Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our better history: Thoughts on Obama's half-hour prime-time TV ad

By Michael J.W. Stickings


Okay, I have to comment...

I thought that was excellent: the focus on the economy, on the middle class, on his personal story, a story that is so profoundly American, on a strong foreign policy that focuses on the real threats and that restores America's standing in the world, on the themes of hope and change that have come to define Obama's run for the presidency from the very beginning.

And, once again, as in the debates, he presented himself as a strong, determined leader with a bold vision, certainly not someone to be feared, certainly not the caricature the other side is making him out to be.

He spoke directly to the heartland, directly to the American people, not to those allegedly real or unreal Americans, not to blue-state or red-states ones, not to Democrats or Republicans, but to everyone.

The imagery was stunning throughout.

And the transition to the live event in Florida was fantastic.

Compare that to the anger and bitterness coming from the other side.

Compare Joe the Plumber, the new McCain-Palin mascot, a man who spews partisan ignorance, to the good and decent people whose stories Obama told tonight, like the Louisville couple who work for Ford, the husband only every other week, the wife laid off, and who are having trouble making ends meet for their family, stuggling like so many others all around the country.

Compare Obama's supporters, those at the rally in Florida, those who were in Denver for his acceptance speech, those who have been at his events all along, to the venomous mobs that show up to McCain-Palin rallies and lead the procession of hatred.

I wrote a few days ago that I have been deeply moved by Obama, and tonight was no exception.

There were times, as a husband and father myself, when I was almost moved to tears.

I was listening to a Buffalo radio station on my way home from work today, and the hosts said they weren't going to watch Obama tonight. They've simply had enough of the whole partisan campaign, because all there is on both sides is misrepresentation.

That's a common sentiment out there, no doubt. Many people see politicians, all politicians, as liars, or at least as deceivers. I am not one of them.

Similarly, many of us who follow politics closely -- reporters and pundits, analysts and pollsters, bloggers and junkies -- have become desensitized, losing the capacity to be deeply moved. This was the point of the post I wrote a few days ago.

No, there's nothing wrong with harbouring some healthy cynicism, or being non-partisan, or examining the race from a dispassionate perspective, but there is something wrong when cynicism or -- what is so common to the professional punditocracy -- smug condescension takes over.

Don't let yourselves succumb to numbness, to desensitization, to detachment, to disengagement.

Keep your hearts and minds open. This is an incredible time for America and for the world.

And it is time for Barack Obama.


UPDATE: See my pal Joe Gandelman's very positive review of the "infomercial" here.


Here it is, in full:

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  • It was a great close and extremely well done. As I've said before, books will be written about this campaign.

    By Blogger creature, at 9:58 PM  

  • I completely agree...I was worried that after so many months of campaigning, it would feel different to support Obama now than it did before. But today felt like the first time I heard Obama speak in 2004, except today we have real hope for change.

    By Blogger Grant Haws, at 10:01 PM  

  • My wife and I were at the live event in south Flori-DUH, at the Bank Atlantic Center, along with 20,000 other Americans of every color, age, and ethnicity. This is the second time we have heard Obama speak live, and it is something that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. As I have posted before, Obama will be the next president of the U.S. if the numbers are so overwhelming that Diebold and the rest of the voting machine companies will look too suspicious stealing yet another election.

    By Blogger Bob's Blog, at 7:01 AM  

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