In what was described as the most important moment of his life, Barack Obama officially accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination last night.
While some people were seeking one of Obama’s soaring, rhetoric-filled speeches, last night’s showing spelled out his presidential plans as he told the roaring crowd he would “restore America’s promise.” And, yes, it was inspiring.
That promise extends beyond reviving our flailing economy, settling our energy crisis and resurrecting our trampled morality. It is, he says, about bridging the vast divides on divisive social issues, like the gays:
I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination… This too is part of America’s promise – the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
While Republicans may make fun of his optimism, declared Obama, he and his party peers “love this country too much” to keep going down the Republican’s chosen road.
Lashing out at rival John McCain, Senator Obama insisted he won’t take a “ten-percent chance on change,” a reference to McCain’s 90% agreement with George Bush, a man stuck in America’s past. Under his administration, the United States will rise again, said Obama:
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future.
Obama’s speech also includes direct reference to attacks on his character, like the oft-repeated allegation that he’s not patriotic enough. He scoffed at such an idea: “The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan play book. So let us agree that patriotism has no party.”
Here’s video of Obama’s speech, as well as his introductory biography, which, not surprisingly, focussed on his family’s heartland roots, rather than the Senator’s Ivy league education. Obama needed to – and, in most respects, did – put himself on the same level with America’s blue-collar worker, a population that he’s struggled to capture and must have wooed if he wants to win this November.