Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Prose and Poetry

The venue for tonight's historic speech may be a mistake, reinforcing Barack Obama's image as a rock star at a time when he has to make a reassuringly intimate connection with voters who will be bombarded by Republican attacks on him as too exotic to trust.

On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" oration, Obama is the embodiment of that dream come true. What Americans will want to hear now are not more visions but concrete plans to wake their country from eight years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare.

As gifted a speaker as he is, Obama may find a way to reach those millions with realistic proposals and inspire them at the same time, but the balance of prose and poetry will be exquisitely difficult to find as tens of thousands embrace him as the symbol of their hopes and, yes, their dreams.

The doubters and detractors will be ready to pounce on his words and twist them into sound bites for toxic commercials, but tonight will be the start of a test of American democracy that, for the sake of future generations, Obama must not fail. The prose will have to match the poetry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington, I'm asking you to believe in yours."

About the stadium, and the Berlin visit, Krauthammer and others fail to understand the accomodation of the big crowds. Obama has presented himself as someone who will lead from the bottom up, not the top down.

His fundraising base of close to 2 million small donors reveals the same principle, that Barack Obama intends to be a leader for a broad-based participatory democracy.

It's understandable that so many don't believe its possible.