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Will Obama's Speech Have Legs?

      The introductory movie was great. The speech? Wonderful setting, it turned out, like a terrific rock concert. But was it too workmanlike? Obama tried to tie his life to the lives of ordinary Americans but the speech surprisingly  lacked poetry, great lines, or a compelling narrative. There was no "New Frontier," "Rendezvous with Destiny," or even "I Still Believe in A Place Called Hope." There were no memorable images along the lines of Deval Patrick's wonderful story of the three people in his poor household alternating nightly between a bunk bed and the floor. The speech it was most reminiscent of was Jimmy Carter's 1976 acceptance speech, which began with a wonderful film but never reached those heights again.

      So the question is whether it will last. In retrospect, the best speech of the convention was Bill Clinton's; the second-best was probably Hillary's. Obama continues to remain a work in progress --- and a candidate still in need of a better speechwriter.

   

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