US President Barack Obama arrives at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno, Nev. AP Photo/Cathleen Allison
Linda Johnson Spence sat smug, arms crossed across her chest. She didn’t yell or whoop even once. Neither did she take her eyes off Obama even once.
And then when the President finished his speech accepting his party’s nomination, she jumped to her feet, arms raised in the air, and whooped and whooped and whooped.
“It was exhilarating,” said the young grandmother from Charlotte. President Obama had made his case for another term, and she thought he deserved it.
In a speech that looked insipid compared to Bill Clinton’s rousing defence of the President and the searing criticism of Mitt Romney on Wednesday, Obama asked for more time.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” Obama said, addressing the issue of economy which has been his presidency’s greatest weakness. “It will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades,” he said. But the path he is offering ends in a “better place”, a future worth the wait.
Obama said, while talking about the path of recovery, “we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in four years”.
While defending himself on his weakest point, Obama launched a blistering attack on his opponent’s weakest portion of his resume: foreign policy.
“You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally,” he said. Romney had questioned London’s preparedness while on a visit.
The Romney camp was quick to react, saying the president offered the “same policies that haven’t worked for the past four years ... and more promises”. Many commentators and TV pundits, too, said the speech lacked spark and the thunder usually associated with Obama, or any new plan or policy.
But Aaron Perry, from Madison, Wisconsin, said he thought the president “successfully defended his record on economy and was able to offer a positive vision of the future”.
Perry believes that Obama and Clinton double-teamed. The former President addressed the attacks on Obama’s handling of the economy. That freed up Obama to talk about his vision.
The party base went home even more convinced of Obama’s case for a second term.