Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama and America

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Update (post-speech): And... wow. What a speech. Obama has given so many incredible speeches throughout the campaign, notably back during the primaries, but this one stood with the best of them -- and, given the setting, rose above them with a grandeur that surpassed even the lofty expectations going in. David Gergen just called it a "symphony," a "masterpiece," and I agree completely. Obama told his story, and talked about change, but he also took the fight to McCain and was extremely effective in drawing the key distinctions, in defining McCain, and in developing a new narrative for the race to come. And the ending, which drew on Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech from 45 years ago today, was deeply moving and profoundly inspiring.

It is time for change. It is time for Obama.

(Full transcript here.)

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Biden just made a brief speech at Invesco Field. What an incredible setting. Forget all the ridiculous Republican sniping today. It's not a temple, and we're not bowing down before anyone. This is about Obama, and about the Democratic Party, but it is also about the future of America, a country I once called home and that, despite some misgivings now and then, still love a great deal.

Indeed, it is because I love America so much, because of my American ancestry (I am one-quarter American, to be precise), because of my deep and profound connections to the country, that I call myself a Democrat and pay such close attention to American politics (and write this blog) even though I am a proud Canadian and now live in Canada.

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And it is because of my love for America that I support Obama.

And tonight... tonight is about America, about a new America.

We are indeed witnessing history. And what a privilege it is.

Let us savour it, and let us move forward with confidence and determination, with a sense of purpose but also with humility. There is much to be done.

Tonight is Obama's time and the Democrats' time, but is also America's time, the people's time.

And America needs Obama in the White House, just like the rest of the world does.

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Al Gore from earlier this evening: "[L]et us leave here tonight and take the message of hope from Denver to every corner of our land and do everything we can to serve our nation, our world -- and most importantly, our children and their future -- by electing Barack Obama President of the United States."

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