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Klein: Obama’s Speech ‘Very Tough’

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech tonight wasn’t what people have come to expect from a Barack Obama speech. It wasn’t filled with lofty rhetoric or grand cadences. It did not induce tears or euphoria. It didn’t have the forced, kitschy call and response tropes — “and that’s the change we need!” — that defaced nearly every other major speech at this convention. At 43 minutes, nailing his dismount at 10:53 pm, it wasn’t even very long. It was lean, efficient, practical and very very tough.

It was the perfect speech for a skeptical nation. In some ways, the heart of it was near the end, when Obama directly confronted a country that has lost faith in government — and an opposing party that preys on that cynicism:

“I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what — it’s worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it.” 

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August 29, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment