POLITICS

A pedestrian speech greeted as a barn-burning sermon

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Politics Digest

CHARLOTTE  – I’m not alone in seeing President Obama’s renomination speech tonight as a bit pedestrian. It sounded like a regular stump speech.

But in the Time Warner Center, the crowd treated the speech as a rip-roaring sermon. Any little applause line ignited a standing ovation. Any rhetorical repetition worked the crowd into a growing frenzy. Sometimes the crowd applauded at inappropriate moments. Other times they threw him off his timing because ordinary lines unexpectedly became applause lines.

Sizable chunks of his speech that television viewers heard were inaudible in the hall because of the roaring crowd.

What does this signify?

Some of it was what I wrote about earlier tonight — these people love him. Another contributing factor, I think was that Jennifer Granholm’s passionate bailout speech worked the crowd up.

Also, I think jingoism was at play. Democrats spent the night charging Republicans with not believing in America. Speakers alternated between celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden, and singing the song of economic nationalism. Democrats paraded Democrats across the stage. Tens of thousands of delegates waved American flags. They were partying like Republicans.

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