I feel as though I am in the proper Obamanian mode of getting beyond the old politics, but the old politics side of me has to agree with David Sanger of the NYT, and even MoDo, that the part of the speech where Obama got in Bush’s face right in front of his face must be appreciated.
A couple of civilian (non-historian) friends also chimed in with their thoughts on Obama’s speech, through the magic of Facebook. My more positive friend C says:
One of the lines that struck me was “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.” I thought that was a great way to say that he’s going to approach problems from a very different perspective than we’ve seen recently. I feel like we’ve been dealing with Reagan’s world view for 20+ years, and we finally have someone that can move us past that.
My snarkier friend B emphasizes a line I should have:
Hey Jeff – you know, I look forward to 8 years of being disappointed in a president I thought could be better versus 8 years of being outraged at a president I didn’t think could be any worse. Obama as the great orator is almost as much a myth manufactured by his political adversaries as the notion that he is a radical liberal or socialist – he’ll never live up to the McCain hype. Yet I shed more than one or two tears when Aretha was singing – something real was going on today. You know, with Bush and the president (Cheney) sitting there on the same stage, I was reminded of Colbert’s roast from a few years ago more than once today as Obama spoke. One of those moments for me was the section that started:
“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”
Hey Hey Goodbye