Republican pitbull Alex Castellanos says that, after that acceptance speech: “whoever didn’t get picked for Republican VP today may be a lucky Republican.”
It was truly an exceptional speech. He didn’t overplay the day’s anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Sure, his nomination is a huge step towards the realization of that dream, but had he said that, he’d have been attacked as arrogant. His attacks on McCain were razor sharp, but never crossing the line into cruelty (a line I’ll admit to having crossed already, and one I’ll only respect when McCain starts treating it like it means something).
The contrast between Obama and McCain is stunning. Here’s a passage from Obama’s Speech:
These — these are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain. But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and each other’s patriotism.
In other words, a campaign and a debate that treats people fairly, not impugning their motives but considering the substance of their claims.
Immediately after the speech, the McCain campaign responded by impugning Obama’s motives and engaging in petty attacks on Obama’s character, not on the substance of what he said. The McCain camp called the speech “misleading,” without citing any actual errors of fact. It then states that Obama has no record of bipartisanship, despite his bipartisan work with such die-hard conservatives as Dick Lugar and Sam Brownback. As Chuck Todd and TPM point out, the McCain camp is basically speechless.
I, however, am fired up.