Thursday, August 28, 2008

DNC flashback: Barack Obama, 2004

The speech that led to this night took place on July 27, 2004 in Boston. Barack Obama – then a candidate for the U.S. Senate – delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention.

I’m streaming a 1½-minute except on my Vox blog. Click here to listen.

You can stream or download the entire speech by following this link to


maria said...

and as for tonight? i think he found his rhythm, his comfort level, got his cadence going, was in the grove in only about the final 20 minutes. then he sound more like king.


Undercover Black Man said...

^ I just let it wash over me. But yeah, he really brought it home at the end.

I find myself oddly at a loss for words.

MacDaddy said...

Some didn't think Obama would give a better speech than Sen. Clinton. But he did. One of the reasons his speeches are so good is that, first, Barack is a good writer and is able to inject a note of elegance in them. Second, he sometimes gets a guy named Sorenson, who was the late Jack Kennedy's advisor and speechwriter, look at his speeches to give it some finishing touches.
Yes, the rhetorical flashes in his speeches can leave one speechless.

Undercover Black Man said...

One of the reasons his speeches are so good is that, first, Barack is a good writer...

Indeed, MacDaddy. Superbly written. I plan to read the text in a few days.

Son of Slam said...

I remember watching the 2004 address in Chicago (it had be preempted elsewhere in the country), just being overwhelmed. After he finished, my wife turned to me and said "He's going to be the first Black President."

Rottin' in Denmark said...

Wow, that's a damn good speech. It's well-written enough that you don't even need the soaring delivery to be moved, or at least engaged.

Of all the 'America is so great!' rhetoric we have to sit through during election years, the only point that strikes me as being true is Obama's 'this is the only country where my story could have happened'. Other countries have freedom of speech, and good jobs, and hardworking people, etc. But, after living in Europe for three years, it really has struck me that a Kenyan student marrying a working-class kid from the sticks is pretty uniquely American.

Our reaction to Barack's story and background is overwhelmingly 'Aw, cool.' In much of the west, it would be more questioning, 'what's wrong with his mother? Who is this Kenyan, anyway?'

Anyway, I don't mean to Euro-bash. It's just nice to have a candidate who can actually pull off the 'America the beautiful' bullshit with a vaguely intellectual tilt, rather than just appealing to our historical and cultural ignorance ('At least in America we know we are free', etc).