The hugely successful Democratic National Convention concluded Thursday night with the headliner, President Barack Obama. The expectations for the speech were at an all-time high, given the successes of his wife Michelle Obama’s speech on Tuesday night and former President Bill Clinton’s speech Wednesday night. The president didn’t disappoint.
The message Thursday night continued the theme of a choice election based on the foundation of hope. Hope and change was the slogan of four years ago but last night’s hope is an evolved version which looks forward to America’s future. This year’s version of hope is one that has been tested over the past four years and that has risen to the many challenges facing the country. The speech was a combination of the critical importance of vision, values, and votes.
First the president, like all of the other prime-time speakers this week, laid out a clear vision and framed this election as a choice between two distinct directions for the country. The president laying out that choice for voters said, “when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children’s lives for decades to come. And on every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”
Those visions for the future were framed by the president as a difference in the values of the two parties. One party is for the people, actual people, while the other is the party of corporations who Mitt Romney thinks are people. The president wanted Americans to get the message that his policies are necessary to get America on the continuing road down towards prosperity and economic growth; a speech delivered in a mature way respecting voters and assuming they won’t fall for the cynicism of the country’s politics and sometimes silly season of the political campaigns.
The president asked his supporters to keep at it so that a second term could bring out continued improvement in a number of areas crucial to the nation’s success. “I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit, real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States.”