The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Whose convention was more successful? Obama

As Senator Barack Obama made his way up to the podium during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, the sounds of U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” set the mood, its growing tempo similar to Obama’s historic rise to candidacy. The massive crowd, and indeed people all over the world, sat on edge, waiting for the man to speak, and ultimately saw him successfully energized his party and undecided voters.

He began by saying thank you to particular people, placing a particular importance on healing his relationship with the Clinton family, showcasing his endorsement from the Kennedy family, and promoting Vice Presidential pick Joe Biden. It was necessary, but nothing out of the ordinary.

With those out of the way, Obama began to do what he does best: inspire. His words on the American dream were not just convincing, but believable. His words about poverty and issues facing the lower and middle classes struck a chord in the heart of many. It evoked the first of many cheers from the crowd.

Capitalizing on the crowd’s ever-growing excitement, he powerfully slammed the economic analysis from rival John McCain’s advisor that called Americans “A nation of whiners,” citing a working class that continues to work because people need them to, even though their job security is at risk more now than ever.

His stance on terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and peace throughout the world through direct diplomacy was stronger than ever before, and his well-chosen words on these subjects could capture many undecided voters.

The closing points of his speech were dramatic, humorous, endearing, and exciting all at once. They summarized his speech with a perfect exclamation point causing the crowd to again cheer relentlessly.

Obama’s speech was great, and exactly what people have come to expect from him. Many may criticize his speech for not introducing anything new, by resting on his past laurels and playing it safe. However, for a campaign as groundbreaking as Obama’s has been so far, this didn’t seem like a rest, but a culmination of everything he has spoken about in the past.

Obama’s speeches have always evoked visions of an achievable utopia, of the kind of world that has seemed out of reach to so many for so long. However, his earlier speeches also sounded like he was fighting for his place, like a hungry dog trying to get the last piece of meat.

The reason this speech was so different is because he no longer sounded like the underdog trying to prove he could handle the position. He sounded more than ready to win, to inspire, and to lead. More than John McCain, Obama sounded like the next president of the United States of America.

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