Did big speech in front of big crowd pay off? Or should we all be hitting the snooze button?
By Jamie Miller
In many ways, Barrack’s big gamble paid off but his speech fell flat.
Some of the issues that the Obama campaign had to overcome speaking in front of such a large crowd included the crowd appearing “cultish,” — which it didn’t; applause lines being too long, — which they weren’t; and whether speakers would feel the need to scream into the microphone, — which they did. One thing that was sorely missing at the end of the speech were the balloons. Normally, people are popping, hitting, and playing with balloons at the end of the speech. This group looked lost when they all went on stage absent any balloons.
The other controversy leading up to the speech was the “temple” or the “Lincoln Memorial” back drop on stage. I think McCain’s camp made a mistake by calling it a temple. They should’ve conceded that it was the Lincoln Memorial and then hit Obama for being so arrogant that he would think that his speech has the same significance as Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Obama’s speech was given on the 35th Anniversary of that speech and fell well short of its historical significance.
All in all, it seemed that people were talking about the speech rather than the crowd, which was a good thing except that once again, Obama said absolutely nothing — albeit he said nothing more eloquently than any politician in recent memory.
One of the most poignant images of the night was the multiple times that Michelle Obama was shown. Each time the cameras focused on her, the potential future First Lady had a fierce look with pursed lips – the lone exception being when she was smiling when her children were introduced. While supporters could argue that it was pride, it appeared she was a power-hungry, elitist who was receiving her just rewards.
Obama showed during his speech that the criticisms against him are correct. He is naïve and not prepared to lead. His campaign has tried to make the connections between Obama and Ronald Reagan through many venues; but a video on YouTube (now playing here on Irreverent View’s homepage) in particular, gave some foreshadowing of the speech we heard Thursday night.
This was not a speech Ronald Reagan would have delivered. While the metaphors about America, the future, and America’s promise were right out of the Ronald Reagan handbook, Ronald Reagan would never increase the welfare state the way Obama suggested during his speech. Big ticket items including: expanding the GI Bill to “people who provide community service”; suggesting that people “on their own” would be better off in the cradle of government’s heavy-handed arms; a naïve notion that the tax burden should be carried by corporations and the five percent of the richest Americans to expand a laundry-list of government services; delaying drilling for additional oil while other renewable energy sources are discovered and put on-line. It seemed that Obama did little more during this speech than read his 30-second television commercials and press releases. Believing your own B.S. is a dangerous proposition for a politician.
Barrack Obama tried to sound a lot like Ronald Reagan, but he clearly is nothing more than a great orator who is a liberal senator, who delivered a liberal speech to appeal to liberals. Heading toward November, that is a failing grade. But he sure did deliver it well!
Jamie Miller is a political consultant specializing in political campaign management, strategic planning, public relations and crisis communications. He has been involved with running and managing political campaigns since 1994. E-mail him at: Repjam@aol.com.