Obama Flops

President's torpid, partisan acceptance speech fails to excite mainstream media, WFB analysis shows


Barack Obama’s speech last night was met with broadly negative criticism throughout the media, a Washington Free Beacon analysis shows.

The Atlantic’s  headline this morning was “Obama’s Convention Anticlimax.” The article said that while “Democrats were having a very good convention,” with excellent speeches from Bill Clinton and the current President’s wife, “President Obama got up and just sort of didn’t do anything special.” While Obama is known for soaring rhetoric, he merely “gave a warmed-over rehash of his stump speech, right down to the exit music.”

The Daily Beast followed the refrain with the headline, “Obama: A Pedestrian and Overconfident Speech,” saying the speech had “nary an interesting thematic device, policy detail, or even one turn of phrase.”

Bloomberg slammed Obama’s lack of policy proposals, saying that the speech “had shockingly little content in defense of his economic policies over the last four years.”

And Anderson Cooper noted about Obama’s rhetoric, “It certainly wasn’t a speech full of soaring rhetoric like some of his speeches four years ago.”

He reflected the broader sentiment among reporters about the speech, who thought it was “lame,” reported Politico. And attendees afterwards wondered why “he didn’t lift his game for the big moment.”

Further demonstrating the media’s underwhelmed feelings about the speech, the Washington Post did not even bother to print a picture of Obama on the first page of Friday’s paper.  Instead, the Post ran the sober headline “Four years later, a tempered appeal.”

The Hill noted that Obama’s speech was “not among his most lustrous rhetorical moments.”

Politico, in a piece titled “Downsizing the Dream,” said, “There was a little hope, not a lot of change and heaps of mockery for Mitt Romney.”

The mockery led CBS’s Norah O’Donnell to ask Robert Gibbs this morning whether Obama’s speech was “small … to level such an attack,” when convention speeches are “usually kind of about bigger, more visionary things.”

Even MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted Obama’s diminished stature, saying that Obama gave “something we are not used to hearing: an overt request for a vote.”

“Obama’s speech was little more than cold leftovers from four years ago,” columnist Charles Hurt wrote in the Washington Times. “Cold leftovers that have been rewarmed so many times that they are nearly inedible, unrecognizable anymore.”

Andrew Evans   Email Andrew | Full Bio | RSS
Andrew Evans is an assistant editor at National Affairs and a former reporter for the Washington Free Beacon, where he covered government accountability and healthcare issues.

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