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. Kris K in CA

    The speech was the best ever. He is a leader and will be a great President. It was exciting and made me proud to be an American.

    August 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  2. Tom

    Finally someone who can restore dignity and intellect to the American Presidency. A country that has given the world Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy has a set higher standard than the minds of Bush and McCain.

    You are the leaders of the free world and bear a big responsibility, please take this responsibility seriously and elect a true statesman like Obama. In my lifetime (over 40 years) there's never been a more important vote.

    The world is watching.

    August 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  3. JACI

    NOW THIS IS A REAL MAN, A MAN FOR ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THEY ARE, NO MATTER WHERE THEY CAME FROM, AND NO MATTER WHO THEY WANT IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

    HE IS THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  4. Just Me

    YES HE DID! YES WE CAN! YES WE WILL!

    McBush underestimated Barack. Now his supporters are whinning about the speech Obama gave, stating Barack is going negative. Well McBush has been negative for a long time. Barack has been admirable in his response to the McBush negativity.........And now that he's shown his bite is much BIGGER than his bark the republicans have a problem with that.

    Well-----McBush!

    IF---YOU---CAN'T----STAND--–THE----HEAT---

    STAY----OUT----OF---THE----WHITE--HOUSE!

    SEEM TO ME THE REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING SCARED.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    August 29, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  5. DR

    Did everyone miss it when Obama threw down the gauntlet about the "temperament" to be commander in chief and his willingness to debate that? My bet is that the Obama campaign has the goods on McCain's notorious temper.

    August 29, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. Marie -Belts ville Md

    You knocked the ball right out the park senator obama.Maybe Mccain will heed to going to the caves to look for bin-liden because if he go the hell looking for him he might not come back.Great speech indeed a masterpeice......

    August 29, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  7. Griff

    The End of the Movie! E.T. Go Home. OBama.. Your No Hero in the USA... Or was it Star-Wars??? You are still no Star!!! Go Home Back to Kenya Obama....

    August 29, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  8. No McCain No How

    i can not imagine what the Republicans can say....from the Clinton's to Boden to Gore...what can McCain possibly say?

    August 29, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. Proud Democrat

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08. OBAMA HAS ALWAYS HAD HIS POLICIES LAID OUT GO TO OBAMA.COM AND MCCAIN.COM AND SEE WHO HAS THE REAL MEAT ON THE BONES. MCCAIN WE CAN'T AFFORD SOMEONE WHO THINKS THE EMERGENCY ROOM IS A HEALTHCARE PLAN. YOU HAVE SERVED THE COUNTRY BUT NOW OUR TROOPS SERVE THE COUNTRY AND YOU SURELY ARE NOT SERVING THEM.
    OBAMA/BIDEN 08/12
    OH YEAH MCCAIN CAN I STAY AT ONE OF YOUR 7 HOUSES. PROBABLY NOT RIGHT DON'T WANT TO GET IT DIRTY WITH AN ORDINARY AMERICAN!

    August 29, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  10. Lovely in VA

    WELCOME TO YOUR LIFE….THERE'S NO TURNING BACK…
    EVEN WHILE WE SPEAK…

    You know, I always prayed that someone, anyone, would step up and stand up for me and how I feel about, and live, my life. My friends and I have talked about it – all we needed was a 'imaginary' friend to speak up for us. God knows we, and in 'we' I mean the entire planet, need help. We are slowly sliding into total choas (FU Limbaugh) for real.

    IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE
    LIVING LIFE IN PEACE………..

    August 29, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  11. 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 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  12. Shasta

    Own it, Obama!!

    August 29, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. Southerner of Obama

    Best speech that I have heard in my life so far. Republican before but Obama fan now.

    Obama for the President.

    August 29, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  14. Jan from Iowa

    I agree with your remarks.

    What a wonderful speech and just what we all needed to hear.
    I am supporting Barack and Joe all the way to the White House.
    God Speed to them !!

    August 29, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  15. Julie

    Proud Democrat, what a great speech !!!!! Let's get this country back on track, same old policies are not working !!!! Time for a better change not just another Republican.

    August 29, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  16. No Hillary = No Obama

    All these hired guns from CNN. Where is the objective point of view? Where is the balance? Jon Stewart stated that cable news is setting the political agenda – he's right and CNN is wrong. Mr. Gergen is also now being the target of the Republicans – when he says something – do the opposite. CNN seems to be on constant spin cycle when it comes to Obama – enough already – he's not all that.

    August 29, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Marie -Belts ville Md

    You knocked the ball right out the park senator obama.Maybe Mccain will heed to go to the caves to look for bin-liden because if he go to hell looking for him he might not come back.Great speech indeed a masterpeice……

    August 29, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. john williams san diego, ca.

    in the words of Obama-words only words, nothing more...I WILL GIVE EVERY AMERICAN THE SAME HEALTH CARE AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS–promises only promises from a speech reader that is over his head and above his pay grade.

    August 29, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  19. Last Honest Man

    Michelle Obama is reason enough not to vote for the guy. The thought of that woman in the Whitehouse........somebody wake me up from this nightmare.

    August 29, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  20. Terrance

    Obama is an empty suit, nothing more. No experience, just talk. After the conventions are over the polls will re-adjust. obama is toast.

    August 29, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  21. Andrea in TX

    As an open-minded Republican who is not a minion of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, I was definitely impressed by Senator Obama tonight. He answered my questions, addressed my concerned, and made an excellent case to be our next President.

    I will listen to Senator McCain next week, but I have been sorely disappointed by the negative fear campaign that my party continues to run. Those tactics have helped the Republicans win the White House in the past, but I'm disappointed with what President Bush has done once inside. I truly don't think Senator McCain will be much different based on his campaign choices.

    August 29, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  22. Xavier

    The GOP might say that Obama isnt ready, but they have it wrong. Obama is ready to lead, its the GOP that isnt ready to change their senile ways. Change is coming, and the GOP will soon be a relic of a nightmare past. Obama! Obama! Obama!

    August 29, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  23. shadowgovernment

    In a word, masterful.

    August 29, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  24. Bitter Woman in Pensylvania

    How can I not be bitter after 8 years of a republican presidency.No jobs,gas prices at peak cost,economy at it worst.Obama was misunderstood when he said people cling to their guns and bibles.He only felt your pain.Come on this man started his life helping people like us and I will never beleive politics have changed that.Wake up before it is too late.95% of Bush policies Mccain have embraced so do you think making MccAIN PRESIDENT it will be better.Wake up before it's too late...Vote Obama

    August 29, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. Gabriel

    On the 45th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech, Senator Barack Obama from the Great State of Illinois upon accepting the nomination as the Democratic Party's Candidate to the Presidency of the United States, gave his "I Have a McCain" Speech!!!
    50% of the speech was about attacking John McCain!!! Wasn't this guy suppose to be the New Politics not Politics as Usual. I am very, very sad today. I expected so much from Barack...

    August 29, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
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