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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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