Jay Reding.com

Liveblogging Obama

I haven’t done a liveblog in ages, so what the heck. I was thinking of taking a drink every time the word “change” is uttered, but I’m starting to think that may result in a liver transplant.

I haven’t read any of the excerpts of Obama’s speech, but I’m guessing that it will be 90% “hope” and “change” and 10% trying to paint America as some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. Obama is trying to associate McCain and Bush because he knows that he can’t win against John McCain. If McCain is smart, he’ll be able to change the game next week.

UPDATE: CNN is saying that this will be a “partisan” speech… so much for uniting the country, I guess.

8:58PM CST: How many times has Obama been compared to Lincoln… talk about audacity…

9:01PM CST: They’re doing a video tribute to Obama now. Gag me with a spoon.

Then again, given his paltry experience, at least the video should be short.

9:03PM CST: Obama’s mother woke him up at 4:30am to do his lessons? Does that strike anyone else as ever so slightly odd?

9:05PM CST: These videos are always fluff, but it’s good fluff for the candidates. The video does a good job of humanizing Obama, but it seems to highlight his lack of experience.

Norm Coleman was briefly in the video. Whoops. That must have Franken annoyed.

9:08PM CST: Barack talking about his mother’s death was touching. I also loved the bit about the astronauts. Very humanizing, and a great message. Too bad Obama’s policies are so wrong.

9:11PM CST: Overall, this is a very good video. It does a good job of introducing Obama and setting a positive theme. But will his speech match it?

9:14PM CST: Can he can the “thank you” and get on with the speech?

This is not a good start.

9:15PM CST: He gives a shout out to Hillary? But will it heal the wounds in the Democratic Party? Everyone’s thinking about female voters, but that wasn’t all of Hillary’s bloc.

9:17PM CST: We finally get to substance. And it’s about him. For all the talk about Obama’s supposed humility, he sure seems to talk about himself a lot.

9:18PM CST: And here we go with the pessimism. McCain needs a truly optimistic message to counter this.

9:19PM CST: Obama goes after Bush. I don’t think that this will go over well with independent voters. This is Democratic red meat, not a speech for the general electorate.

9:20PM CST: The insinuation that the government did nothing for Katrina is disgusting.

This is a negative and arrogant speech. It is not hopeful, it is partisan and vicious. This could easily backfire, and I hope it will. We don’t need this kind of mindless partisanship.

9:22PM CST: This speech is an attack speech, and it is not fitting for an event such as this. This is a momentous occasion, and Obama is making it small.

9:24PM CST: My guess: this speech is turning off a lot of people. It’s becoming increasingly shrill and bitter. You don’t spend 20 minutes on the attack when you should be talking about your vision for this country. This is a speech for the MoveOn.org crowd, not Main Street.

9:27PM CST: Negative. Shrill. Lacking in vision. This is not the Obama that inspires. This speech is flopping, and I can’t see independents going for this. What was the Obama team thinking?

9:29PM CST: Obama’s video was beautiful and inspiring. This speech is anything but. How could such a gifted rhetorician sink to such lows?

9:31PM CST: The speech is presenting a vision, but it’s too narrow. He’s gone from attacks to a laundry list. Where is the vision?

9:33PM CST: Obama wants to cut taxes. We’re all Reaganites now.

In 10 years we won’t use Middle Eastern oil? Without more drilling? How? By using the snake oil Sen. Obama is selling?

9:34PM CST: If drilling is a stopgap, then Obama supports more drilling? Then what makes him different than McCain? Of course drilling is a stopgap, but it’s a necessary one. The Democrats don’t want to drill.

9:35PM CST: This is not about small plans. Except for the ones I just spend the past 10 minutes talking about. A bold plan would be school vouchers, Senator, not kowtowing to teacher’s unions. There’s nothing but small plans here.

I’m disappointed. This is the worst Obama speech I’ve heard. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is the time he should be hitting the rhetorical highs. Not giving us a laundry list.

9:38PM CST: I’m opening comments for this one. Play nice.

9:39PM CST: Each of us must do our part? For Obama, that means more government mandates.

I’ll give Obama this: he’s right on the importance of family, especially fathers. I like the individual responsibility part. but it’s just a footnote.

9:41PM CST: Obama goes for the antiwar line. If he wants to have a debate on national security, then let’s have it. Obama will lose.

End the war? The war is largely over. We won, and we won because we didn’t listen to small-minded people like you.

9:43PM CST: More attacks. Where is your vision, Senator?

I love how we’ve supposedly strained our alliances, when Europe has become far more pro-American than it was in 2003. And here Obama has been insulting our allies like Columbia.

9:45PM CST: Sen. Obama keeps making all these promises. He’ll really defeat disease?

This speech is 90% attacks and 10% hope and change. Guess I was wrong.

“They have not served a Red America or a Blue America…” at least Obama has one good line tonight.

But then he goes on the attack again.

What happened to Obama being a uniter? A post-partisan figure? This isn’t a uniting speech, this is a partisan speech.

9:49PM CST: Again, the implicit racism of saying that rural people can have guns, but urban people should not.

9:50PM CST: I’m really curious to see how this speech is going. How many times has Obama mentioned McCain? This wasn’t a speech about Obama’s vision, this was an attack speech. I think that Obama has seriously overcorrected here. Yes, the polls showed that Obama needed more substance—but Obama didn’t deliver that tonight. He replaced his hopeful rhetoric with attacks. I don’t see that working for him.

Invoking Dr. King just makes this speech smaller. Sen. Obama did give a speech full of fear and rancor—not the kind of unifying message that Dr. King gave us 45 years ago.

9:56PM CST: Obama ended on a strong note, but this speech was not the sort of speech that he needed tonight.

UPDATE: Obama mentioned McCain 21 times in this speech. If McCain is smart, he won’t mention Obama more than once or twice.