Barack Obama's acceptance speech comes on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
I've seen Martin Luther King's speech, and I've heard Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Both men are accomplished orators.
Judging from the cheers, boos, and occasional chant, I don't think there's any doubt that Barack Obama's acceptance speech was an effective speech. He assured the Democrats in attendance that McCain wouldn't be a good president, and that he, Barack Obama, would be. He stated that he was ready to win the election, and closed his speech with "America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future."
Then "The crowd gave Obama a roaring welcome and met lines of his speech with chants of his catchphrase, 'Yes, we can.'..."
All in all, Barack Obama's acceptance speech was an effective, rousing, political speech: quite appropriate for the occasion, and one which obviously had an impact on his fellow-Democrats.
However, I don't think that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech is in danger of being eclipsed by Barack Obama's oratory tonight.
This is no reflection on Barack Obama, or his speech. He was addressing his fellow-Democrats. Being a good politician, he praised his party and his positions, and cast doubt on those of his opponent.
Martin Luther King, Jr., was also at a political event of sorts when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. But he was engaged in the March on Washington. He wasn't trying to win an election: he was trying to change minds. And succeeded. I recommend reading the transcript and seeing the video of King's "I Have a Dream" speech at "Martin Luther King Speeches / I Have a Dream - Address at March on Washington (MLK Online).
In the news:
- "Obama: I'm ready to beat John McCain"
CNN (August 28, 2008)
- "Obama acceptance speech evokes memories of King"
The Irish Times (August 28, 2008)
- "Analysis: Obama's Acceptance Speech"
Washington Post (August 28, 2008)
- "...I became a supporter because he talks to the American people as adults..."
- "...that quite remarkable speech..."
- "...this was one of the very best speeches I have heard in 45 years in the newspaper business..."
- "...I thought the speech was much more powerful as delivered, because he seemed so very forceful...."
- "MLK’s 'Dream' speech honored as Obama reaches milestone"
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (August 28, 2008)
- "Obama acceptance speech pleases San Angelo Dems"
gosanangelo.com (August 28, 2008)
- "Text of Barack Obama's acceptance speech"
MarketWatch (August 28, 2008)
(I recommend reading this, and viewing a video of Barack Obama's acceptance speech.)
- "Obama blasts McCain, lays out his own agenda"
CNN (August 28, 2008)
- CNN Video of Barack Obama's acceptance speech
And, you can try YouTube. Be sure you get the real Obama acceptance speech, not the one done by Eddie Murphy. These seem to be actual videos taken from coverage of Barack Obama's acceptance speech:
- "Barack Obama Acceptance Speech(part1)Democratic Convention"
YouTube video (9:51)
- "Barack Obama Acceptance Speech(part2)"
YouTube video (10:03)
Why write this post? I wanted to mark a historic occasion, and give my reaction to a speech made by one of this year's more accomplished orators.