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I think one of the most important things about Obama's speech was that he spoke very intelligently. He wasn't condescending at all, but he clearly broke from the Joe Six-Pack style of recent years. It is refreshing to have a President who is really smart and values the advice of other smart people. That's how it should be!
I agree with earlier posts about the unifying tone of the speech. I particularly liked this part:
"And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too."
I also thought the beginning of the speech put into words just what the country was feeling:
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
Finally, Obama said:
"I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree."
That honesty and willingness to listen is the key to a great presidency. I believe that true leadership must begin there. Otherwise, it is just a sales job for a politician's pre-conceived notions.
I actually had students analyze his speech in my AP Language class. They were amazed when they analyzed the structure, rhetorical devices and tone of the speech. They found more allusions, examples of parallel structure and antithesis than I found. The especially liked his metaphor of the "arc of history". As a former history teacher, I'm so used to seeing a "straight line" of history that I thought his comparison of history to an arc that we can bend very unusual and thought provoking. Personally, I am still a little wary of an Obama presidency, but it is nice to see a President-elect who paid attention in his English class!
A President is more than speeches, he must have a moral character, and an understanding of all the issues, not just the ones he favors. I appreciate the symbolism of a black president. I have a black governor, we had a black mayor, fine. I hope that when he sits in the Oval Office, he is inspired to really govern and not just pose for pictures. He will be in a very powerful position, one that will influence our lives, our children's lives.
Obama's speech was not directed at me, someone who did not vote for his far left radical ideology. I know he said he wants to be my President. But actions speak louder than words, he is assembling a far left bulldog staff to get his policies enforced. His policies will not help me, they will hurt me, I am expected to give the government more of my hard earned income and not be selfish about it. ITS TIME TO BE PART OF THE DEAL, TIME TO BE PATRIOTIC, SINCE WHEN IS SELFISHNESS A VIRTUE.
I don't believe in these ideas. I don't aspire to be on welfare, I don't need the government to take my money to take care of me or anyone else. I don't want the government to tell me who my doctor should be. I pay for my own insurance and it is very hard on my family. But we don't want a handout. I have integrity, I work for a living, I don't want anyone to give me someone else's money.
Along with Pelosi and Reid, two more far leftists, they will have the opportunity to rush legislation through that will tax and tax and tax and tax, anyone who pays taxes will pay and pay and pay, they will take as much of our earnings as they can. Sad, very sad, it is not what makes our country great. Higher taxes mean death to the economy. No economy flourishes in an over-taxed environment. It dies.
He does not want to be fair to me, he wants to limit my rights, take my property, take away more of my hard earned income to give away to people who don't pay taxes and, and, he terrifies me with his talk of community services requirements for all citizens, even senior citizens. I work for a living, I have two jobs, I don't live in the old Soviet Union. I don't want to be forced, or my children, into one of Obama's Corps.
I pray that my country, the beautiful USA, the land of the FREE, WILL BE RECOGNIZABLE when he gets done with all his welfare programs and the Global Poverty Act. 85 billion a year for 10 years so that we can line the pockets of corrupt dictators in the most desperate countries where people are abused by their own leaders.
I don't understand why people don't examine his policies and see them for what they are, too radical, too left and too brutal for an average wage earner like me. I am not rich, everything I have I WORK FOR.
I don't think that his policies will help America, and I pray that we survive the potential threats or attacks from out enemies who will be more than happy to bomb us knowing that we are vulnerable, because our new president does not believe in a strong defense. I can hear the laughter from Iran, N. Korea and Russia, the snikering, the joy from Chavez and and others who hate us.
May God have mercy on America. Best wishes to the new President and his lovely family.
My first response was, "Now THAT is what a president should sound like." His speech, like his campaign, was a call to unite the people of the country, rather than trying to divide the country into "real" Americans, and, presumably, "those who don't think like we do".
For this occasion, only an oxymoron would be appropriate:
Prepare, America. Prepare. 'Nuff said.
I loved Obama's subtle references to King's speech. He alluded toK King's words, but made them his own. I was glad that Obama didn't get overly loquacious. I thought that it was tactful and beautiful.
On the other side, I thought McCain's concession speech was something very special. It would be wonderful to see those two men work together on the problems facing the country, although it's probably unlikely.
I supported McCain, but I thought Obama's speech was intelligent and well-delivered. I certainly hope that he rises to the occasion and acts on all the promises he made without making us a socialist country dependent on government hand-outs to feed our kids and pay our bills.
I'm an Obama supporter, so I might have a different opinion than a McCain supporter; however, I found his speech to be timely, appropriate in tone, and inspiring. He reached out to the ALL Americans for their support, which they must do, in his speech and called for unity. The entire evening was historical, no matter who one voted for, so it was something that was truly amazing to witness and that should be appreciated for such.
I do agree not only that Barack Obama is a great public speaker but I must agree that his speech upon winning the election was great. However, I would like to turn the attention to some of his other speeches, which are nothing but idealistic. His "A More Perfect Union" speech looked like something out of a movie. To me, Obama is reminiscent of a young, African American John F. Kennedy, a great speaker without much political experience. I hope for the welfare of this country that Obama is as good of a president as he is speaker.
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