Pundits On Obama's DNC Speech: OK But Far From The Best

on September 07 2012 1:26 PM
Barack Obama at DNC
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses delegates and accepts the 2012 U.S Democratic presidential nomination during the final session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte Reuters

President Barack Obama's Democratic National Convention acceptance speech may have been highly anticipated, but on the morning after, it's clear the president may have only given the third-best speech - if that - of the week.

While media reports on the event have generally acknowledged the president gave a solid speech that made a strong case for what he hopes to accomplish with a second term at the White House, the nearly 50-minute address did not have the kind of awe-inspiring power that Americans have come to expect from a president known for his oratory prowess.

Of course, that depends on who you ask.

The pundits at the left-leaning MSNBC were, predictably, more jazzed about the president's speech than were other television networks.

Shortly after its finish, Chris Matthews declared that Obama "did it again" and delivered a "home run speech," while Al Sharpton simply said it was "epic." Rachel Maddow called it a "big, big speech," although she pointed out that it was a bit more campaign-y than voters may be used to.

"From this president, something we are not used to hearing: an overt request for a vote," Maddow said.

Pundits from other networks similarly praised aspects of the president's speech, but noted it was a far cry from the much-lauded addresses given by Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

CNN's James Carville (who was the lead strategist of Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign) acknowledged that it "was probably not the best speech of the convention," although he said it was "very good."

Chuck Todd, NBC's chief White House Correspondent, agreed: "I'm in the workmanlike camp... it seemed at times they were methodically playing the notes instead of lyrically playing the notes," he said.

Joe Scarborough, also an MSNBC host but former Republican congressman, declared Obama gave a victorious speech, if only because it was better than the corresponding one given by his Republican rival Mitt Romney last week.

"The President said nothing in his speech tonight. But he said it so much better than Mitt Romney when he said nothing in Tampa," Scarborough tweeted on Thursday night.

But the battleground states so desperately in play this election must have heard something in the president's words. Newspapers from coveted swing states have, as Buzzfeed reported, led the Friday morning press with headlines celebrating Obama's message.  Some of those headlines include:

Tampa Bay Times (Florida):  'A Better Path' Obama: We're Not There Yet, But I'll Get Us There

The Detroit News (Michigan): Obama: Harder Path Leads To Better Place

The Plain Dealer (Ohio): Obama Says He's 'Never Been More Hopeful About America'

The Virginian-Pilot (Virginia): Still Their Man: Stressing Economic Recovery, Obama Says Hard Work Ahead

The Patriot-News (Pennsylvania): 'Our Problems Can Be Solved': Obama Says He Offers Better Path

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