Obama sets tone of tolerance, diversity with convention speech

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016,16:01 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Philadelphia | His eyes moist with tears, Barack Obama at today’s Democratic national convention was a picture of poise and maturity as he recalled being so young that first time in Boston addressing the gathering 12 years ago.

The latest of the American president’s key speeches endorsing party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had applause erupting after almost every pause he took at a sports arena here that had barely a seat empty, in a reminder why he beat her in 2008.

So 12 years ago tonight I addressed this convention for the very first time, he said, adding how Americans were also introduced to his daughters Malia and Sasha who are now two amazing young women and wife Michelle who somehow hasn’t aged a day. I know, the same cannot be said for me. My girls remind me all the time. Wow, you’ve changed so much, daddy. And then they try to clean it up. Not bad, just more mature. And it’s true, I was so young that first time in Boston, he recalled.

Obama’s speeches are known for their vignettes of intimately personal narratives and sweeping visions of America, and his fiery 45-minute speech today, seen by many as a valedictory coda to his 2004 debut, was nothing short of it. It was a result of six drafts and a few late nights, according to White House officials, who added that the president had begun working on it in June and the first draft was ready on July 18. He even stayed up until 3:30 am on Monday revising it, the same day when his wife Michelle wowed the audience on the first day of the convention, moving delegates to tears and proving to be the ‘perfect Trump antidote’.

In his speech, Obama touched upon the developments that America has seen over the years under his presidency and staying great all the while and set a tone of tolerance, diversity as he lashed out at Trump for a divisive rhetoric. Making the case for his successor, who has already created history by becoming the first woman nominee of a major US party, Obama warned of the threat that Trump poses to the 240-year-old fabric of American democracy.

An emotional Obama, with moist eyes, appeared to have come a full circle in the country’s politics, being at the helm of affairs of some of the greatest developments. The first black president in American history reminded his countrymen why he is a once-in-a-generation figure and could beat Clinton again today. But now his last, greatest gift was to pass on the torch, The Guardian commented. It (His speech) was an elegiac piece of political theatre that contrasted with last week’s Republican convention in which a bellicose Trump, ranting in front of his own giant image, bordered on fascist satire, it said.

His speech also angered many conservative voices opposed to Trump, with CNN reporting a number of tweeted reactions. I started the evening saying for the first time I thought Trump could win. Then Obama spoke. I’m so angry at my own party right now, Erick Erickson said in a post. Michelle tweeted after the speech: That’s my man! Your truth, dignity and grace reminds us what real leadership looks like. I am always proud of our