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Obama Previews Goals for Speech

Obama acknowledges Dallas Cox, age 9 of Billings, Mont., who holds a photo of his uncle, Army Sgt. Kevin Cox. (Linda Davidson / The Washington Post)

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."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 27, 2008; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Conventions , Democratic Party  
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Next: Turning Bush-McCain Hug into an Icon


“McCain is like a Grumpy Elephant with no vision and a flip flopping memory! There is a reason this Elephant is always attacking without a postive message. His trainers are Rove & Schmidt at the circus! We know what to expect at the McCain’s convention a Grumpy Elephant entwining his trunk with 2 Rogue elephants in Bush/Cheney with two cheering trainers in Rove & Schmidt who are trying to sell the American People a 3 rd George Bush Term.” RFK

Posted by: Yei Raven | August 27, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

An actual "report" bravo. hardly sniffed any "points" posting being done in this article. just the facts does work. how does it go now? who, what, where, when and maybe why? the work "grandiose" is the MSM codeword for "uppity", beware.

Posted by: preAmerikkkan | August 27, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse


I don't know if JaxMax is a "regular person" or a paid disinfo specialist...

...but his post got me to thinking.

At the very least, the fact that even Obama sympathizer Kornblut recognizes that this staging is "grandiose" sets one to wondering what Obama's people were thinking...

And yes, the observation about night rallies with bright lights and Romanesque columns is quite prescient, although you'll never see such sentiments in the New York Times.

Obama's personality cult persona, his constant navel-gazing, mind-numbing slogans like "We are the change we are waiting for," and his hostile takeover of the Democratic National Committee, have unsettled the mass of mainstream Democrats.

This is a candidate who stands NO CHANCE in the fall. And once again, the Democratic leadership disappoints the rank and file.

It's time for a new political party.

Who's going to step up and lead us out of this disturbing Obamanist wilderness, people who aren't overcome by their own egos?

And now we've got two on the ticket...

If "jaxmax" is in the disinfo brigade, to him I say, well played.

Posted by: Outside the Box | August 27, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Once again, I admnire Obama's ability to think and take a look at himself. Despite his talent at "vision" speeches which are so inspirational, he's not been all that good at revealing himself. In truth, I don't care, but a lot of voters do. So, if this speech is revealing, as well aws clear on the issues ... Bravo!

Posted by: Toni | August 27, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse


I have just seen the unbelievable photos of Obama's Temple at the Foorball Stadium where he will accept the Dem Nomination..

Since the news media are utter Pagans, they will not be aware of a belief by some Christians that the Book of Revelation (In the Bible) prohesies that the Antichrist will be known when he enters the Temple and declares himself God. The prophecy is also in the Old Testament in Daniel 9:24-27.

Now the Temple has to be in Jerusalem, not Denver,and Obama is quite frankly too STUPID to be the Antichrist, but the imagery is unbelievably divisive.

And African Americans, his core constituency, are some of the strongest Christians with detailed knowledge of Bible prophecy.

Why is Obama doing this idiocy? Has his keeper gone on vacation?

And not to leave out any religious groups, Jewish viewers may also have a problem,which they will never state, with mass meetings at night, outdoors, with lights on the Supreme Charasmatic Leader.

Especially when the Supreme Leader's middle name is Hussein who was raised by a Moslem mother...

Posted by: JaxMax | August 27, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is workmanlike instead of inspiring, then he will have fallen into the repugnants trap..
He should do what he does best, which is to inspire. And not play the game according to the other party's dictates.

Posted by: easyenough | August 27, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama has never given a bad speech, and I'm sure he'll deliver this time, as well. I wish him all the best.

Posted by: Seneca | August 27, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the WaPo have their interns write posts like this? Shouldn't Anne Kornblut concentrate on real reporting? For instance, ask BHO or his surrogates about some of BHO's false statements. Some of those BHO are listed here:

The MSM has almost completely ignored those false statements.

The good news is that this leaves a huge market opportunity for those who are willing to do the job the MSM refuses to do. Calling BHO on one of his lies to his face will result in hundreds of thousands or millions of Youtube views for any budding reporter or independent news agency that wants to do real reporting.

Posted by: 24AheadDotCom | August 27, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign has used an all-out vicious negative assault on Obama's character and "celebrity" to change the rules of the contest.

The Obama campaign should respond by using an all-out 'attack' against negativity, thereby heightening the importance of the ISSUES, and taking away the Republicans' biggest weapons: fear and hate.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 27, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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