DNC: Obama flying a mile high after acceptance speech
August 29, 2008
DENVER ” In his official introduction to the country as the Democrats’ candidate for president, Barack Obama wasted no time going on the offensive, peppering his typically rich cadence with jabs at his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain.
He tackled specifics, talking about a 10-year, $150 billion renewable energy plan to create 5 million jobs and end American dependence on imported oil, and discussing tax cuts that would provide relief to the middle class.
And he talked about his history, including the grandmother and single mom who raised him, whom he called his heroes.
During the past few days, Obama’s campaign battled media expectations that other speakers at the Democratic National Convention ” namely, his primary rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and her former-president husband ” would overshadow his week. Then, the day he was to accept the nomination, they moved to quell Republican ridicule of a set meant to evoke the Lincoln Memorial, which McCain’s campaign dubbed the “Temple of Obama.”
But Thursday, before a crowd of more than 75,000, it was finally Obama’s night.
Taking the stage after a biographical video and to a Raiders-Broncos-worthy deafening roar, Obama let the crowd cheer for a moment, pivoting at the podium to applaud them, too. He finally calmed the cheers, which evolved into a chant of his slogan and call to arms, “Yes We Can,” but then he got down to business.
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Any Obama speech features the kind of soaring oratory that launched his career, but Obama quickly went on the attack, saying his opponent, Sen. John McCain, voted 90 percent of the time with George W. Bush.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change,” he said.
He said the Republican National Convention would offer examples of how McCain broke Republican ranks to bring his own version of change, but he added that he would continue Bush’s policies.
“On Nov. 4, we must stand up and say, ‘Eight is enough,'” he said.
“I don’t believe that Sen. McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know,” he said, noting McCain’s definition of rich as someone making more than $5 million a year. “It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care,” he said. “It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.”
Obama accepted his party’s nod as the first black American ever to be nominated for the nation’s highest office on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the historic moment was not lost on attendees and organizers.
Though McCain’s campaign mocked the stage design, which evoked the Lincoln Memorial or the colonnades of the White House, and though Obama spent much of his time on the offensive, McCain honored his rival in a TV ad.
The campaign spent a sizeable amount of money to air an ad in several battleground states congratulating Obama on the historic occasion.
In the ad, McCain says it was “truly a good day for America.”
“Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations,” he says. “How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it, but tonight, Senator, job well done.”