President Barack Obama‘s speech last night “was disappointing until, with about ten minutes to go, [he] acknowledged disappointment, and so began its rise,” writes Esquire‘s Tom Junod. “The times have changed — and so have I,’ Obama said. ‘I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the president.’

“Of course, he was reminding us of his power; the fact of his presidency has become an argument for his presidency. But he was also reminding us that as a candidate who rose to power on the politics of pure potential, he is, as president, a fallen man. ‘And while I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together, I’m far more mindful of my own failiings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, ‘I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.'”

“This was where the speech turned, and became, in its statement of humility, a statement of rousing power. ‘I ask you for your vote,’ he said, and his commonplace words had a beseeching quality that put them outside the realm of political performance. He had failed to transform his office, and failed to transform our politics, but he sounded fully aware that he had been himself transformed.'”

“I wrote a few days ago that if the Democrats could maintain the enthusiasm they showed on the first day of their convention for all three days, Mitt Romney would be in serious trouble,” Politico‘s Roger Simon wrote this morning. “They did, and he is.

“Democratic enthusiasm — real fire-in-the-belly enthusiasm — is a killer for Romney for one big reason: There is no sizable pro-Romney movement in this country. There has been a sizable anti-Obama movement.

“There are relatively few Republicans deeply in love with Romney. There never has been. Romney won his nomination by being the most electable general election candidate in a weak and whacky primary field. He won, in other words, not by devotion, but by default.

“His campaign is fueled by dislike for and disappointment with Barack Obama. That dislike and disappointment is real.

“In 1996, the last time a Democratic president ran for reelection, there was a significant anti-Bill Clinton movement in this country. This was before the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But a lot of right-wingers hated Bill Clinton and felt he was guilty of unspeakable crimes like murder and drug-trafficking. That didn’t mean there was a significant pro-Bob Dole movement, however. And Clinton won easily by 8.5 percentage points.

“This is not 1996, the economy is bad, the cast of characters has changed and nobody is going to win by 8.5 percentage points. But the dynamic is the same: It is harder to turn out a vote against someone than a vote for someone.

“Anger is not a movement. Disappointment is not a cause. And passionate support is an antidote to both.”

  • Still Ray

    They’re right…. it’s NOT just a river in Egypt.

    When **JOE BIDEN** gives a better speech than you, doesn’t that say absolutely everything that needs to be said?

    It’s over. Just let it go, walk away, and find something else to write about.

  • Ray DeRousse

    It was a fine enough speech. No, I didn’t think it was better than Biden’s speech and his false-sounding tears.

    However, Obama has done little to really respond to or underline the Republican lies against him (about the economy being worse, etc.). This convention did an excellent job at that (particularly Clinton on Wednesday), but I would’ve liked Obama to really drive that home in this speech given that it was probably the most-watched moment of the convention. Because HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO wasn’t on.

    Still, Obama’s speech was full of vision, one more akin to a speech by MLK than a politician laying out his plan for America. There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess, as long as he learned that words of hope don’t get things done across the aisle.

  • Joseph Alexander

    Both Obama and Romney are not much more than political salesman.
    Obama is better at it than Romney. Clinton is the best of them all.
    But in the end they’re hustlers and have all the virtues of any salesmen, which is virtually none. They only want to make the sale.
    What matters is whether you really want what they’re selling or whether they convince you that you want it.

    The product that Obama was pitching last night is the same vacuum cleaner he slickly sold us 4 years ago. You know the one, that never seems to vacuum up all the dirt.
    Well he’s trying to sell it to us again.
    But this time the buyers are little more wary of this charming huckster and his bag of tricks.
    And because of this, I think he will lose the election. It’s not that Romney will win, as much as that Obama will lose.

    Shortly after he is out of office, get ready for all “the witnesses to history” to safely come out into the light and tell the truth about the deposed Hustler-In-Chief. It will be harsh and startling. And I believe it will damage the democratic party for decades. Bob Woodward, as usual, is ahead of the curve on this.

    And for what it’s worth, I thought Kerry’s speech was better than both Obama and Biden’s.

  • Movie Watcher

    The speech with the jobs report this morning isn’t good for Obama. I think he will win, but since it’s going to be close, you know Fox/Talk radio will be trying to push the voter fraud thing. But at least it gives them 4 more years to bitch!

  • Ghost of Kazan

    @Joseph Alexander: Obama is Hooverific!

  • bluetide

    The section on his failings was the only interesting or new thing in the speech. After sleeping on it, I’d give it a solid B+. Clinton’s was an A. The difference is that Clinton did something really unique in American politics and gave a long, policy-oriented speech that people actually listened to (people not watching Honey Boo Boo). And it worked. Obama, I thought for a moment, was on the verge of doing something unique for himself: stepping down from the professor/preacher style to genuinely empathize with those suffering in this country. But it was just a moment or two and then it was back to more of the same. The same is clearly really effective for 48% or so of the country. But he’s going to need more moments like that to close the deal.

  • Ghost072

    I think Obama will win because, for once, the Democratic Party is more unified that the Republican Party. Romney and Ryan don’t even appear to agree on what needs to be done to balance the budget (although it is hard to say for sure, since Romney refuses to say anything specific). Romney is basically trying to run for President by saying “I’m not that guy,” while refusing to say who is actually is. This is not a winning formula.

  • jasonb

    Obama is a smart man with a terrible job. He’s never going to do all the progressive things I want, but then I’m not an infant like Dulouz Confuse. And if you want to be reminded how better off we are, I suggest you go play a long clip of Bush Jr addressing the nation.

  • SaveFarris

    The jobs report is the reason for the disapointing speech. Obama already knew the number by the time he spoke and he knew he couldn’t talk up what little accomplishments he had without making himself look the fool less than 12 hours later.

    This was Obama’s last, best chance to change the dynamic of the race before Romney unleashes the Kraken of tv ads that he’s held in reserve till the conventions ended.

    Obama’s got nowhere to go but down.

  • Mr. F.

    Hopefully after this week, Romney has learned he should mention the troops when he makes his concession speech.

  • nakedman

    Lots of confirmation bias by the conservatives here.

    Your boy Romney is an empty shell of a human being. The fact that you want Romney in office says so much about all of you.

  • Mr. F.

    “Lots of confirmation bias by the conservatives here.”

    Here, at H-E? Try the media itself. Is it that surprising that right-leaning commentators are talking about how disappointing Obama’s speech was, and left-leaning commentators think it was effective and moving? Confirmation bias is a two-way street.

    “Your boy Romney is an empty shell of a human being. The fact that you want Romney in office says so much about all of you.”

    That’s misleading on your part. I don’t think a majority of Republicans are “pro-Romney” as much as they are “anti-Obama.” They don’t like his policies, so why *wouldn’t* they want him out of office? Ghost072 is right — Romney was counting on winning by default — by being the “not Obama” in the race. That might be enough. Probably not. But NONE of the right-leaners on H-E have ever, to my knowledge, talked about what a fantastic and inspiring candidate Romney is — it’s all about what a bad candidate Obama is, which is why Romney needs to win.

  • Travis Actiontree

    I know it’s tired saying that “these days” it’s all about razzle-dazzle and being telegenic, good-looking and charming, and Lincoln wouldn’t have a prayer now, yadda yadda.

    But it really is true.

    i.e. Take a good looking, confident, fiery, (preferably minority or woman or both), little known politician….let them give a terrific speech at your convention….and then…. (don’t worry too much about experience or past) and VOILA! You have a “rising star”! A “person to look out for”! A “future President?”!

    (see: Obama in ’04, Marco Rubio, Julian Castro, Mia Love etc, this year)

  • Travis Actiontree

    Lord I feel sorry for the poor interns who were in charge of mopping up the drool at the MSNBC booth.

    Not to mention the poor sap who’s job it was to wave the ammonia capsule under Chris Matthews’ nose every time he got woozy.

  • SaveFarris

    I don’t know Travis: if it wasn’t for Matthew’s ammonia intern, we might never have gotten the classic “Bill Clinton knows how to f*ck Martian chicks” riff.

  • jasonb

    Save Ferris projecting the outcome he wants as is the wont of today’s absolutely disconnected GOP.

    Going down!

    “President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party look as if they are getting at least a preliminary bounce from their convention. Today’s (Friday, Sept. 7) Gallup Daily tracking update puts Obama’s job approval rating at 52%, the highest it has been since May 2011, after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Obama has also moved to a 48% to 45% lead over Mitt Romney among registered voters in the election tracking, up from Obama’s 47% to 46% margin over the last nine days.

  • Travis Actiontree

    Go Team!

  • jasonb

    Travis again evading reality with a non-sequitor snark.

    It’s like you’re talking to a chair.

  • Travis Actiontree


  • jasonb


  • Travis Actiontree

    Good point Farris!

  • DuluozGray

    jasonb, tell me, is it easy to be so dumb, or do you really have to work at it?

    Between you and nakedman I don’t know who is the worse unthinking, partisan, water carrying, kool-aid drinking sheep.

    Let’s call it a tie. You guys represent the absolute worst of politics.

  • Sasha Stone

    “When **JOE BIDEN** gives a better speech than you, doesn’t that say absolutely everything that needs to be said?”

    Ugh. Poor Jeff. All of that hard work playing to this kind of crowd. How depressing can you get. If I had to deal with this kind of wingnuttery every day I would quit. Obama’s speech was out of the park. Sorry to disappoint you. Whatever hatred you have for him dig it up from the bone you buried in the backyard because it has nothing to do with what happened last night.

  • jasonb

    You guys represent the absolute worst of politics.

    You’re a frothing bigot birther who tells everybody to FUCK OFF, calls women “cunts” and you imagine yourself the victim of daily conspiracies in which you’re under attack all day by LEFTISTS or something.

    To sum up your idiocy in your screed:

    “I love being white. LOVE IT! I can walk down the street, spit on the sidewalk, and no one says shit. White people are still in charge, and will continue to be in charge. Who gives a fuck if whites are a minority in 50 years, I’ll be dead. This is a GREAT time to be a white guy.

    Amazing how none of you find it weird that Obama has paid millions in lawyer fees to keep so much hidden. Such as: his passport records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, U. of Chicago articles, Illinois State Bar Association records, Illinois State Senate records and schedules, medical records, Obama/Dunham marriage license & divorce documents, and Soetoro/Dunham marriage license & adoption records.”

  • Travis Actiontree

    “Obama’s speech was out of the park.”

    “You’re hired!” – Guy Who Runs MSNBC

  • DuluozGray

    jasonb, still telling lies, as your team likes to do, about me being a birther. Provide some proof you little mendacious cunt. You find quotes for other shit easily enough, but not that one. Why not?

    And yes, I LOVE BEING WHITE! Why shouldn’t I? I was born into the dominant power structure in our society. Cops don’t bother me. Salespeople don’t hound me. It’s awesome.

    And why do you blame me if Obama keeps his college records private to hide the fact that he applied to the schools as a foreign exchange student?

  • phantasmata

    But in the end they’re hustlers and have all the virtues of any salesmen, which is virtually none. They only want to make the sale.

    So? Isn’t that what America is all about? When you reduce America to its core, that’s what it is: a big car lot. Calling American politicians hustlers and salesmen is like calling water wet. Everything about America–its freedoms, its liberties, its this, its that–are all just products. America lives and dies by the Free Market–the Honorable, the Beneficent–so of course all of its politicians are mere salesmen.

    And now, the fun part.



    And yes, I LOVE BEING WHITE! Why shouldn’t I? I was born into the dominant power structure in our society. Cops don’t bother me. Salespeople don’t hound me. It’s awesome.

    And yet, you still whine. You admit that you’re at the top of the hierarchy, yet you STILL act like the ULTIMATE butthurt victim. That’s extraordinary. Top fucking dog and yet life is STILL so unfair to you. Just imagine if you were some non-white subhuman miscreant half-nigger/half Injun–like me, for example–I mean, what would you do with yourself THEN? Ah, you probably wouldn’t have made it this far. You’re too weak. And doesn’t that bother you? When you look in the mirror and you see all that privilege and yet you still cry and cry and cry and rage and throw feverish tantrums about how life is just soooooooo unfair to you–I mean, doesn’t it make you sick? Doesn’t your own reflection make you ill? Doesn’t your own weakness bother you? At all?

    Privilege is wasted on the privileged, I guess. Take solace in knowing you wouldn’t have made it 20 feet in my shoes. Find comfort in knowing you’ll never experience the shit we subhumans have to wade through. You’re just an atrophied muscle.

  • Kakihara

    Ghost: “I think Obama will win because, for once, the Democratic Party is more unified that the Republican Party.”

    No, that was four years ago.

    “Romney is basically trying to run for President by saying “I’m not that guy,” while refusing to say who is actually is. This is not a winning formula.”

    He said, without any sense of irony.

  • DuluozGray

    Where am I the victim? Cause I point out the hypocrisy of society?

    And sub-human? Where do you even get this shit from? Are white people considered sub-human to black people who are proud to be black?

    Oh wait, I get it, phantasmata is projecting. His entire existence is one long slog of victimization, so he thinks everyone else sees themselves as victims, all the while denying that he victimizes himself.

    You guys can’t handle the shit I’m slinging. I need a “heavier” crowd that doesn’t live in a Left wing bubble.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Kazuo Hirai would like to thank you all for the effort you are putting into this scintillating exchange of political viewpoints. Together, we can help make Premium Rush a resounding success!

  • Travis Actiontree

    The name “Premium Rush” is what’s killing it.

    Might as well have called it “Totally Rad!”

  • jasonb

    ‘You guys can’t handle the shit I’m slinging.’

    Finally, some truth. You are indeed “slinging shit.”

  • MechanicalShark

    You need a crowd that isn’t HE, Duluoz. Please. Just go away and leave us to discuss movies. You add nothing substantial to the conversation. You don’t talk about good policy or governance or world affairs or solutions to any problem because you always KNOW. There’s no middle ground to reach between us, no common point from which we can establish trust and stop objectifying each other. Nobody here trusts you, and you don’t trust anyone here, so there’s an assumption of argument in bad faith. You’re convinced you’re somewhere close to the center, but you’re about as far from it as I am (though I’m way to the left of most Democrats on issues, hence why I tend not to identify with them despite voting with them most of the time). We have nothing with each other beyond shouting matches. And, I mean, I understand why you come here, it’s the same reason why part of me is happy to see one of your posts; it can be refreshing coming face to face with what you consider “the enemy” and spewing your opinions at them. Probably a huge ego boost, huh? and confirmation bias filters everything so anytime you come here, you become ever more further entrenched in your opinions and liberals here become ever more liberal. There’s no value to anything we say to each other though. So, following this post and the post on the Clinton speech, I’m done responding to you, Duluoz.

  • Redbeard

    “And why do you blame me if Obama keeps his college records private to hide the fact that he applied to the schools as a foreign exchange student? ”


    ALL school records are confidential, as per the FERPA act. No lawyers required. Now shut the fuck up.

  • jasonb

    Dulouz = Birther

  • DuluozGray

    Redbeard, keep carrying the water for Obama, you do it very well.

    Oh, question, he was president of Harvard Law Review right? As part of the law review, you have to write articles. Where are the articles Obama’s written? Thought so.

    Every prez releases their college transcripts, even Shrub, but not a supposedly super intelligent guy? Why not? What could there possibly be to hide in his transcripts.

    We know Romney is hiding shit in his tax returns, otherwise why not release them? But Obama has gone to great lengths to make sure his transcripts never see the light of day. Have you ever asked yourself why?

    MechanicalShark, do I know you? We’ve had dealings in the past? If so, sorry, you clearly weren’t interesting enough for me to remember you.

  • Redbeard

    “Every prez releases their college transcripts, even Shrub”

    Wrong again, fuck-o. Bush’s records, as well as Gore and Clinton’s, were leaked, but were not officially released by any Administration. The last President to release his school records was Carter.

    Your insistence that he’s gone to “great length” to hide them is just another in a long string of fallacious talking points from you, and is, as usual, not grounded in fact.

  • Kakihara

    Dubya may have mangled it, but the expression still stands: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.