Friday, August 29, 2008

The symphony that wasn't

Pundits both left and even some from the right were effusive in their praise of Barack Obama's speech last night. Once again, Obama, the magician, fooled them.

This speech wasn't even close to great as a piece of art. It was a mismash of several different styles—stump speech, soaring rhetoric, churlish attacks, defensive pre-emption. Much has been made about Obama writing his own speeches. If you look closely at the text, it appears that Obama's language was invaded by insertion of the attacks and pre-emption.

Read the text and then read George W. Bush's 2000 acceptance speech. Putting aside partisan feelings, the Obama speech is not even close to GWB's as a piece of writing.

The tactics of Obama's speech may have been clever, we'll see. But a symphony it wasn't.

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