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. Helen L Ladner

    I have never in my 53 years heard such a brilliant exposition of political ideas combined with realistic solutions, mixed with the heart and soul of a true patriot.. I am speechless, and inspired beyond belief, but above that, I am glowing with pride for the democratic party, and America, for believing in this man and allowing him to achieve this nomination. Bravo America, and thank you Barack Obama.
    As he said ... "ENOUGH!"

    August 28, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  2. bobby

    WOW!

    August 28, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  3. Naveed Ahmad

    Historical significance aside, a lot of what Senator Obama had to say tonight was a spin/repeat of what he has been saying since he locked up the primary...

    However there were several powerful sticking points in his speech, particularly his effective way of calling on the American people to act (much like our greatest presidents?)

    "What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you," was my favorite line of the entire night.

    In my opinion, Senator Obama and his campaign should focus on the people in this manner. It takes somewhat of an egomaniac to run for President and it is quite extraordinary to hear a big-time politician like Senator Obama utter these words. It truly is a motivating line that could actually get parents to turn their TV's off, fathers to be more responsible, and Americans to work for respect in the world.

    August 28, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  4. history in the making

    This was simply masterful, brilliant, and the most uplifting speech I have ever heard.

    August 28, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  5. Susan, Pennsylvania

    I could not agree with you more.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Javier Jimenez

    As Barack mentioned, we are the change and he is embodying it. After eight years of the Bush/Cheney disaster we need this change and I hope voting people this November will see far beyond from skin color.

    After 45 years, since Dr. King's speech, we have shown our maturity as a society.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Sue

    He nailedit! This was one of the proudest nights of my life! He is ready to have McShame Bring it on. I will guarantee that he garnered a lot of votes tonight!

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. Jim Pidduck

    CNN and its commentators, including you, David, have been falling all over yourselves singing the praises of the Dems and the young senator from Illinois. Whatever happened to good, old fashioned, objective journalism???

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. mel

    It was indeed a brilliant speech.Masterpiece and symphonic I thinks takes a little too far. In order to achieve the heights of a masterpiece that you claim was Obama's speech the laundry list of "I will do this and that" would have been absent.

    Conversely it would have been more poetic more lyrical. Unfortunately that was something that Obama could not do tonight as it was imperative that he give the American people more specificity on the themes he has been promoting.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  10. Rachel from PA

    Completely agree.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  11. Paul Allen Billings

    You are right David.
    My radio station threw a watch Party And everybody was saying that we needed to see that side of Obama. He delivered Hank Aaron style!

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  12. Helen Anderson

    Obama is the man!
    He is brilliant and fresh. I think that he will make great changes as president and I pray to god he wins the election in Nov. George Bush as been an absolute failure as president and another 4 yrs. with the same old crap will be horrendous for America.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  13. Kenneth

    David,
    I agree so fully – this was magical, and he did exactly what he needed to do at this point in time. Republicans will be scratching their heads, and try to kickstart their negativity machine in lack of better response.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. Ifzal

    EVERY politician promises CHANGE !!! do you remember the last who delivered it. I rest my case.
    May God Bless America

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Jeronimo!

    A (Political) Sermon on the (Mile High) Mount!

    12pm..............still waiting for a republican response............waiting........................................

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  16. shay

    I agree that Obama's speech was a masterpiece. He spoke the
    T R U T H! It is time for change and if I want to be a part of that change I must be out there promoting and supporting my party – the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. I want Obama and Biden to win. The status guo has got to go!!!!

    Obama/Biden 08-12

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  17. ruth

    I agree with you. Your comparison to a symphony is exactly right. I am looking forward to seeing how Mr. McCain responds next week. As Virginia residents, we are especially excited to have our state in play for the first time in many years.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  18. Susan

    As a democrat, I was prepared to vote for the person who won the nomination. Truthfully, I grew complacent as Hillary Clinton's numbers started to falter.
    However, after watching the DNC, and the magnificent speech by Obama, I wholeheartedly support Obama and Biden. I cannot imagine any other person better prepared to move this country forward. The heart and soul of Barack is what we need...

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  19. Richard Freedman

    I was among 500 people who watched Obama's speech inside a move theater in Vallejo, CA., and I stood on my feet with everyone else as he channeled Martin Luther King Jr. A great, great speech. I can't imagine John McCain managing 1/10th of the energy and charisma that Barack Obama displayed.

    August 28, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  20. Jim Pidduck

    CNN and its commentators, including you, David, have been falling all over yourselves singing the praises of the Dems and the young senator from Illinois. Whatever happened to good, old fashioned, objective journalism???

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. jc

    David as a loyal Obama supporter I listen to Senator Obama speech in 2004 and this speec tonite he aced it now the balls in McSame's court lets see if he can do better.

    May I add Senator Obama showed that he can take a jab in the chin and come back swing punches he hit McCain with all of his false rhetoric and knocked him out.

    I can't wait for the debates to begin because McCain is on the ropes and he's going down.

    Obama for President

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. Jude Draper-Cocuzzo

    At an almost 65 yrs old independent, I have been more than discouraged with D.C., but this evening, Barack Obama has shown he will walk the talk and I know he will move us through the future, by providing us with what we had lost from the past, our PRIDE and BELIEF that lives can get better. I am going to register as a proud Obama supporter Democrat and offer my help to his campaign.

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  23. walter smith

    mr. gergen i am speechless as a 27yr old man with 3 children i know now with renewed hope and a sense of overwhelming purpose that my country needs me and many others like me to elect this man. mr obama is what we need he is what we are and i have no doubt that he will RESTORE my country to it's original place in the world leading from the front not back in the pack.

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. Hab

    Im so proud of being An American .... and im so glad that i am a part of this history. thank u Barack Obama thank u u made me cry but not becuz i was sad but becuz i was very happy

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. al/Alabama

    Obama has always said that he was tougher than people thought. Tonight I believe he proved it. John McCain is going to discover that those infantil attacks he has been waging will not stand the test of truth.

    August 28, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7