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Obama’s Acceptance Speech a Mix of Politics and Policy

Sen. Barack Obama delivered his speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president before a crowd of thousands at Denver's Invesco Field. A panel of NewsHour analysts and historicans react to Thursday night's event.

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    And with that, I think we'll catch some closing thoughts on this Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Mark Shields and David Brooks are here, of course. And in our other studio are our convention historian team of Michael Beschloss, Richard Norton Smith, and Peniel Joseph. And over at the stadium, where all of that is going on, are Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.



    Hi, Jim. As you can tell, we're right in the middle of a big fireworks display. You know, the last night of a convention is usually about balloon drops, but instead we've got confetti and we've got fireworks and more American flags than I've ever seen, probably because, you can safely say, this is unlike any other political event we've ever seen.

    It's been quite remarkable. Barack Obama wanted to show that he was steely and that John McCain was stubborn, that he was an ordinary guy and John McCain was not. And so he used this quite amazing crowd, many of whom stood throughout, to make his points, wouldn't you say, Judy?


    Jim, this event, as Gwen said, is like no other political convention we've seen, the spectacle, the speech, the fireworks. But there were three things, if I could say quickly, that Barack Obama accomplished tonight.

    Number one, to the criticism that he has not put meat on the bones of his economic message, he boiled it down, among other things, to 95 percent tax cuts for the middle class. That's something everybody can identify with.

    He gave more information about who he is. There's been criticism that people don't really know him, they don't feel comfortable with him. We've got a lot of information about that.

    And, finally, to the criticism some have made that he is not tough enough, we haven't heard him coming back to the tough McCain Republican message, we heard that tonight over and over again, change. He said it's time for change, and he said, "Enough now, enough in this election."