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Tuesday · July 27 2004

Text of Barack Obama's speech
This was brilliance. He delivered effortlessly, especially toward the end when he hit stride. Obama met the high expectations with an imaginative and compassionate speech. One of the pundits on PBS described it, “like watching Tiger Woods play golf.” Considering Tiger's recent struggles, maybe Lance Armstrong is a better comparison.

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America — there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

If you have RealPlayer, you can watch the video of the speech.

As much as I admired this performance, I'm confused how this text will sit next to John Edwards' “Two Americas” theme that he'll deliver again tonight. The thought occurred to me while watching Edwards do his walk-through in the after hours coverage, and William Saletan spells it out in his convention blog at Slate.

Archived: Political » July 2004
What you had to say:
July 28 2004

Very good point.

I went back to read Edwards' "Two Americas" speech, hoping to find the link, but they really are two different messages. Obama speaks of "those preparing to divide us"; Edwards says they already have. I tend to agree with Edwards. Still, what's odd to me is that I like both of their messages. Is that wrong? Am I waffling because I'm such an Obama junkie?

July 28 2004

Obama actually made me cry during his speech last night... I don't think a politician has ever said something powerful enough to make me cry.

July 28 2004

Oh wow, thanks for posting the video link, Jay! I should have stayed home to watch the speech last night (especially since the Sox lost after nine innings of BORING).

July 28 2004

I like Mickey Kaus' quip: How About 1.5 Americas?

July 28 2004

I had very high expectations for his speech, and was still extremely impressed. He did an amazing job.

July 28 2004

Watched the speech with the rest of the Institute last night. Sasha & I were very moved by Barack. He's is the first politician since becoming a registered voter that when I hear him speak, I don't think he's a criminal. I look forward to many, many years of Mr president.

© 2004 Jason Keglovitz