Obama, Edwards, Wow The Wonks

I have seen none of the speeches, but the wonkosphere loved John Edwards, and especially, Barack Obama. Adele Stan writes:

I found myself weeping during Barack Obama's levitational address, during which I found myself embodying a veritable panoply of cliches, including goosebumps and smeared mascara. It's not that the junior senator from Illinois said anything that I hadn't already heard him say: it was the way he made use of the energy that was in the room. He took what the crowd so eagerly wanted to give him, channeled it through, and gave it back to them. He became more preacher than politician -- no, make that faith healer -- as he delivered his standard lines about how hope is the reason he is standing here before us, meaning the hope that the civil rights activists had that they could indeed prevail against racism.

On Edwards, Ezra Klein writes:

The summary of Obama's speech doesn't quite do justice to its power: For that, read Addie below. I genuinely felt bad for John Edwards, who had to follow what seemed an unmatchable performance. But he did, and if the reactions in my immediate environs were representative, for many, his focus on concrete policy changes bested Obama's attention to a reengaged citizenry. Unlike Obama, Edwards did not lash himself to a particular theme. His was not a grand commentary on politics, except in this way: We need bold change, and it must be be now. His speech was nothing but that, a litany of bold changes he would make, or at least fight for, if elevated into office. It was not as inspiring as Obama's address, but it was much more concrete, and far-reaching, and in that way, more comforting. As Matt said, he was far better and more direct on foreign policy than he's been in past addresses, and he laid out a long scenario connecting energy conservation to a collapse of Middle Eastern dictatorships (without petrodollars, they'll need to invest in education and development) and widespread investment in Africa (from Europe). It was interesting stuff, and plausible, if a bit hard to recount. Easier to explain was the focus on humanitarian works as a centerpiece of foreign policy, an argument Edwards fleshed out in some detail, and displayed evidence conviction during.

What I have not yet seen is coverage of Hillary Clinton's speech. I saw snippets of her and Edwards being interviewed in a forum by Chris Matthews. I thought they both did quite well.

Does this matter? I have said before, I think not. Garance Franke-Ruta called this "a speech that truly mattered." She does not explain why. But consider that so far, in all the coverage I have read, no one has actually written much on what Obama actually said. This apparently was not "[w]hat I want to know," where the lines resonated throughout the campaign. But we will see.

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    With the Iraq War ongoing (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 11:05:08 AM EST
    and surging I'm sorry. I just can't deal with Obama bringing tears to people's eyes over "potential".  You can have all the potential in the world and just be a gasbag.  He's a Senator.  Get nasty about Iraq on the Senate floor Obama, use some of that dry powder and perhaps I can get misty too.

    That first fauning piece reminded me of (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:06:33 PM EST
    the power of Ralph Fiennes in The Faith Healer.

    -fauning-=fawning (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 06:17:47 PM EST
    dem*a*gogue (none / 0) (#3)
    by chemoelectric on Tue Jun 19, 2007 at 07:46:26 PM EST
    According to dictionary.com:
      dem*a*gogue  ...
    noun 1.    a person, esp. an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.

    i'm sure sen. obama is (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Wed Jun 20, 2007 at 12:57:31 AM EST
    is a very nice guy, and easily sways those easily swayed. unfortunately, as the saying goes, at the end of the day, he's still an empty suit.

    witness the fact that no one seems able to recall exactly what it was he said, just how compelling he seemed saying it.

    i'm underwhelmed.