Thursday, September 27, 2012

Obama comes to BGSU

All too often when someone calls President Obama a good orator, the remark comes off less as a sincere compliment than the begrudged allowance of a politically valuable skill. Sometimes it even sounds more like an accusation, as in the implication Obama has hoodwinked the American public with his silver tongue.

I saw the President speak at the rally at Bowling Green State University yesterday and I will say that when the man gets riled he can speechify with the best of them. And I mean that wholeheartedly as a compliment.

These days a presidential campaign is a quintessential reflection of our pop culture not to mention an event worth reporting on. So I went to the rally in reporter mindset. But there were moments when I was moved to stand and applaud.

When Obama got caught up in contrasting his philosophy of government with the pronouncements of his “opponent,” his heart-felt sincerity came through overwhelmingly, as did his impassioned determination to improve America by extending opportunity to the many rather than cutting breaks for the few.

This is not a political blog but I want to say that I doubt Mr. Obama’s “opponent” could elicit the same response in me. And I am not talking about campaign promises. When Obama in his stump speech promised the creation of one million jobs during the next four years I just listened wondering if it would ever happen. Later when I heard a Romney ad on TV promise 12 million new jobs during the same time period I was really left wondering. Given the current economy, those are bold statements on the part of both men.

Do such promises reflect an honest assessment of what is a possible or even a likely outcome of their respective policies, or do they simply bespeak any campaigning politician's peculiar relationship with the truth?

Bulldozers and heavy trucks were parked along East Wooster Street to barricade the Stroh Center, where Obama spoke. Above: The spirit shop inside the Stroh Center was open for business as thousands thronged the venue. Top: Ticketholders line up to enter the Obama campaign rally.

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