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article imageOp-Ed: Obama Needs To Admonish McCain and Bush in His Speech

By Sadiq Green     Aug 28, 2008 in Politics
Tonight Barack Obama will make American history when he accepts the Democratic presidential nomination, becoming the first black man to claim such a prize. To many this is a day few could ever imagine decades ago.
Obama, who is lauded for his oratory skills, will be speaking from the 50-yard-line, of Invesco Field in front of an estimated 80,000 supporters. His stage will feature Roman style columns similar to those seen surrounding the U.S. Capitol. It has been reported that John McCain staffers are mocking the stage on which Obama will appear. While ThinkProgress points out that the Virginia Republican Party went for a similar style at their convention this year, not to mention the Stage that President Bush made his acceptance speech from at Madison Square Garden at the 2004 RNC Convention.
Senior strategist David Axelrod said Obama would make the case for radical political change while demonstrating the choice voters will face this November between his candidacy and that of McCain.
"His goal is to talk to the American people about the challenges we face and what we need to do to solve them, and the stakes of continuing to do what we are doing. I will leave it to others to decide the inspiration factor."
Obama planned to talk about problems facing Americans today, from health care and education to international threats and the struggles of middle-class Americans, including their tax burden. On Thursday morning campaign manager David Plouffe told Good Morning America:
"I think what Sen. Obama wants to do is make sure everyone watching at home is going to have a clear sense of where he wants to take the country, that we're on the wrong path and Barack Obama is going to put us back on the right track both here at home and overseas."
Tonight also marks the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech. The moment was not lost on Martin Luther King III, the late civil rights icons oldest son. On Wednesday he told the Associated Press:
"This is a monumental moment in our nations history, and it becomes obviously an even greater moment in November if he's elected."
But while there is a romantic expectation for Obama to deliver a speech in the tradition of the one delivered 45 years ago today, perhaps he would be more effective if he gave one that is more reminiscent of the Beyond Vietnam speech King delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City.
Last night was the first night that the Democratic speech makers attempted to hit the Republicans on the policies of the Bush adminisrtation. For the first two days of the convention they were stunningly silent on issues that the base of their party consider key: The Invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the economic effect that it has made in America.
U.S. Senators such as Jay Rockefeller, Jack Reed and John Kerry affirmed their friendship and honored the service of john McCain on one hand, while criticizing him for his cozying up to President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and the neo-conservatives, who brought the U.S. into the Iraq occupation by de emphasizing the real War against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Some of the more compelling speeches came from former soldiers. U.S. Congressman Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania told of his experience as an Army paratrooper in Iraq in 2003. Tammy Duckworth spoke of the mission where she was shot down while piloting a Blackhawk helicopter.
Retired Command Sargent Major Michelle S. Jones, the first Black female in Army history to earn that ranking, wholeheartedly endorsed Barack Obama for President:
“I am endorsing Senator Obama because I believe he is the best, most qualified and able candidate to serve as my commander-in-chief. He is the type of commander-in- chief that America's soldiers need and deserve. Barack Obama will bring America the change we need.”
Bill Clinton in his endorsement speech did what his wife Hillary managed to come up short of doing, stating that he indeed feels Barack Obama is ready to be President. In an attempt to blunt the main campaign talking point for the Republicans about Obama’s experience, the former president offered the following:
“Everything I learned in my eight years as president, and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.
Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose. He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs. His policies on the economy, on taxes, on health care, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives.
He has shown -- he has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly strained military.
His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation in an ever more interdependent world.”
Later Clinton spoke of the parallel types of statements made by critics of both He and Obama faced about their lack of experience before entering office:
"My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.
Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief. Sound Familiar? It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it will not work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history."
After a stirring introduction by his son Bo Biden, the Attorney’s General of Deleware, Joe Biden finished off the evening with a speech of his own. The younger Biden is an active reservist who will soon be deployed into Iraq. Barack Obama then made an unannounced, late-night visit to the Pepsi Center, home for the first three nights of the convention, where he embraced Biden and implored the delegates to help him "take back America" in the fall campaign.
This sets up Obama to make a tough, strong themed speech against the Republicans this evening. It is an occasion, that in my eyes, calls for the now Democratic nominee to pound at the GOP and their policies that have set America back economiocally and fiscally to it’s worst position in my short lifetime. He must take the fight to the Republicans, who will certainly not be expounding tales of admiration toward him next week at their convention in Minnesota.
Anything short of that will be a letdown to the American people his party, his supporters and to the soldiers he says he wants to defend. Anything short of that can also likely lead the GOP to a victory in November.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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