Obama Plays It Safe: Did It Cost Him?
Published: September 7, 2012
Obama Plays It Safe: Did It Cost Him?, After a pair of big DNC speeches, his much-hyped address left many people underwhelmed. Obama’s ‘dull and pedestrian’ convention speech: Why did he play it safe?, After boffo DNC speeches from Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama, the president’s much-hyped address left many viewers feeling rather underwhelmed
The expectations for President Obama’s big acceptance address at the Democratic National Convention were pretty high. Obama is, after all, known to give a good speech, and he followed blockbuster performances from First Lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton on the convention’s first two nights. But instead of lofty promises and loftier rhetoric, Obama soberly acknowledged that the economic recovery was slow, while earnestly mounting an argument that his policies are working, and will be better for America’s future than those proposed by opponent Mitt Romney. (Watch highlights below.) Many commentators were underwhelmed. “This speech felt very safe to me,” tweeted The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. “It’s the speech you give when you think you’re winning.” Did Obama play it too safe and miss a prime chance to bury Romney?
This weak speech proves Obama is getting c**ky: “Let’s be blunt: Barack Obama gave a dull and pedestrian speech,” the rhetorical equivalent of “running out the clock” in a football game, says Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast. He “clearly thinks he’s ahead,” and felt no need to go big with bold new ideas and lots of specifics, like Clinton did. That’s a “horrible missed opportunity.” With an unprecedented onslaught of the GOP’s negative TV ads set to overwhelm the airwaves, Obama has to play offense. When football teams play it safe to protect slim leads, “it often turns out to be the biggest mistake of all, and they lose.”
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