President Obama's acceptance address felt like a State of the Union address. Too long, too listy, too many promises—1,000,000 new manufacturing jobs in four years, 600,000 new jobs in natural gas, 100,000 new math and science teachers, 2,000,000 community college students in 20 years. The problem is we remember he said he'd cut the deficit in half as president. He keeps making promises, but he doesn't keep his promises, and people just don't believe him anymore.
There was too much about Osama bin Laden. There are some of us who have the old-fashioned notion that politics should stop at the water's edge. I found the bragging about killing bin Laden to be inappropriate; the president deserves credit but it doesn't belong in a political speech.
Gone are the days of hope and change, fired-up-and-ready-to-roll, and Yes We Can. And I think those days are gone because he knows we've wised up. We see through the code words—"healthcare choices" for women now means "abortion," for example—and we see through the cynical use of statistics. How many times this week have we heard about "4.5 million jobs created"? But we know that in January 2008, 7.6 million Americans were unemployed; today, 12.8 million Americans are unemployed. It's just not credible.
There was a disconnect between the screaming, crying delegates and the rest of us, watching on TV and waiting to hear what he'll do in his second term. Obama did not hit it out of the ballpark. By the end of the speech, he did hit his stride, just like he's done in the past, but it didn't have the same feel.
Clearly Obama fired up the people inside the arena. The question is, did he fire up the people who will make a difference in this election: young voters, undecided and independents? I doubt he did. He didn't make the sale.
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