Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wisconsin and Change

Change was in the frigid air in Wisconsin--and not just because Obama racked up another impressive victory. He also rolled out a new type of victory speech.

On the evenings of Super Tuesday, Iowa, Virginia and even New Hampshire (where a concession speech was a poorly disguised victory speech), Obama stuck to his lines about red states and blue states coming together, hope-mongering and the rest. This evening in Houston, he added wonkishness. Texans and cable viewers heard all about health care, gas prices, immigration, Bush tax cuts, Iraq, teachers' pay, and several other issues. The trouble was that they heard about hope and change and unity too, which made for a very long speech (45 minutes by Polprint's count). No wonder Obama decided to start, rather uncharitably, midway through Clinton's speech.

Clearly Obama has listened to the critics--that he needs to pad his rhetoric with substance. Polprint thought that his best lines (presumably not plagiarized) were about the future: the Democrats as the "party of tomorrow", with "new leadership for a new century". That sounds like a plausible theme for a general election against John McCain.

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