In an attempt to capture the magic four years ago when he rode a wave of hope into the White House, President Obama brought back similar themes, but he also asked for patience as he tries to fix things.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” he said. “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.”
For those counting, Obama said the word “hope” 15 times and “Mitt Romney” once.
This morning, the media reaction to the speech has been mixed, with pundits from the partisan cable networks taking to their corners to praise or pan the address. Other media outlets have characterized the speech as familiar and strong, though not a barnburner.
The speech may not have stood up to the one candidate Obama delivered four years ago, but conversations about it caught on like wildfire on social media. Twitter reported that @barackobama
drove 52,757 tweets per minute during the speech with more than 9 million Tweets sent about #DNC2012
. Just 4 million tweets were sent with the "#RNC2012 hashtag over the course of the RNC’s 3-day event.
Obama offered several strong sound bites, such as “The election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change,” and this zinger, “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”
The Twittersphere chimed in with a variety of reactions to the speech, including:
@BuzzFeedBen: Obama getting it done, checking boxes, not really trying to soar; a real contrast with his convention intro in 04.
@latikambourke: More prose, less poetry in Obama's speech.
@kirkfox: Future seems like a lot of work.
@RyanGOP (a Romney for President spokesperson): This is a standard @BarackObama stump speech thus far. Nothing new, nothing special.
@MichaelSkolnik: Barack's speech tonight is a presidential speech, not a guy who hopes to be President.
@TheFix: Ended very strong. But not a speech that cracks the top 5 that Obama has given.
And as with every night of the DNC and RNC, Twitter offered some levity to the serious business of picking the next president of the free world. Some gems:
@wilw: If President Obama is at #DNC2012, that means... this is just an empty chair in my living room! CLINT EASTWOOD LIED TO ME.
@MikeDrucker: How amazing would it be if President Obama turned around and said, "One more thing" and then revealed the iPhone 5?
@janiehaddad: Oh, hi, I gave the order to kill bin Laden. Nuff said, thank you and goodnight!!
@sucittaM: "Hey said 'gays'. QUICKLY! ALL CAMERAMEN: FIND THE GAYS!"
@ejacqui: I think a pair of panties just flew onstage.
@DeathStarPR: Sure, Obama gives a good speech but can he Force choke an idiot from across a room or build you a Death Star? #Vader2012
Talk of the speech on Twitter and in the media might be short-lived as the press focuses its attention on the disappointing jobs report for August that came out Friday morning. The American economy added just 96,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because more people left the workforce. The number of jobs added in June and July were also revised downward.
In response to the report and the convention, Mitt Romney tweeted
: “If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover. 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. America deserves better.”
Gil Rudawsky is a former reporter and editor. He heads up the crisis communication and issues management practice at GroundFloor Media in Denver. Read his blog or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.