I didn't stay up to watch it last night, but thanks to the excellent BBC Parliament (which is probably providing better coverage of the US conventions than it does of our domestic party conferences), I managed to catch Barack Obama's acceptance speech this evening.
And I agree with The Burbler that it was really first class. In contrast to some previous Obama speeches, in which the rhetorical flourishes have been a little overblown for my liking, this combined vision with solid political positioning and detail.
Obama praised John McCain's service to his country, but pointed out that he has supported George W Bush's position on nine out of 10 occasion when voting in the Senate. He fleshed out his vision of what change would actually involve and I think anyone watching would say that he does have a pretty clear idea about where he wants to take the country.
And his vision was also clearly liberal - I think it's probably fair to say that Obama is the most liberal Democratic presidential candidate since George McGovern in 1972. Whether that will ultimately play well in November is uncertain, but I think Obama did enough to show that he is a candidate who is capable of providing both vision and practical politics. That makes him one hell of a formidable opponent for McCain to beat.
The Second Referendum, or, Obliquity
1 month ago