The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is a marathon four-day convention where the Democratic party formally nominates Hillary Clinton as the nominee for the presidential election. Whilst this is an arduous task of counting all the delegates through a roll call, the highlights of the convention were definitely some of the speeches by notable supporters and democratic members.
On the third day, President Barack Obama gave us a speech that will go down in history as one of the greatest pieces of oratory in both American and global political history. Obama wrote six drafts of this speech and the outcome of his speech is nothing short of inspiring. While the possibility of the first female president of the United States is amazing this speech by Obama reminds us why he will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents in US history.
Before I discuss the best parts of his speech I feel it is necessary to point out some of the Obama administrations biggest achievements. When Obama entered the White House in 2008 the US and the global economy was on the brink of collapse and eventually fell recession as what is now known as the Global Financial Crisis, since then Obama has managed to turn the US economy around with it now growing at between 1.5-2% as proportion of GDP which in turn help created 13.7 million new jobs. Obama also finally brought some sort of universal health care for the American people, known as Obamacare. Even though the affordable care act only covers pre-existing conditions it is a start and now the US is one step closer to most OECD countries in having a public healthcare system. In 2015 the Supreme Court handed down a decision declaring that same-sex marriage be legal across the entire country and Obama framed the legislative framework around this monumental leap forward in LGBTIQ rights. Many commentators remark that Obama’s foreign policy was rather poor and whilst I think some of Obama’s biggest failings come from areas of his foreign policy so do some of his biggest achievements. It has been under the Obama administration that relations of both Cuba and Iran are beginning to normalise after fifty or more years of no diplomatic relations between the two countries. The fact that the US and Iran struck a deal that will potentially see the end of Iran’s nuclear capacity is monumental and an amazing achievement for the US.
Going back to the speech Obama did take aim at Trump describing him as a “homegrown demagogue” that will fail in the end. One of the best lines from Obama came as a response to the crowd’s boo’s – as he was describing Trump – he replied to the audience “don’t boo, vote.” Obama moves on comparing Trump to Clinton by describing her as one of the greatest public servants of all time after being in the public eye for forty years, fighting for equal rights, a fairer society and breaking the glass ceiling. Stating that there has never been a man or woman more qualified for the office of president than Hillary Clinton.
The best part of Obama’s speech were definitely the last two minutes we he talked about the audacity of hope in a way that echoed the “I have a dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. He describes that whenever times have been tough or the road is long American people have been the ones to give him hope and thus Obama asks the American people for that hope and to pass it onto Hillary Clinton.
Commentators across the globe have been lauding it as one of his greatest speeches ever. Something that is in the style of Reagan and something that because of the picture that Obama painted many people whom have always voted Republican will now vote democrat. This is still to be seen but is what some of the commentators have been saying. Whatever the result of the election in November (The author does hope America sees their first female president and not the sociopath Donald Trump as President) this amazing piece of oratory will remind many why Obama was one of the greatest US Presidents and why it will be unlikely that we see someone like him soon.
Here is the full speech:
Featured image by Pete Souza – Official White House Photo by Pete Souza (whitehouse.gov), Public Domain.