I did happen to see Obama's acceptance speech tonight. It followed a formula, as they all do. But overall, I think it ranks as a success.
Barack Obama certainly comes off as All-American here. Granted, Appalachians and a lot of older voters may have different criteria--to put it nicely--for what's American and what ain't. But I think people watching at home, those who are somewhat open at least, can look at this performance and say, "What? This is the guy I'm supposed to be afraid of?'
The most important thing he did was to praise John McCain for valor in fighting for America, then ripping him a new one on just about everything else. It's an important point to make: the presidency isn't a military pension. "Thanks for goint to Vietnam 40 years ago" does not translate into, "Here's the missile launch codes. Good luck."
Obama also shot back at the charge that he hasn't put the country first. Of course as much as he was responding to McCain and his campaign, that part was aimed even more at Joe Lieberman, who'll be addressing the Republicans in the Twin Cities in a few days. Hey, if you can rally the troops by tapping their resentment of that sanctimonious wiener, go for it.
Finally, it was nice to hear wild applause for the speech's references to same-sex partner rights. Yes, the crowd might be expected to be a little more liberal than average, but I'd guess straight males are at least a plurality. A standing O for the nominee addressing "our gay brothers and sisters" would not have happened just a few short years ago.