Barack Obama, democratic nominee for president
Get used to hearing that, people. Because you're gong to be hearing about it a lot.
Hillary Clinton's historic but ultimately flawed campaign is finally over, and thank god. Now time to start creaming McCain. And with his awful, awful speeches and even worse policies, that's not going to be too hard.
Big update: a summary of tonight's speeches:
Awkwardly and falteringly delivered, with bad intonation and creepy fake smiles, to a very small room half-filled by an elderly white audience -- in New Orleans, so I guess the white folks were bussed in from Mississippi. (Seriously: no black people in the room? In New Orleans?) In the background, an unflattering green backdrop reveals a new slogan: "A Leader We Can Believe In".
This speech -- and that crowd -- was an excellent indication of why democrats are going to win in November. McCain's campaign is a shambles, disorganized and demoralized. Its candidate is out of touch and unlikeable. This is another Dole candidacy, and that's great news for Obama. The campaign is so adrift they scheduled McCain to speak 20 minutes before Obama started speaking, leaving McCain to get cut off literally in mid-sentence to announce Obama's nomination. Even the new slogan is terrible. Like Hillary's grating "Yes We Will" chant, adopting an awkward re-wording of your opponent's successful slogan merely underlines just how bereft of new ideas your campaign really is.
"Whoops, I didn't get the presidency! Shit! And I'm personally out $11m, so, uh... make me Vice President, because I really won! Seriously! I got the popular vote, if you don't count the states that didn't vote for me! And remember to keep donating, because I'm gonna be really broke if you don't!"
The reason Hillary isn't dropping out, by the way, is because the rules say she can't continue to raise money to pay off her debt if she drops out of the race. Her campaign is in $21m worth of debt, so the only way to get her money back is to give her hard-core fans false hope that she will stay in, and take it to the convention, or maybe get the VP slot, or something, whatever, as long as they keep donating. As soon as she breaks even she will drop out. I don't think she seriously expects to get the VP nod, in the same way that I don't think she seriously has expected to win for quite some time. She just didn't have a good exit strategy (and still doesn't).
What is there to say? The man knows how to give a speech. It was no Yes We Can (New Hampshire), no Change is Coming to America (Iowa), and certainly no 2004 DNC speech. But it was still eloquent, and passionate, and sincerely delivered by a candidate who I truly believe wants what's best for the United States and the world and has good plans, practical plans for making it happen.
The reason I love Obama as a candidate is because I believe in him. I believe in him without cynicism, knowing that while he isn't perfect he is genuine. A political candidate that I trust so deeply is unprecedented in my short life of following politics, and it is refreshing and inspiring to me and many others of my generation to be able for once to put aside cynicism and sarcasm and truly unreservedly support a cause. I love Obama for giving me that opportunity.
And now, for the first time in my life, the good guy, the guy who should have won, is the guy who did win, and he gets to fight the general election and has a good chance of becoming one of the most powerful leaders in the world. That's a wonderful thing.