Thursday, September 6, 2012

The President's Speech

I'm biased. So I'll skip the overt hosannas. But I suspect history will ultimately judge President Obama's speech tonight as pivotal and defining if not one for the ages. His call for citizenship, the essence of democracy, was brilliant. So was the linkage to his iconic "hope and change" message. In 2008, candidate Obama said, "You're the change you've been waiting for." Tonight, President Obama said, "The election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change." He then deftly cataloged the accomplishments -- from healthcare to education to ending the Iraq War -- that ordinary Americans made possible by electing him. "You did that," Obama said repeatedly. And here was a man, older and grayer, who has borne the burdens of office, and been humbled by them. "The times have changed, and so have I. I’m no longer just a candidate," he said. "I’m the President." Those words echoed like a thunderclap. More tellingly, he said: "I’m far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, 'I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.' ” The contrast is clear. Romney wants a job. Obama wants to make history.

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