August 28th, 2008
11:15 PM ET
3 years ago

Amy Holmes: Obama hits right notes

Michelle Obama joined Barack on stage Thursday after his speech.
Michelle Obama joined Barack on stage Thursday after his speech.

As a former speechwriter for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, I heard some very important things that Barack Obama needed to include in his speech tonight.

He personalized, he humanized, he dramatized - that is so important for the listener and viewer to be able to connect with the person who is speaking.

Watch: Fireworks for the Democratic ticket

He also tried to turn the tables on John McCain by characterizing him as out of touch with most Americans' values - he's the one who is the elite, he's the person that is the greater risk in this election. And I thought that was an interesting way to try to take those attacks and turn them on his opponent.

He also attempted to move toward the middle ground - he talked about personal responsibility, that's typically something that conservatives and Republicans talk a lot about. And he also talked about "American exceptionalism" - I heard a lot of "we are the best hope for the world" - and again that's something that Republicans and conservatives talk a lot about.

Tonight, Barack Obama was saying the Democrats can own that too.

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Sara

    Pawlenty initially supported but later disapproved of the importation of less-expensive prescription drugs from Canada to be used with the state's MinnesotaCare health plan,[citation needed] and also as a means to band together with other states and negotiate lower drug prices. Many Minnesota residents traveled to Canada to get prescriptions filled, with Pawlenty supportive of their efforts to save money. However, the U.S. government put pressure on Canada to cease these practices and banned the importation of drugs from Canada in 2006.

    August 29, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  2. James in Ohio

    It was a beautiful speech, but based on his resume I still think he's the wrong person for the job.

    August 29, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. B.Brown

    Amy, I commend you for being able to place your GOP spin on hold and accurately critique what we who were sitting in our living and family rooms heard and felt tonight. Barack Obama is ready to be President and tonight I felt that the rest of the American people will agree with me.

    August 29, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Terrance

    In his youth John McCain was a decorated war veteran, while obama was smoking dope in his. Clear choice.

    August 29, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. Soldier for OBAMA

    AMERICA you heard it here first. I WILL NOT BE WATCHING JOHN MCBUSH CONVENTION!

    1. KARL ROVE is RUNNING McCAINS CAMPAIGN; pressure's LIBERMANN to REJECT McCAIN V.P Position

    2. HURRICANE GULSAV will force BUSH to not appear at Convention

    3. NY GIANTS will ensure that NO ONE WATCH'S McBUSH Speech

    4. MC-BUSH will NOT INSPIRE, he will stumble and he will also take sick!

    5. ROVE wants ROMNEY, McCAIN have to decide does he follow ROVE and pick ROMNEY or does he choose LIBERMANN or PAWLENTY and get crucified

    6. JOHN MCCAIN is a SNAKE!

    OBAMA 2008

    August 29, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  6. Cynthia

    I would not say it was about turning the table on Senator McCain – it was more about telling the truth as he and many Americans see it. As I see it, the Republicans and conservatives talking about we are the best hope for the world – well we are not well like around the world right now.

    August 29, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  7. madtown

    HOPE

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 29, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Dubya

    I suppose this is to make up for last night's comment......LoL!

    August 29, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Kev

    Finally, Democrats will not give in to right-wing arguments about morals, about strength, etc.

    Bluster is not strength. Instead walk softly and carry a big stick.

    Judgment is not morality. Instead, let's look out for one another and treat each other as we would be treated

    Morals and foreign affairs should be the two subjects that Republicans most fear.

    August 29, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Philip from Peonix, AZ

    What ever happened to that Republican preacher that wanted us to pray for rain? God answered his prayer with great weather, cool winds, and a group of people He chose to follow the His example. Don't ask God to do something that evil people would pray for. Shame on that minister to ask God to harm good people.

    August 29, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. S. Boatman

    Bill Orielly, Pawn Hannity, Rush Limpball, The Republican Spokespeople, . . . None Of Them Will Be Able To Spin This Speech Into Something Negative! The Speech Obama Gave Was Excellent. . . Period! Anyone Who Say It Knows It!

    August 29, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  12. Tayo, New York

    EVEN RIGHT THINKING REPUBLICANS KNOWS GOOD THINGS WHEN THEY HEAR OR SEE THEM.

    THIS GUY INSPIRES US AND MAKE US BELIEVE, AGAIN

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    August 29, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. Fred

    They will teach Obamas speech to schoolchildren in coming generations.

    and McCain's commercial tonight will be remembered as his consession speech.

    God Speed President Obama.

    August 29, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  14. Texas Vet

    I agree with Gergen, it was a masterpiece. For all the naysayers that rant he is an empty suit. Time to go back to whatever planet you came from.

    John McCain better find a Republican VP that can give a great speech. The Rove Dwarfs and all the McCain "experts" are not going to help..

    August 29, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  15. Griff

    The Right Notes.. From Mr 'One' Note...

    August 29, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Russell Hammond

    ...and very soon he'll debate a confused old man who can't even raise his arms more than chest high. Sad really.

    August 29, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Joshua College Station Texas

    Obama's speech points that Amy mentions here transcend party, and claiming that Republicans own those points and that Democrats are only coming to them secondarily is so weak. If Republicans own them, then why have they squandered their opportunity to implement them during their time in power? Why have they failed to motivate us to get involved? Obama rightly points out that the responsibility starts from the ground up, meaning with us, the citizens of the country, and not from the party. And he rightly observes that the trickle-down economics of Republicans are selfish and only helps those who have and never those who have not. We will vote for Obama because he inspires us to be involved and help each other. Republicans inspire us to ignore others and only help ourselves. It is a much weaker message.

    August 29, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. Young Republican

    Amy, will you marry me?

    August 29, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Tess

    Obama = All show, no go!

    August 29, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. Paul F

    I can see that CNN is at it again – closing down comments on the Obama story after 20 comments? Cowards.

    If the best president were the one that gave the best speeches, it would be Obama by a landslide.

    The reality is that too many of us just don't trust a 46 year old activist to run the most powerful country in the world. It's not a personal attack, it is a matter of prudence – I am 48, father of 2 grown children, owned 3 businesses and that gives me much more experience than Obama.

    Obama is a well educated, great orator, a guy yet to experience raising kids past their teens, has never owned a business or employed anyone. He is a multimillionaire, and lives in a mansion. None of this makes him qualified to be president.

    August 29, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  21. Jessica

    I definitely agree. You covered the basics of what made that speech so good. Oh and you're awesome Amy! you're my favorite political analysis person.

    August 29, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  22. You Gotta Be Kidding Me

    I wasn't impressed, like most of his speeches he was long on fluff and short on substance. College education is already available to anyone who wants one, those who can't afford it can take out loans like a lot of us did. If Obama is elected and implements his guarantee that anyone without insurance can get it at the same rates as Congress then as a small business owner the first thing I am doing is giving everyone a $1 an hour raise and ending the health insurance program I pay for and they can go to Obama for their insurance. America can't morally afford or economically afford a second Carter Administration, that's the "change" Obama is going to bring

    August 29, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. independent for obama

    obama was awesome! STEP UP REPUBLICANS! MAKE THIS ELECTION AN HONORABLE ONE! STOP THE HATE! STOP THE LIES! WE ARE ONE NATION ! INDEPENDENTS! JOIN ME IN SUPPORTING THIS MAN AS POTUS! HE IS THE CHANGE WE HAVE WAITED SO LONG FOR!

    August 29, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. Sandi

    I am so proud to be an American and a Democrat. I think we can take this country into a brighter future. McCain thinks we are fine the way we are. For someone who is about to lose my home and who have been struggling week after week just to feed my family. I must say I can't vote for McCain. Yes, McCain is a hero and a good man but I must see this country go in another direction. I won't last like this much longer. As Obama put it tonight ENOUGH!

    August 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  25. Don

    They can own that. Most Republicans and Democrats fundamentally want the same thing: a strong country that defends liberty and the promise of freedom. We just go about reaching those goals in different fashions.

    We can come together, there is common ground. Enough of the Rovian bs that has driven this country into the ground.

    August 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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