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. Steve

    It's kinda adorable to see how scared the Operation Chaos trolls are.

    August 29, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  2. Carol

    I heard the same thing he always says --NOTHING!! I still don't know what his "change" is. Words come out but nothing is being said.

    August 29, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  3. TheOtherSide

    Enuff said. Mcwar should debate Obama on the temperament to be commander in chief. wooh , what a hit below the belt?

    August 29, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  4. AB

    Obama was just presidential! You know he knows what is talking about. He just does superbly every time. He has set the bar so high that mccain is probably crying in his room tonight figuring out what he will do during his acceptance speech. Go Obama, we are on your side.

    August 29, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  5. Ray

    Obama is a Beast! He killed it tonight!

    O'Biden 08!

    August 29, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. SolPlyr

    I'm still waiting for Nobama to say something with substance. It was a great motivational speech, but that's it. He didn't say anything.

    He, along with the other Dems, need to realize that BUSH ISN'T RUNNING! The vast majority of the criticism is geared towards Bush and not necessarily McCain. This could come back to bite them in the butt.

    August 29, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  7. Carol

    Proud Democrat---why don't you see if you can stay in your idols mansion?

    August 29, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  8. Enough!!!

    Dear Amy,
    He did not try to turn the tables on McCain, he merely spoke the truth about the man's character. McCain is all the Senator Obama said. What just is, just is. Get it right. I know. You have to do you job to undo. It's okay. Get that paycheck girl.

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

    I wish we could edit our comments on here! I meant representing IL not resenting!!! Geez!! Sorry!

    August 29, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  10. sandee in Portland

    Great speech. I was on the fence over who to vote for, but his speech tonight gave me some insight. He is tough enough and smart enough to bring new ways to our government. I've always thought the Democrats were too socialist, wanting the average working person to pay for all the social programs for the poor. But tonight, my opinion changed. I am a registered Republican who will now vote for Obama. We definitely don't need another hothead in the White House who thinks the only way to respond to threats is to show our muscle, and from what he's shown in the past, McCain has quite a temper. I, of course, don't think things will change overnight in Washington, but I think within the course of 8 years, there will be definite changes.

    August 29, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  11. Ex-Puma

    simply phenomonal words cannot describe my emotions right now!

    August 29, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  12. peggyledbetter

    Congratulations to Obama and Michelle! I can't wait until you get the keys to the WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!! A journey worth waiting for.

    August 29, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  13. Stephen in Red Bluff

    McCain Not Able

    August 29, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  14. Texan

    Nop he's not a good one.

    August 29, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  15. BK

    Don't let Obama get by with that lie the second time about debating. We all know Obama turned down 10 town hall meetings. Without a teleprompter Obama is an empty suit.

    August 29, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  16. mike

    I think this speech went a long way to showing just how strong Obama actually is. He was firm and even combative at times, which was what many were waiting for. He made it clear that he won't take any BS from the republicans and will directly respond to their pitiful attempts to paint him as weak and inexperienced. He also provided the details of his policies that many were waiting for. Finally he was firm and pointed in his references to the many failings of the Bush administration and tied McCain to that performance. All in all, a brilliant political speech and an oustanding delivery.

    August 29, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  17. mike

    Did anyone else notice the departure of the candidates off the stage to their "mansion" between the pillars? Talk about a visual image of the disconnect between the "candidate of the people" and the people themselves.

    August 29, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  18. Nevada dude

    you cant say anymore you dont know Obama, his policies, his character. if you do its because you refuse to see. no wonder you blindly support MCan't.

    Obama is ready. McLame will not know what hit him

    August 29, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  19. dorothy

    Barack Obama, has been hitting the right notes for the last 18 months, but because so many people are Blind, Deaf, and Dumb, they would not hear or see the Truth hitting them in their own faces.
    Remember, for eight (8) years ALL many of you have had is President George Bush, who is incompetent, and has not regard for anyone but himself, and John McCain, as his follower.

    It take a person who is Visionary to see beyond the BULL!

    Dorothy, OK

    August 29, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  20. Hope LV,NV

    Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen unlike John McCain he was actually born in the USA.,not somewhere along the panama canal.
    Sen. Obama knocked it out of the ballpark.
    I think even naysayers will have to see through the hate and admit this was a great one.
    United"08"

    August 29, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  21. DeeJam - Los Angeles

    It'll be so boring to watch the Republican convention. I'm going to watch anyway.

    August 29, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  22. eric

    Of course, the only negative comment on here turns to racism to make his point. Thanks for showing us the true reason why the polls have been anywhere close. This was truly one of the greatest speeches of all political history. The thing is Obama has been delivering amazing speeches this whole time and he even topped himself. Students of American politics will be studying this speech for a long time to come. I have never been so emotionally and intellectually drawn into a campaign as I have with this one. Listen up all you seniors too old to get past a name and skin complexion. I'm 24, I pay your Social Security and Medicare through my taxes and I vote. It's about time you started listening to me.

    August 29, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  23. Jason

    I like how they continually complain about Obama's "lack of experience." Cuz when I look into Barack Obama's past I see 7 years in the Illinois state senate and 3+ years in the US Senate. So over 10 years in politics. Now lets look at the poster boy of the republican party. Ronald Reagan was governor for 8 years in California. Before that he was an actor. AN ACTOR!!! You wanna talk about celebrities take a look at your own political hero, he literally was a "celebrity," and not the kind they've made Obama to be because they're so jealous of his popularity. It's petty and low, and the republican party is going to pay for their despicable campaign tactics in lost house/senate seats and, well, the presidency.

    August 29, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  24. Bill Charlotte, NC

    The "we can only criticise and whine" republicans claim that Obama's set was too much. Are these the same people who were responsible for that elaborate green set when John mcsame was going to upstage Obama's victory speech a few months ago? If so, I can see why they would think anything beyond a few party ballons and duct tape would be too much.

    August 29, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  25. Honeybee58

    So we all know Obama has a talented speechwriter on his payroll. That's not news. Too bad he still cannot think "on his feet," i.e. in the debate–or real life–mode. The man does not have the life experience to be president.

    August 29, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
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