I've already said that I found Obama's Iowa speech to be one of the most inspiring I could remember. Most of the pundit class agreed, saying the speech was memorable and "historic". A great moment that made it seem like a movement had begun, something different was brewing, anything was possible.
Fast forward to Obama's speech in Texas, and I have to admit it all seemed too perfect, too idealistic and repetitive to the point of annoying. Maybe I was feeling a tad cynical, but the constast references to two words "change" and "hope" tended to render the terms meaningless. It was almost this bad:
I hope we can change, because that change is the foundation for hope. We must bring change, we need to change the changes that hopefully bring change"
There is a real danger in constant referencing what amounts to simplistic generalities. The fact I found a stunningly talented orator like Obama decidedly stale after a few minutes I think isn't something unique to myself, I suspect over time these lines will lose impact in a general sense. It almost seemed like Obama is becoming a caricature of himself, too slick by half, almost like the lead in a lofty production.
I don't mean to suggest there is no substance, that criticism is a pretty silly if you listen to the man, scan his policies. However, I did find that the substance took a decided backseat to the linguistic spectacle, the constant hammering of key words which began to ring shallow.
Everyone wants change, everyone wants hope, that isn't a new concept, or particular to a certain time. I think Obama will be successful in the long run, should he begin to realize that his concepts will convey change, speak to hope, without the barrage of overt references, that sometimes tend to cheapen.
In Iowa, I was glued to my set, amazed at what I saw. Last night, I was easily distracted, a tad cynical, feeling that to believe all of this required a certain naivety on my part. If I don't hear the words change and hope for a few weeks, I'm okay with that.