Your Turn

What Did You Think Of Obama's DNC Speech?

Obama Addressing DNC / Credit: Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama addresses the audience at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Credit: Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/ Getty Images

Sen. Barack Obama stepped into the history books last night, accepting his party's nomination for the presidency.

Writes the New York Times: "On Thursday night, the speechmaker showed, in words, that he was also a man of experience, and a man who wanted to give something back to the people who gave it to him."

Watch his full speech — along with a transcript, and share your thoughts.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

First half was typical political speech. Second half was lovely rhetoric. A joy to hear after a drought of good rhetoric the past 8 years...

Sent by Dot Fowler | 11:50 AM | 8-29-2008

It gave me the impression that he thinks we are a nation of whiney losers!!!! Things aren't really as bad as he made everything sound. Still alot of words and vague promises but no real meat regarding what he is really about. I am left unimpressed.

Sent by Tom Paterson | 4:01 PM | 8-29-2008

Senator Obama's speech was a thing of beauty. Its construction as a speech nearly perfect: a strong opening five minutes, a shift to the necessary specifics to answer Senator McCain, and then well-timed, well-worded, building back to an uplifting and dramatic conclusion. The specific were there to demonstrate what he believes and what he will do, if one chose to listen. The passion, the pride in America, and the compassion for change shined through again. Senator Obama capped the convention with soaring rhetorical splendor, equal to John Kennedy.

Sent by Bob Coleman | 5:54 PM | 8-29-2008

Barack's speech brought tears to my eyes. I have witnessed our youth, our PEOPLE loose faith in our great nation these past few years. (self included) Barack made me fall in love with our country again!!

Sent by Jennifer Shannon | 6:02 PM | 8-29-2008

Obama's acceptance speech was galvanizing forcing me to become active in this campaign. As I watched the acceptance speech and well tailored speeches leading up to it, a refrain began in my mind and it has not ceased: "It's our country: together we can take it back!"

Actually, before the convention this refrain was without words and substance. It began as a feeling that all was not right and that I was neither happy nor proud to be an American at this time in our country's history. My wife and I are ashamed for the inhumane way we treat prisoners; we are appalled at this unnecessary war that kills our young and consumes our treasure; we are appalled that our nation's health ranks low amongst developed countries; we are appalled that we can not or will not take care of our own so New Orleans still suffers from Katrina; we are appalled that jobs disappear here to reappear overseas; we are appalled that many high school students can't spell or read; we are appalled that CEOs make more in a day than many people make in a year. We are appalled that so much about the America of today is worthy only of shame and sorrow.

In Barack, I found a person who began life as so many do today -- in an incomplete household struggling to make ends meet. And yet he grew up understanding and caring about people, their problems, and the injustices of our society -- a society that rather than helping people rise upward ignores them. In the lead up speeches the problems that plaque the American common person are my problems; that their concerns were my concerns. I realized that so many people wish for a simple and care free life as my wife and I do and that we are all in the same boat -- a boat that is slowly sinking. So the first part of the refrain found substance as the ills of our society were cited -- it's our country. It's our country in that sinking boat. But not all Americans are in that boat; in a life boat heading toward shore are those who can buy their life through compliant Boards of Directors or through compliant politicians. No, it's not truly our country, yet.

Toward the end of the speech, the refrain grew. Yes, we all have problems; yes, the country has provided the American dream to only a few people. Yes, much is wrong; but it can be changed. America can be made right. America can be made right if we but work together toward a country that cares about its people. If we work together "we can take America back!" and make America what it is meant to be. And so the refrain, "It's our country; we can take it back" sums my impression of the acceptance speech.

Sent by Robert Palmquist | 6:34 PM | 8-29-2008

I thought Obama's acceptance speech was great. He hit lots of good notes. We've been suffering for eight years, economically and spiritually. It IS that bad. I'd like to hear more speeches like that, getting down to specifics, spelling out just how good it would be for us if he were president. Too many people think Obama is wild and out there. He isn't. He's sensible. He sees what's actually needed and what can be done. More than anything, his speech left me with a feeling of relief--finally, we might just emerge from this nightmare into a fresh new day.

Sent by Donna Munro | 6:48 PM | 8-29-2008

Awesome, just awesome. Any reluctance I had about him after Clinton lost, were swept away.

Sent by Claudia | 6:59 PM | 8-29-2008

My husband and I are both in our 60's. We received credentials for tickets to Invesco because, for the first time ever for both of us, we are ACTIVELY engaged in a political election. It's because Barack Obama reached past our cynical (borne of experience) belief that politics are mostly the "same old, same old thing," regardless of party. Barack's speech last night, and being physically there to hear it, will enable us to keep on truckin' for at least 50 more hours manning one of our local phone banks. It was truly awesome.

Sent by Elizabeth Treichler | 7:58 PM | 8-29-2008

This man knows where we need to go, where we need to be and that there will be sacrifices by all of us. It is ntime for the me first generation to realize that if we do not work to help each other, we have nowhere to go. He had an excellent speech and has the moxie to make people want to do the right thing. I am so glad we finally have a statesman running for the office of president. We finally have an opportunity for America to be the home we know it can be.

Sent by sunny123 | 9:03 PM | 8-29-2008

Obama brought the issues that we care about front & center: fiscal sobriety, peace with dignity, affordable health care, economic, gender & racial equality, personal responsibility, and a firm commitment to protecting and preserving the greatest democracy in the world.
The Bush/McCain tragedy have threatened our very existence. Obama has shown us the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sent by Joyce Harley | 9:30 PM | 8-29-2008

It was beautiful!! As a child of the South, I never thought I would live to see this day. (I am 64 years old.)

Sent by Ruby Jewel | 10:34 PM | 8-29-2008

If it is possible for a person to make a thousand percent I think Obama did it last night. I think he did it so great until Senator McCain went to Alaska and pull Govenor Palin out of the mix so that he could try to have some momentum. He met this woman once, and if a possible presidential candidate
make important choices that carelessly I
believe good republicans will see that there can be nothing good to come of this.
I feel that this woman is of good character and will get some votes for McCain but she is no Hillary nor is she a Democrat.

Sent by Carolyn | 10:38 PM | 8-29-2008

why attempt to dilute such a historical moment in american history? duh, it was a slam dunk. historians will take note and our children and grandchildren will be inspired to be all that they can be. Period.

Sent by george gekas | 3:30 PM | 8-30-2008

At last he was specific about what he means about change. His spech was excellent and has convinced me that he can go all the way. Although I was a Clinton supporete I can now say "YES WE CAN'!

Sent by Pat | 3:33 PM | 8-30-2008

It looked and sounded like a 'love-fest' between Hollywood and the DNC!
All glitter and no substance. All rhetoric and accusations, but no solutions. Matches his voting record, "present". Talk about staying neutral on everything. Go McCain! Slam duck with Palin.

Sent by Dave in Illinois | 7:55 PM | 8-30-2008

Good job Sen. Obama. Good job indeed. I was quite impressed with the speech. He was quite informative and gave an idea of how he would run his administration. He provided me with insight that was needed, and that I hadn't received in the past.

Sent by ernise | 10:05 PM | 8-30-2008

Obama's a smooth talker.......but wake up people in the end he will raise our taxes and it will be the same old BS. There are no Democrates or Republicans, there' only haves and have not. We are the have not's. We lose no matter who goes to the white house. McCain/Palin 08

Sent by lynn | 12:44 AM | 8-31-2008

I find it absolutely baffling that McCain has had only one brief meeting with Palin before choosing her as his running mate. This was clearly a last minute decision and a knee jerk reaction to the Obama attention from the night before. This is an irresponsible and reckless decision, he hardly even knows her. He's selection shows me what type of president he will be, decisions will not be made with careful consideration and diplomacy but instead, quick gut reactions will lead the way. Listen, I'm not undermining Palin's accomplishments, I congratulate her on her historic achievement. However McCain is simply using her as a chess pawn.

I also don't agree with her policies and views:

1. She is pro-war.
2. She is opposed to reproductive rights for women.
3. She doesn't believe in global warming.
4. She supports big oil and wherever they chose to drill.
5. She's a lifetime member of the NRA.
6. She's opposed a clean water initiative.
7. She sued the federal gov. for listing polar bears as an endangered species (why? cause you can't drill for oil when animals are occupying the land) she's against wildlife protection.

...It's true they would've never selected her, if she were a man, it's pretty insulting to think a position was given to you simply due to your gender...what a gimmick.

Obama/Biden 08

Sent by Morgan | 6:52 PM | 8-31-2008

did i hear that correctly... did EYE? did he the half kenyan half white give kudos to Kennedy but reference to Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "preacher [or pastor] from Atlanta GA"? How could you on such a day as that day be so poised to refer to a white by their name but forget totally the African man's name? Was that a bit of racial pandering to whites by being non racial? But hold up and pump the brakes [as the young ones say] who came up with the concept and demarcation lines that represent "race/racism" and all of its nefarious paradigms of exclusion?

rewind the tape and play it again?

Sent by itolduiwould | 10:03 PM | 8-31-2008

Did Aaron Sorkin write Obama's speech? Parts of it were direct rip offs from the West Wing and The American President.

Sent by Pam | 2:50 PM | 9-2-2008

I find it very hard to believe that so many people have fallen for this Hollywood production. There were so many distractions that nobody actually listened to the content of the speech. You are all simply enamored by this man and the sooner you realize that the better. John McCain real and offers attainable goals.

Sent by Bill | 4:50 AM | 9-3-2008

obama is for 90 percent of the people mccain has the same old ticket bush has oil look at he vp you most be crazy if you vote on that bullshit jobs are being cut like i never seen before bush and mccain or twins if he win get ready for a war with the russin oil is going up we need more gov so these gas company dont rip us off like they have makeing more money then they ever have before

Sent by mike | 6:18 PM | 9-5-2008

Who actually puts country first? McCain, who talks only about his POW experience, or Obama, who talks about us? Obama's speech was direct and thought out, it could be considered a thesis. Bravo!

Sent by Julia | 10:12 PM | 9-5-2008

Obama has proved that he got what it takes to lead Americans. He addressed very issue from the state of the economy, health, education and terrorism. He tackled terrorism as a global issue. He said the terrorist network operates in about 50 countries and attacking Iraq wasn't an end to it. To me Obama got ideas and him also believing in diplomacy, He will be able to deal with issue without using force or wars. Americans need Mr. Obama to lead them to the promise land.

Sent by stan asante | 5:34 PM | 9-8-2008

I appreciated how Barack Obama addressed all the democrats, republicans, and independents. I feel very confident to have Obama as America's president. He showed that he is welcomed to different perspectives. It seemed as if he was directing most of his speech to the average American whom is in the middle class. Since I am in the middle class I could relate to a lot of the situations he was giving that he planned to change. Obama has great proposals that would be wonderful if they all could follow through.

Sent by Ashleigh Petty | 9:01 PM | 9-8-2008

Obama is way too inexperienced to be the president of the United States. He addresses our oil issue as if we have an alternative currently available. He wants to get us off oil in ten years when he wouldn't even be in office for ten years. Also he talks about the American dream, but then wants to give poor americans free healthcare. The american dream is to work hard and make your own way, not for the government to give handouts.

Sent by Jacob Astin | 2:37 PM | 9-9-2008

Obama focused mainly on revolutionizing the government and changing many policies to better the United States as a country. While assuring the people that they are the ones who matter, he stressed the fact that with McCain in office things would remain the same, for reasons such as McCain voting with Bush 90% of the time on policies. He addressed subjects such as economy, education, debt, housing, employment, health care, poverty, and the republican failure of government to respond to problems. These issues are predominantly targeted towards the middle to lower class citizens. It seems as though Obama is riding off the fact that the current president did a sub-par job at keeping the country in order. He did a good job of touching base with his audience and laying out a general plan or outline of what he plans to do as president.

Sent by Marcus Bryant | 2:43 PM | 9-9-2008

Barack Obama was blessed with the ability to speak and motivate an audience. He is in a position as the Democratic nominee to play almost solely on "we are not like Bush" vote for us! Like most Democrats he focuses on the middle class tax cuts and attacks Mccain and Republicans for their favoratism to the upper class. Obama in his speech brought up gay and lesbian rights a lot as well to get all of the supporters even if he already has most of them. Whether his ideas are right or if you agree or not he can definatley get emotion of a lot of people just by speaking.

Sent by Bryce Roberts | 3:51 PM | 9-9-2008

Barrack Obama's speech spoke a lot about cutting taxes for low income families and lowering health care premiums. Obama plans to make life in America much more affordable for the lower class. Obama is making a lot of promises that will be difficult to keep. Our economy is already in a trying state. He also plans to take the United States out of Iraq. He hardly seems committied to that statement because he spent a total of two minutes talking about the military and foreign policy. Bringing in a President who knows very little about foreign policy during a time of war doesn't sound very smart. I trust Obama with his knowledge of domestic issues, but I fear for the men and women in the armed forces.

Sent by Jake Ardis | 4:45 PM | 9-9-2008

The Obama speech was the most inspiring, I think. The meer fact that he is African American alone motivates people for change, which is a part of his platform. The aspect of change is very important. The government we now how is unstable and our economy is slowly declining. Obama is calling for change to the most important aspects of our failing society. The society today is needs a huge change. Change is necessary in order for our economy to end the recession and I think Obama has all the means and ideas in mind for the change that we need.

Sent by Brittney | 5:43 PM | 9-9-2008

I think it is very easy to say that Obama's speech touched everyone in the room. He has a way with his words, and he uses them well. This is a historical election, and I agree that it is beautiful that a black man is finally running for president. On the flip side, he left many issues unaddressed. I honeslty want to be able to support him all the way, but I think that he made many empty unrealistic promises. It seems like he is trying to accomplish the impossible. How is he going to cut taxes for 95% percent of the people? I want to hear exactly how he is going to do that, and what the consequences will be afterwards before I cast my vote for either of the candidates.

Sent by julieeeeeeeee | 7:20 PM | 9-9-2008

Barack Obama gave a very tactical speech effectively striking the audiences emotions; however, some of his plans seem a bit farfetched. I do not see how making tax breaks for 95% of working families will help the US out as a whole. Where's the money going to come from? I want to know what he plans to do with the rich of the nation. Obama also left out any ideas for revamping the emergency management field. I feel he has a better education plan than McCain. Obama wishes to tackle this problem at its core -- in the American home. I'm also not sure how wise it was for Barack Obama to target younger voters, since I know from experience that young voters typically do not take their legal privileges seriously.

Sent by Brent | 7:30 PM | 9-9-2008

Barack Obama's speech was very convincing and energetic. He addressed all of the important issues such as, lowering taxes, and how he was going to provide funds for these issues. He plans on reforming America so that we can have a "new and improved" eight years. I felt that he spoke with great diction and gave good examples when supporting the issues. On the other hand, I thought that he was very disrespectful when he used John McCain's name as he addressed the negative issues. He used many quotes when referring to John McCain, but had no evidence to prove that these quotes were true.

Sent by Alana Nichols | 7:41 PM | 9-9-2008

I think Obama's speech was really enthusiastic and appealed to a lot of people, including me. But I also think that some of his promises are easier said then done. The whole decreasing taxes for 95% of families seems a little extreme, as does cutting dependence on the Middle East for oil in ten years. He also left out some other issues that I thought should have been addressed to a higher effect. While same-sex marriages, gun control, immigration, and global warming were mentioned once, they were only referred to very lightly. Though I enjoyed Obama's speech, I thought he was wrong to criticize McCain as often as he did, but he made it seem like it was okay to as long as he said he accepted McCain. Lastly, the whole speech overall seemed very general as to say "America will change, America will progress, we're going to do this and that." I thought Obama should have been more specific as to not leave any doubt about what his intentions were.

Sent by Sona | 8:11 PM | 9-9-2008

In Barack Obama's speech he mentions multiple times that McCain is a supporter of President Bush. He also states in his response to McCain's speech that he failed to mention that "he's been a Bush partisan 90% of the time". I want to know what his point is. Even though McCain agrees with most of Bush's policies that does not necessarily mean he will re-enforce them if he becomes President. Barack Obama just assumes that there will be absolutely no change at all if he is elected. He needs to realize that people can agree with someone else but not uphold their policies when they are in control.

Sent by Cate Opel | 9:05 PM | 9-9-2008

Overall, I thought Obama's speech was alright. I like the fact that he addressed issues at hand. I feel that he could have elaborated more on how he was going to be successful at doing things such as making tax cuts and creating more jobs for the people. I feel that he did not really have a credited source on where he really would get the money to do all what he wants to do. Besides that, I feel that he is going to do what he says and if not, then try extremely hard.

Sent by Taylor | 9:50 PM | 9-9-2008

Obama's speech was very upbeat and inspirational to many, and everything that he has said regarding the change that he will make if he is elected President sound wonderful, but also sounds like it is easier said than done. Obama says that McCain is going to follow after President Bush and do the same things that he has done, but all in all he doesn't know what McCain is thinking of doing he is only saying what he thinks McCain will do. Most of the things that Obama has promised most of America, would love to see happen, but let's face it there is no way he can do all of the things he says in 4 years. Obama will do his best to change America if he is elected, which could do America good, but this also means that he doesn't need to talk bad about his opponent, because that sets a bad example of how he deals with competition.

Sent by Jessica Powell | 10:30 PM | 9-9-2008

Obama stated that he was going to make change for this country. He did a very good job in stating specifically what he is going to change. Such as investing in renewable resources and in ten years he will rid the country of dependence on oil from the Middle East. Not only did Obama say what he is going to change but he also stated how he is going to accomplish those changes. He would get rid of useless Federal programs and use that money to invest in his changes. Obama spoke a lot of helping the people mainly middle class and below. The majority of the voters are in these two categories. Obama said he would cut 95% of taxes for working families and give healthcare to those who couldn't afford it. Obama focused on all voters but concentrated more on the middle and lower class. Obama put his focus on the people and this helps boost his campaign.

Sent by Zach TenBroeck | 10:40 PM | 9-9-2008

Obama's speech was one focused mainly on change. The problem lied only in the fact that Obama did not give enough details to define this "change" he speaks of. Also, Obama repeatedly attacked his opponents. He starts by talking bad about President Bush and then making supporters of Bush to look dumb. Then Obama turns and talks bad about McCain. I think it would have better served Obama to focus more on detailing his plan for the nation then shunning others plans for the nation.

Sent by Chris F | 11:32 PM | 9-9-2008

Obama did extremely well with his speech. He demonstrated the confidence and strength needed to lead our country into an era of change, which was the main point of his speech. He tackled McCain on many points, including the Iraqi war, our economy and oil addiction.

Sent by Kathryn | 11:33 PM | 9-9-2008

I think Obama did a good job as he was able to get his audience to really believe in him. He talked about many of the current problems the country currently has, and he promised to change and fix all of them. He blamed President Bush for all of the problems and stated that the reason for the problems is the Republican party's policies. He said that if McCain is elected, the the problems will continue or even get worse. Obama targeted the middle class and working class audience and gave examples of his own parents being working class people.

Sent by Tahseen Ibrahim | 12:45 AM | 9-10-2008

Obama is depicting the icon of change. He does so by emphasizing on the fact that the Republican party has failed the United States of America these past eight years. Is he putting down McCain for voting with Bush 90% of the time, or is he just putting down Republicans in general? He stresses the importance of education for children, affordable and accessible health care, and lowering taxes for the middle class.

His weakness is that he targets mostly Democrats. And, his lack of experience. He mentions people's doubts about him, and counteracted it by saying, "It's not about me... it's about you. He also used his grandfather, who has served, his hardworking grandmother and his single mother to relate to others.

Sent by Joy Polintan | 12:48 AM | 9-10-2008

When listening to Barak Obama, I felt that he was simply saying what he knew the American people would want to hear. While this is nothing out of the ordinary in politics, I feel that for the most part these were just empty promises. Saying you will make such great changes and reforms sounds great, but means nothing if you cannot come through. I felt like I was just hearing the same old Democratic promises that come around every four years but never end up happening like the candidate says they will. Obama is a great speaker, and he knows how to win the crowd, but I didn't feel like he was at the top of his game on this one. Still had the celebrity charisma and moving speech, but it wasn't like some of his past speeches. Despite this I felt he still would appeal to a broader spectrum of voters then McCain will based off of both their acceptance speeches. I just hope it won't be enough, I do not feel he is ready to lead this country.

Sent by Daniel Crosson | 1:14 AM | 9-10-2008

The fact remains that even though he is very progressive, he is a little too eager with all of his plans. He has laid out a strict and specific spending plan to help replace the "tax cuts" he's going to make this year, but there isn't a great chance that will all work out, because rarely in life does it ever. Obama was a lot more direct in attacking McCain by name in his speech, and it's like he thinks McCain is nothing more than George Bush round 2. Granted, McCain and Bush shared many of the same political standings, but he isn't as bad as he is made out to be.

Sent by Andy | 3:10 AM | 9-10-2008

Obama's speech was very intresting. He kept me up the whole time. I like the fact that he was trying to help the under priveledged in America. He is trying to make America a better place. He also stated that he was going to create programs to keep young men off the street. I think that Obama's is trying to do more for the young people. That is good becuase the young people is the future.

Sent by Kenise Ford | 8:37 AM | 9-10-2008

Obama's speech was way more upbeat and crowd pleasing than I think McCain's was. But were Obama messed up was his constant abuse of the Republican party and McCain. It's one thing to make fun of your opponent as long as you do it in a professional way. Throughout most of Obama's speech he point's out all of the wrongdoings of the last 8 years and how we can be better than that. That is all fine and well because that's what he is suppose to do secure the vote by telling you what he'll do and why it's better. But I feel as though Obama's speech lacked class and almost respect for the other candidate. The only time he respected McCain is when he thanked him for his service in the war.

Sent by Kevin | 9:24 AM | 9-10-2008

Obama speech was every interesting to me. It seems to me that He has plans to change America. Obama states that we have been through bad times the last 8 years and if we elect McCain then we will have to deal with this devastation for 4 more years. I believe that America is ready for a change and that Obama will be the one that makes the change happen. I agree with a lot of things that he said during his speech for instance when he speaks about the same sex relationships. I feel that you can be who you want to be and it should not matter to anyone. If you want to be in a same sex relationship that's your business and it should make you happy and not everyone else in the world. Change is on the way Americans need to get ready.

Sent by Chelsea Fleming | 10:19 AM | 9-10-2008

Barrack Obama's speech certainly had a lot of energy and empty promises. He just doesn't seem realistic. I got the impression that he won't be able to even begin to do half of the things that he promised to accomplish during his term. We really do need a realistic president with more experience, not just a good speaker with charisma. His speech also sounded just like McCain's did to me.

Sent by Jessica Logel | 10:22 AM | 9-10-2008

About

Support comes from: