Obama accepts nomination
President Barack Obama revisited the themes of hope and change which animated his previous campaign in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last night, telling Americans: “You were the change” and “I am hopeful because of you”.
The theme woven through Mr Obama’s speech last night has been a constant since he first came to notice at the 2004 convention.
He said then: “It’s that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – that makes this country work.”
Mr Obama asked for time to make America a more just place, where “everyone gets a fair shot”.
When he said, “Madam chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States” the crowd broke into wild cheers of “Four more years. Four more years”.
The Time Warner arena in downtown Charlotte was filled to capacity and many supporters had to be turned away.
The tone was dignified and presidential, almost like a State of the Union address. It was nonetheless hard-edged, portraying the Republican challenger Mitt Romney as the champion of millionaires; Mr Obama as the defender of the middle class.
The President said government was neither the solution nor the source of all America’s problems.
He described his bailout of the auto industry and the creation of a half million manufacturing jobs as achievements. Vaunting his energy policy, he said that “unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers”.
Mr Obama barely mentioned the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which Republican have vowed to repeal if Mr Romney is elected.
Harking back to the 2004 convention, Mr Obama said: “Eight years later, that hope has been tested – by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that's left us wondering whether it's still possible to tackle the challenges of our time.”
Mr Romney has tried to turn the election into a referendum on the US economy. But Mr Obama reiterated his oft-stated belief that it represents “the clearest choice… in a generation”.
“Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy and education, war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come.”
The choice in November “will be a choice between two different paths for America,” Mr Obama said.