Just a few quick observations about Obama’s speech last night:
- Great speech. Forceful delivery. Very steely appearance.
- Very centrist, at points almost right-leaning, especially when he made a strong point about cutting taxes and spending.
- Only one direct mention of the trade deficit, but lots of discussion about the damage done by shipping jobs overseas. I suppose the words “trade deficit” don’t resonate with a lot of people, but talk about the loss of jobs does, and rightfully so. So I give him high marks for this.
- Very little mention of immigration. He briefly voiced support for it in one phrase, but then just as quickly and forcefully expressed anger at those employers who give American jobs to illegals. I found this encouraging, offering hope that he’ll continue to be tough on enforcement and perhaps even signaling a turn toward tougher enforcement – toward coming down hard on employers, something the Bush administration never did.
- Although he spoke at some length about moving toward renewable energy, there was no mention whatsoever of addressing carbon emissions and global warming. I found this kind of curious, since it’s going to be one of the toughest issues he’ll face. Maybe that was the problem. It’s a tough issue, a “downer” that was just as well left out of the speech.
I’m looking forward to hearing McCain’s VP pick, and hearing the Republican speeches, to see how they contrast. Could McCain swing me away from Obama? Sure. But here’s what he’d have to say: “I will eliminate the trade deficit. I will bring our manufacturing jobs back home.” If he said those words, I’d be behind him 100%. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. We’ll see.