By any estimation, Wednesday was the night for the Democrats’ past, heavy hitters to sell Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the party faithful.
After all, both of the party’s previous presidential nominees were scheduled to speak. To start off, as my colleague Nick Arama wrote about earlier in the night, was a pre-recorded video of 2016’s nominee (and loser), Hillary Clinton.
But even though the third night of a convention is supposed to allow the vice presidential nominee to shine, that wasn’t the speech everyone was waiting for. Barack Obama’s, which he gave live from Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution, was.
And like many of the major speeches during Days 1 and 2 of the 2020 DNC, Obama’s was introduced by a lengthy video introduction.
As my returning colleague Scott Housell pointed out as part of our RedState #RSLiveBlog during the program, the minutes-long airing of the January 2017 ceremony — in which Pres. Obama honored then-Vice President Joe Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — was just so much “filler.”
Because if Americans recall anything from Obama’s eight years in the White House, it’s this: Everything’s about the king of “I” — Barack Obama himself.
Former President Obama during his Democratic National Convention speech: "They know they can't win you over with their policies. So they're hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote…That's how a democracy withers. Until it's no democracy at all." pic.twitter.com/uMLQYJakut
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 20, 2020
Indeed, his speech echoed the keynote speech that helped to put him in the national spotlight, when he spoke at John Kerry’s 2004 Democratic convention, in which he said: “[T]here is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”
On Wednesday night, Obama said, “These shouldn’t be Republican principles or Democratic principles. They’re American principles.”
But sadly, like the former First Lady on Tuesday, he resorted to “going low,” like in this blatant, personal attack of President Trump — completely without basis in fact:
“I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.
But he never did. For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends.
Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”
But this paragraph of his speech led to a wide gap in the speech of any mention of either the presumed POTUS or veep nominee. As usual, it was all about him:
“Look, I understand why many Americans are down on government. The way the rules have been set up and abused in Congress make it easy for special interests to stop progress. Believe me, I know. I understand why a white factory worker who’s seen his wages cut or his job shipped overseas might feel like the government no longer looks out for him, and why a Black mother might feel like it never looked out for her at all. I understand why a new immigrant might look around this country and wonder whether there’s still a place for him here; why a young person might look at politics right now, the circus of it all, the meanness and the lies and crazy conspiracy theories and think, what’s the point?”
As I mentioned, this was the main event for many, who were apparently so eager to hear Obama’s speech, they “gather[ed] across the street” from where he was speaking to watch:
— Isabel Sanchez (@isasanchezt62) August 20, 2020
You’ll be shocked by this review from certified hack Larry Tribe, who lauded the speech as “magnificent” and “a speech for the ages”:
Barack Obama’s Convention speech was magnificent. A speech for the ages. If you missed it tonight, you’ll just have to find a way to listen to it. It’ll inspire you and empower you. Trust me on that.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 20, 2020
But also watching was President Donald Trump, as Breitbart News noted, who fired off this tweet on the “late” timing of the former president’s endorsement of the vice president he depended on so much and the reports this week that Obama urged Biden not to run.
Trump wrote, “Why did he refuse to endorse Slow Joe until it was all over, and even then was very late. Why did he try to get him not to run?”
WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2020
All good questions, Mr. President… with very few answers from the Democrats’ speakers tonight.
What did you think of Barack Obama’s speech, or any of tonight’s program from the Democrats? Leave your thoughts in the comment area below!