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

Amy Holmes: Obama hits right notes

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. La Raza

    Obama supporters please ignore the haters and just keep the faith, it's almost over. McCain is being forced to cancel his convention and simply "pack it up."

    He is literally paying folks to attend his convention. My Hispanic cousin was offered $50 to attend on Monday. I simply can't believe it. That is why I don't believe the polls saying that this thing is close.

    August 29, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  2. Paul

    You know this was a great speech when all Obama's critics are stumbling as they come up with any intelligent response.

    Excellent speech to kick off a campaign.
    This speech changed the game.

    Obama stepped up the the fight and drew a line in the sand challenging McCain – that all that petty Rove-style cheap shots are not going to be enough.

    August 29, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  3. David Harris

    The problem with people wanting an "experienced" candidate for President, is that we all kinds of "experienced" people in the House and Senate right now and they still can't work across the aisle to get anything done. Doesn't matter if they are Republican or Democrat. Personally I find John McCain doesn't have proper control of his temper to deal with our Allies as well as our enemies. He sees Iraq as the center of the War on Terror, which isn't the case. He also sees himself as being more like the average American, than Senator Obama who made 4.2 million dollars.. Its kinda hard for a man whose wife is worth 100's of millions of dollars to even come close to being an average American.

    I will agree that Senator Obama is younger and has less government experience than his opposition. But right now, we need someone with new ideas and not the same old Washington politician.

    To the older American's who prefer an older candidate, your time is up and its time for a new generation to take over and see if we can fix the problems, that your generation of politicians has caused.

    August 29, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  4. Registered REPUBLICAN

    The speech was amazing and poignant - Obama has the charisma, leadership, and integrity to be our Commander in Chief - the next president of the United States of America! We have a new HOPE - a new vision - American values and ideals - thank you OBAMA - and God Bless America and all the republicans that will now vote DEMOCRAT for this election! Republicans UNITE and convert!

    August 29, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  5. Alex

    He just nailed it. John McCain, bring it on!

    August 29, 2008 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  6. DRH

    I bet Obama will do better then George W. Bush, hell I know a president that has a 5th grade education from Columbian he is smarter then Bush, for example he has got his county off the dependence of foreign oil and George W. Bush and the republican’s wouldn’t even attempt to do something like this, because they wont be able to get their cut from BIG OIL .

    August 29, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  7. Peter of Oregon

    Barack Obama was enormously successful at all of the things you mentioned in this article. He was extremely clear and articulate and connected with Americans throughout his speech. He made his case very very well.

    August 29, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  8. chuks

    Well done Barak..give those republicans hell.....they aint seen nothing yet...

    August 29, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  9. lou

    No longer will we buy your Fear. Obama 08

    August 29, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  10. Ken Deminick


    August 29, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  11. bjmaster

    he wrote the entire speech me a republican ...bush?..laughable...mccain...duh...that can do the same


    August 29, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  12. Scott Tucson

    For a guy who sure do speak purty while in front of a telepronter, he does run scared at the thought of a townhall debate.

    August 29, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  13. ML - California

    Michelle Obama needs to lighten up! Her facial expressions on TV make her look mad. Is she? It appears that she has a lot to be thankful for, so why doesn't she show it?

    August 29, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  14. Paul

    I truly understand why this man is reminding us of why this is such a glorious and wonderful country. Not when you elect presidents to do things for us, but when we select leaders who giude us towards what we all need and want to do.

    God Bless America!!!!!

    Americans/The smartest and most hard working people in the world 08' and beyond.

    August 29, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  15. Proud American

    Man I wish I would have been there!! Proud is an understatement right now!

    August 29, 2008 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  16. Terry

    Ronald Reagan was governor for quite a few years before running for president. Or don't they teach history in schools anymore!

    However I have to say that yes it was a great speech but that don't mean anything. Considering people like you Amy Holmes and the rest of the media really don't give a flying hoot about anything.

    Michelle Obama gave a so so speech however first impressions always the lasting one's.

    I want to ask a 2 questions;

    How many times is Michelle Obama going to re-introduce herself between now and Nov. ?

    Why is it that I am always hearing from the media how we have to get to know Barack? The way I look at now if we haven't got to know him over the last year and half, then there must be a problem. And the problem isn't with the citizens of this country either!

    August 29, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  17. Lorraine

    None can doubt the veracity of this airtlce.

    June 24, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
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