http://www.politicususa.com/en/5-Things-to-Watch-Obama-SpeechRarely has an acceptance speech been as watched and anticipated as Barack Obama’s acceptance speech tonight at Invesco Field. With this in mind, here are five things to watch for during Obama’s speech.
1). I Have A Dream Too – It is almost a given that Barack Obama will reference Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech tonight. What you need to look for is how Obama ties himself into this speech. Will he use himself as an example of what Dr. King was talking about 45 years ago, or will he lay out his dream for America? My guess would be the latter, as his wife’s speech on Monday addressed his back story.
2). Change vs Policy – The Obama campaign has said that this speech is going to go a little lighter on the soaring rhetoric of the primary campaign. It is always a risk to go too policy heavy, but it will be interesting to see how he combines his message of hope with clear policy ideas. No matter which path he chooses, you can be certain that he will tie it into a message of change.
3). The Economy – The major subtheme of this entire convention has been the economy. I suspect that Obama is going to appeal to the pocketbooks of the middle class. Obama would be wise to look at Bill Clinton’s 1992 acceptance speech to realize that the main theme of his campaign should be the economy. Obama has a chance tonight to recast himself as the man who can help all of those Americans who are struggling to keep their homes and their jobs. He has a chance to contrast himself with McCain and let the American people know that he “feels their pain.”
4).Attacks vs New Politics – Some, mostly media types, have been upset that this convention has in their view gone easy on McCain, but if Obama breaks out the knives tonight and slices up McCain, he runs the risk of destroying his image as different kind of politician. I expect Obama to contrast himself with McCain tonight, but don’t expect any strong personal attacks. This doesn’t mean that he won’t hit McCain hard. Just don’t expect any below the belt stuff.
5). Looking Presidential – This is Obama’s biggest challenge tonight. He needs to look, appear, and act like he is ready to be president. It can be argued that the biggest reservation that voters have about Obama is that he isn’t ready to be president. Tonight’s speech is his best chance to make a good first impression on the nation. Millions of people will be watching tonight, and many of them will be trying to imagine Obama in the White House. It’s Obama’s job to convince those people that he belongs there.