When President Obama is set to deliver a major speech for a national audience, he faces the unfortunate hurdle of high expectations. Americans have come to expect every speech to soar with inspirational rhetoric, leaving supporters – and maybe even a few detractors – with goose bumps.
By this standard, I’ve seen many suggest Obama’s convention address fell short last night, because the speech didn’t manage to levitate him, his audience, and the arena. But what I saw was something else – this Obama, compared to the one from four years ago, is a little older, a little grayer, and a little wiser. He’s now less lofty and more grounded, less youthful and more mature.
In Charlotte last night, we didn’t see a candidate; we saw a president.