Obama Previews Goals for Speech
By Anne E. Kornblut
BILLINGS, Mont. -- In contrast with the grandiose set-up being erected in Denver, Sen. Barack Obama is working on a speech that will try to bring his lofty ideas down to a human scale.
He has described it as potentially much more "workmanlike" than his address in 2004. And with expectations for his Thursday night speech soaring, Obama has betrayed some anxiety about the speech. A natural writer, he holed up in a hotel near his headquarters in Chicago to make revisions and practice over the weekend, and he brought his top writers on the road with him on his way to Denver. He is running the speechwriting process himself. As of Tuesday night in Billings, speechwriter Jon Favreau and senior advisers David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs were still helping him practice and expecting him to make changes.
Asked about the speech on Monday, Obama said it is a far different one than the address he gave in 2004. "2004, I think, was unique. Nobody knew who I was," he said. "Even up to the time that I walked out onto the stage and they handed out Obama signs, people were thinking, 'What is this?' So I don't think you can duplicate that kind of moment, but more importantly, my role is different now."
He said: "This speech is different."
He was unknown then, and was making the case for John Kerry rather than himself, Obama said. Now, he said, he must give a sense of what he would actually do. And he laid out two goals for himself in Denver: to show people who he is, and to make the choice between Sen. John McCain and himself clear.
"I think I have to do two things: I want to make the choice between myself and John McCain as clear as possible. I don't want people to be confused," Obama said. "And I also hope that the convention conveys who I am. You know, during the course of a 19-month campaign, I think that you, you're on the television screen, you're in big auditoriums, but sometimes who you are may get lost. And I want people to come away saying, whether I'm voting for or against the guy, I know what he stands for."
Web Politics Editor
August 27, 2008; 3:02 PM ET
Categories: B_Blog , Barack Obama , Conventions , Democratic Party
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