This post should go over like a lead balloon, but given all the lofty praise, another perspective seems entirely appropriate. I remember listening to Barack Obama's victory speech in Iowa, entirely impressed with the verbal virtuoso, thinking a new era had taken flight. While I still believe Obama would make a good president, and he's this foreigners personal choice, I find my enthusiasm waning in one sense.
I'm glad I had the opportunity to listen to Obama's speech firsthand today, because the subsequent commentary shows no relationship to my perceptions. I should amend the above, I only listened to a few minutes of the speech, because to be frank, the lofty rhetoric left me cold, bored even. Soaring over the mountain tops, the linguistic gymnastics dazzling the masses, and yet it all seemed entirely dramatic, dare I say cheesy.
This isn't the 1960's, Kennedy's dead, and I really don't want to relive outdated romantic language that sounded Shakespearian, but really hardly illustrated any relationship to reality. I tend to be inspired by straight ahead, no bull, clear language, that is rooted in ordinary circumstance. This Moses on the mount routine tends to get old over time, so optimistic to be practically useless, so inspiring, doomed for failure. I'm not looking for someone to follow, and much of the time these speechs are almost intellectually pandering in their sermon style delivery.
Obama is great in low key interviews, Obama is excellent in articulating coherent answers to complex questions. Obama, on the mass stage, speaking before the rapt audience, delivering the biblical phrasing, over the top idealist jargon that touches the stratosphere, not so much anymore. I had a dream, but then I woke up and had a cold shower. Refreshing actually.