Obama's Closing Argument Speech
by Todd Beeton, Mon Oct 27, 2008 at 09:23:33 AM EDT
Yesterday on Meet The Press, John McCain gave Barack Obama one final talking point. Of President Bush, McCain said:
"Do we share a common philosophy of the Republican Party? Of course," Mr. McCain told NBC News' "Meet the Press," which was taped in Waterloo, Iowa. "But I've stood up against my party -- not just President Bush, but others -- and I've got the scars to prove it."
At his event in Denver yesterday, Obama hit McCain on these remarks:
"I guess that was John McCain finally giving us a little straight talk, and owning up to the fact that he and George Bush actually have a whole lot in common," Mr. Obama said at a rally here. "Here's the thing, we know what the Bush-McCain philosophy looks like. It's a philosophy that says we should give more and more to millionaires and billionaires and hope that it trickles down on everyone else."
Obama's closing argument, which he's debuting in a speech in Canton, OH right now, continues to hammer away at this common philosophy but gets away from the partisan language that has marked many of his recent speeches and instead returns to the post-partisan messaging that put Obama on the map four years ago.
An excerpt (via e-mail):
In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.
In one week, you can choose policies that invest in our middle-class, create new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom-up so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.
In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.
He's attacking the Republican philosophy without calling it such and continuing to go after both Republican policies and Republican politics while also stressing McCain's ties to Bush:
And now, after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy. Senator McCain says that we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years.
But ultimately, the point of the speech is to move on from the ideological differences between the parties and to transcend these divisions, returning to the case Barack Obama originally made to the American people: that he represents deliverance from the politics of division and the politics of the past:
Understand, if we want get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old ideological debates and divides between left and right. We don't need bigger government or smaller government. We need a better government - a more competent government - a government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans. [...]
But as I've said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the change we need isn't just about new programs and policies. It's about a new politics - a politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and one another.
In contrast, it seems the best case John McCain can come up with to make on his own behalf is, belatedly, "I'm not George Bush" and "I'm not a Democrat," calling Obama, Reid, Pelosi a "dangerous threesome."
But what are you, Senator McCain? In the end, if McCain does lose next Tuesday, beyond all the pathetic mis-steps of his campaign, beyond the choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and beyond the environment that was inherently unfriendly to a Republican, McCain's inability to define himself or even to maintain a strong pre-existing brand, will go down as McCain's greatest failure of this campaign.
MSNBC is playing the speech live right now. Consider this a thread to discuss Obama's closing argument.
Update [2008-10-27 13:31:30 by Todd Beeton]:"That's how you play the game in Washington. If you can't beat your opponent's ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don't have a record to run on then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things. Ohio, we're here to say not this time, not this year, not when so much is at stake. John McCain may be worried about losing an election but I'm worried about Americans losing their homes and their jobs and their life savings. I can take one more week of John McCain's attacks but this country can't take four more years of the same failed politics and the same failed policies, it's time to try something new."
Wow, Barack Obama is on fire, as I've rarely seen him. Are you watching? Listen to how the crowd is reacting.
Update [2008-10-27 13:39:42 by Todd Beeton]:Watch it:
Update [2008-10-27 13:44:32 by Todd Beeton]:The Dow has surged more than 80 points since the beginning of Barack's speech. Just sayin'.
Update [2008-10-27 13:50:45 by Todd Beeton]:Barack brings his campaign full circle:
Ohio, that's what hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting around the bend; that insists there are better days ahead. If we're willing to work for it. If we're willing to shed our fears and our doubts. If we're willing to reach deep down inside ourselves when we're tired and come back fighting harder.
Hope! That's what kept some of our parents and grandparents going when times were tough. What led them to say, "Maybe I can't go to college, but if I save a little bit each week my child can; maybe I can't have my own business but if I work really hard my child can open one of her own." It's what led immigrants from distant lands to come to these shores against great odds and carve a new life for their families in America; what led those who couldn't vote to march and organize and stand for freedom; that led them to cry out, "It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter."
That's what this election is about. That is the choice we face right now.
Don't believe for a second this election is over. Don't think for a minute that power concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.
Update [2008-10-27 14:8:42 by Todd Beeton]:This speech, to me, in both content and delivery, rivals the best of Barack's primary night speeches, Iowa and New Hampshire come to mind. There are parts of that speech that will be instant YouTube classics. Will post when they become available.