August 28th, 2008
11:38 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: A political masterpiece

,
CNN

Watch Obama says the country is better than what it has gotten the past four years.

I imagine that lots of you out there remain fierce critics of Barack Obama. Next week Republicans will legitimately debate and challenge many of his ideas, especially about his call for a more activist government. It will be fascinating now when John McCain and Obama meet in debates.

But for this moment and for this purpose, I saw Obama's speech tonight as a political masterpiece. As I had a chance to say on CNN a few moments ago, it was in many ways less a speech than a symphony. I also sensed that we saw tonight an Obama who is growing into a new, more mature leader - stronger, tougher, harder-hitting than he had appeared only a few weeks ago.

Watch: 'Our work won't be easy,' Obama says

Whether Obama will win this Novemember or not is still very unclear, but if he does, I imagine we may look back and say this was a major turning point.

Many of you, I know, will disagree. From all of you, I would welcome your thoughts - you, after all, are the voters who will actually decide the fate of the country.

soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Obama basicy lied throught his speech. If he so welcome debating with McCain why did he chicken out of 11 town hall meetings with McCain.

    August 28, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. JeffRob

    Masterpiece is almost an understatement, if that's possible.

    I am so proud to be an American tonight.

    August 28, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  3. John

    It's over!

    Obama/Biden 2008

    August 28, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  4. I don't know.

    I have to say, I think the thing I like most about Obama is that he's black.

    I love that a black man is nominated.
    I love that is youthful and energetic.
    I love that he means well and wants to change things.

    Do I think he can do it?

    Unfortunately, no.

    August 28, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. John B. From New Hampshire

    i agree 100%

    August 28, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  6. Christina from Chicago

    David: I couldn't agree more. I believe in Barack Obama and I believe in America. Obama/Biden '08! Yes we can!

    August 28, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  7. J. Richter

    Just look at the convention alone. If our current governmetn operates so well we definitely would have a better economy, better response to Katrina, and more proactive and planned foreign policy. Experience? Just look at the campaigns? Look at the Europe trip. Organizational ability. Change will not come from Washington but to Washington as he said.

    August 28, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  8. Annette, Washington, DC

    Mr. Gergen,

    That juice sure do taste good. I agree, a masterpiece in political speech.

    August 28, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  9. obama and biden are my men

    LOVE HIM ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE.DAVID,YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON PLEASE REMAIN THAT WAY,WE LOVE YOU............GOD BLESS.

    August 28, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  10. Reality check.

    I love that he's black.
    I love that he's young and energetic.
    I love that he means well and wants to change Washington.

    Do I believe he can do it?

    Unfortunately, no.

    August 28, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  11. It will be President Obama

    Landslide for Obama. Next week will show us why.

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. Matthew

    I love Obama and will be supporting him as we go forward, but as big speeches go, this was not one of them. Substance, yes, but emotion, no.

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  13. Cathy in Vermont

    Totally agree.....excellent!

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  14. RH

    Well said, David. Obama addressed everything he has been criticized for and more. It truly was a phenomenal speech. He has made me a stronger believer today. This is what an American movement looks like.

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  15. Mike Sutherland

    I thought his speech on race was a high mark in political speeches. This one raises the bar. He is ready. He calls us all to be involved and make the change. Truly inspirational. Truly a masterpiece. Mark me down as in complete agreement with you David. And next week we get to listen to John? Ouch

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  16. Stan Szarnych

    This was an incredible speech. I just hope and pray he gets elected. Unlike the Republicans he is not taking any personal attacks. He is comparing facts, stating what he will do. I like many Americans can connect with him and Joe Biden. I cannot connect with John McCain. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are more like the average Americans and because of that I truly believe they know what needs to change to make America great again.

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. S Callahan

    David, I fully agree with you. And I think as Americans , even some who consider themselves racist, will come to know him over the next few weeks and realize that his message also resonates with them.
    Fear, or the unknown, is often what prevents people from moving forward. The naysayers really should consider challenging themselves on what they want in a candidate, but more improtantly what they want for their families and their country. He , Obama, is not a God..he is an ordinary man that has managed to articulate (speak) what most of us feel but just didn't put into words. I appalud him and I appalud our citizens for wanting a vision for our country..that is really what HOPE is.

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  18. Kyle SC

    David you are so RIGHT!! I can't believe Im with you on this one because lately you have been so off base & throwing hate barbs at Barack's character. HOWEVER, Barack speech was the best among EVERY SPEAKER!! Barack gave us a clear contrast between he and Sen. McCain. I will proudly work in South Carolina & vote to make sure Barack is elected PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA!!

    August 28, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  19. Katrina

    I agree with you. But it was fascinating to see the blogs lower down - mostly enthusiastic approval, but also, as is to be expected, critical voices. What was stunning, however, was the disconnect of the latter - they had nothing to do with the speech itself but merely followed established storylines. Such as "there were no specifics," which is patently absurd. Or "all about his ego," which is just as patently absurd. As you point out, his (very specific indeed) proposals will have many Republicans and TrickleDownDieHards apoplectic, and we can be sure to hear from their economic team sooner rather than later. We will also hear the tired argument that business profits are good "for everyone" because very Dick, Tom, and Hariette has a few stocks in his or her 401K ("ownership society," brouhahahahah). But my guess is that none of THOSE guys will claim that Obama wasn't specific enough...

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Crush Rush

    I agree David. The paid spinners and bloggers are out ,I feel really sorry for them.They make a living lying for others.

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  21. Grandpa Simpson

    My friends, the Senator from Illinois gave a very nice speech tonight. But is he ready, yea, eager as I am to display America's strength to the entire world by letting the missiles fly? I think not.

    Who is my running mate? I've forgotten already, but, my friends it really doesn't matter. What does matter is that you join with me in insuring that the Lexus Evangelicals and other Modern Pharisees keep their grasp on government.

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. Dan J

    It is a political masterpiece, that's why its basically been reused over the past 20+ years.

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. Willy

    Same old tired speech. All glitz but no experence meat in it.

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  24. Observation

    CNN don't fool your selves, McCain is not a canidate of change.

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. GT in CA

    You're right David, it was a masterpiece. It brought me and my wife to tears. This man is amazing. I just hope Americans are smart enough to elect him president...

    August 28, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
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