The Convention was a big success. Obama’s speech was pitch perfect. The election has been framed on his terms. Much of the immediate commentary doesn’t get how good the speech was, although there seems to be a consensus that in the battle of the conventions, the Democrats won, improving the chances of the President’s re-election. As a practical matter that the brilliance of the speech, with its purposive understatement and disciplined focus, is not appreciated is not really important. But I do want to explain how I see it. The closest commentary to mine that I have read this morning is from a usual suspect, E.J. Dionne.
I will write a post, deliberately considering the speech over the weekend. For now, note: the speech should be understood as it contributed to the success of the Democratic National Convention and the campaign ahead, as it, along with the other speeches at the convention, will frame the politics of second term of the Obama Presidency, and as it is part of the long term story Obama is telling about the American Dream in his project to reinvent American political culture.
Later today, we will post an important post from South Africa on Bishop Desmond Tutu with Tony Blair. For now, if you haven’t seen Obama’s speech yet, take a look, note the eloquence of the language, the presidential demeanor, the seriousness, the command of the moment and of the overall political and economic situation, the engagement with the partisan and the governance tasks at hand.