Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tomorrow's News Analysis Today!

I'm in Denver so that you don't have to be. In times of immense boredom, I've taken to writing news accounts of upcoming speeches, with the idea of putting them up against actual analysis after the fact. So far, I've done pretty well, I think. Here, for example, was my pre-fab analysis of Michelle Obama's Monday night speech, which I wrote earlier in the afternoon:

Can you imagine a better speech? A better First Lady? A better woman? If Barack is the savior of our world, Michelle is the savior of our soul. The way she bared her family for all of America to see, inviting us in, to join them. The strength and courage in her every word. Like Barack, America is lucky to have her.

And here's the account Andrew Sullivan gave afterward:

One of the best, most moving, intimate, rousing, humble, and beautiful speeches I've heard from a convention platform. Maybe she should be running for president. You don't need any commentary from me. This was a home-run. And sincere. Thank God that in the end, the truth struggles out there. Just look at her mother's face.

Pretty close, no? So now it's time to turn toward the main event. How will the press react to tomorrow night's Obama revelation? Here's one idea. Feel free to come up with your own.

The bar was impossibly high. This man has already given the three most seminal speeches in modern American politics. He has already changed our perceptions of the possible. And yet there he stood on this sacred day, the columns behind him reminding us of Martin. Of Lincoln. Of our best selves. And he told us the truth: That we are one nation. That we do not need to fear each other. That strength and bluster are not one in the same. America will be a different place when this man is president.

Because of him, it is a different place already.

Too over the top, maybe? We'll see if Sullivan or others can't top it . . .


The Mechanical Eye said...

Wow. A charismatic candidate versus a white-haired man promising more of the same. Let's make fun of the charismatic one, because he's so vapid!


Joe said...

There is a better template for analysis of Obama's speech. Anything Al Trautwig said of Nastia Liukin or Shawn Johnson when they won their golds, only substitute Texas and Iowa with Hawaii and/or Chicago and you're money.

And thanks for going to Denver so I don't have to. Jimmy the Saint sends his best.

Anonymous said...

Stunning. Simply stunning. This is the speech that changed America, that restored her to her erstwhile glory. Tears flood the eyes--and I am not someone who cries easily.

One forgets the native beauty of our founding commitment, and then one is reminded in words so powerful, so simple, so true. Mark my words: decades hence, we shall all look back on this speech and remember the brief shining moment when we were, truly, one nation, under God.

Anonymous said...

Indisputably the greatest political moment we have witnessed in many generations. Behold, America. You have been offered redemption. Seize the opportunity. Remind the world of the better angels of your nature. Now is the time. This is the place. Yes we can.

Anonymous said...

There are times when I despair of the future. America, I fear, no longer cares for her good name. In my darker moments, I worry that she has become a wastrel and a monster. That is what the Republicans have made her: a whore, a bully, a coward.

But the dark moments pass, and this is why. There is still goodness in the land. It lives and walks among us, calling us back to our better selves. With this speech, Barack has brought light to the hinterland. No honest person, no decent person, could vote against him.

Know hope.

TubbyLover69 said...

Hmm. I see that one Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard has taken a rather playful interest in my writing. He's inviting readers to pre-imitate my reaction to Obama's big speech tonight.

How sadly predictable. I don't seem to recall such high spirits when hundreds of trillions of dollars were wasted on a wholly unnecessary and counterproductive war, when thousands of innocent civilians were tortured to death, or when the Constitution was threatened with the eternal stain of homophobia.

PG said...

You can't parody this shit:

"It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.

What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rve Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check.

He took every assault on him and turned them around. He showed not just that he understood the experience of many middle class Americans, but that he understood how the Republicans have succeeded in smearing him. And he didn't shrink from the personal charges; he rebutted them. Whoever else this was, it was not Adlai Stevenson. It was not Jimmy Carter. And it was less afraid and less calculating than Bill Clinton.

Above all, he took on national security - face on, full-throttle, enraged, as we should all be, at how disastrously American power has been handled these past eight years. He owned this issue in a way that no Democrat has owned it since Kennedy. That's a transformative event. To my mind, it is vital that both parties get to own the war on Jihadist terror and that we escape this awful Rove-Morris trap that poisons the discourse into narrow and petty partisan abuse of patriotism. Obama did this tonight. We are in his debt.

Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.

I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Know hope. "

jim treacher said...

Wait... McCain has white hair? Screw that guy, then.