Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


We Are Not Traitors: Obama Scores Biggest Applause With Right-Wing Rhetoric

Bookmark and Share

Barack Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination was largely well-received and accomplished several things he was perceived to need to do:

· Acknowledge Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s efforts to rally her supporters to his side.
· Provide some specifics as to the blueprint of his presidential agenda.
· Show he can take on John McCain, without completely abandoning his fight against ‘politics as usual’ and his crusade for bringing change to Washington, D.C.
· Appeal to the African-American community by recognizing the historical significance of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream" speech through a message of unity; that is to say, by not appearing to campaign as a ‘black candidate’ (in fact, MLK was not even mentioned by name once in those passages).

All of these components of Obama’s speech generated a favorable reaction from the large crowd assembled in Denver, to be sure. But what seemed to truly get Democrats on their feet was none other than the sort of fire and brimstone rhetoric that comes straight from the GOP playbook.

Regarding the fight in Afghanistan, although Obama implemented a liberal-friendly euphemism for ‘kill’ (‘take out’) the crowd roared at this hawkish passage:

“I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell, but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.?

Obama also cited, to a favorable reaction, Democratic presidents in America’s history who were, essentially, “tough guys? when it came to foreign policy:

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.?

And, finally, in perhaps Obama’s most passion-filled delivery of the evening, he recognized the sacrifices our military makes to keep us safe:

“The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America, they have served the United States of America. So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.?

Now, all of these statements are far from controversial. Only the smallest fraction of Americans would not want our next president to kill Bin Laden, defend our country, and support our troops.

But these statements were crucial to the Obama campaign even though they were, generally, not the kind of statements Obama used during his primary campaign.

And that is because this was the quintessential ‘general election speech;’ delivered to show independents, conservative Democrats, and liberal Republicans that Obama too can be a ‘tough guy’ – just like a Republican. That is to say, Democrats are not traitors and will defend our country.

Previous post: 3rd CD: DFL Experiences Historical Bump in Presidential Election Years
Next post: Commentary: Why Picking Sarah Palin Was Smart Politics

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting