "Fire it up! Ready to go!" chants, but that wasn't really what this speech was about. The crowd was already fired up and ready to go and the yes we can chants started right when he walked on stage. So all that stagecraft stuff was taken care of. This was Obama's chance to draw the line in the sand and define what this election was going to be about.
He talked about the promise of America and what it means to be American. He did his usual spiel about being united for change. All of this I've come to expect from Obama's speeches and he didn't fail to deliver.
What Obama also did in his speech is take on John McCain as directly as I've ever heard him. Obama spelled out what his vision for the next four years looks like and what his plans are for getting us there. Someone coming to the speech last night only knowing what they'd read about - that Obama was a foreign-seeming elitist who gives light airy speeches light on substance - was going to get a surprise. Clearly, this man is ready to be president.
Of course, it didn't hurt also that I agreed with pretty much everything in the speech. I don't know that our country is in as dire of shape as some of the convention speakers indicated it was. But we aren't in great shape either. After 8 years of George W. Bush, I'm ready for change. Last night, as much as any other night of this campaign, showed me that Barack Obama is the one to give that change. I'm fired up and ready to go.
Yes we can.