Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 | 2 a.m.
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President Barack Obama gave his Democratic National Convention speech on Thursday night, and we asked a few influential Southern Nevadans to share their initial impressions. Here is what they had to say:
Bob Coffin, Las Vegas city councilman
Gutsy and direct and less full of high rhetoric and more grounded in talking about his real life. What he said was true about results versus promises. The other side hasn’t done a good job of showing they could do the job. They’ve run a clumsy campaign and when you’ve got Biden and Obama together, that’s a team that knows how to work domestic and international politics and that’s kind of what we need in these times. So I thought it was realistic and frank and very open. Four years ago it was all about hope and it was somewhat divorced from reality in some ways. Now what you see in Obama is an ordinary, highly accomplished president who learned that you can’t do it on hope. Hope didn’t get it done; hardball politics got it done.
Jon Ralston, longtime Nevada political journalist and host of the news interview program “Face to Face With Jon Ralston”
I thought there were some good rhetorical flourishes in there, but I don’t think it was Obama’s best speech. It seemed like he was playing it safe, like a State of the Union type speech. As someone else put it, ‘He knows he’s ahead and does not want to commit an unforced error at this time.’ I don’t think this speech is going to be long remembered.
Terry Murphy, owner of consulting company Strategic Solutions
I think there was more blame-directing in the Republican convention, more finger-pointing at what Obama has done wrong, what the Democrats have done wrong. I didn’t hear a lot of that from Bill Clinton or from President Obama. The Democrats won the emotional debate; neither won the intellectual debate except for maybe President Clinton.
Catherine Levy, public affairs consultant
One of my biggest frustrations over the last four years is I feel the Obama administration did a bad job of reminding people of its accomplishments. Tonight was the first time he was able to do that, to remind people that they’ve done a tremendous number of things. I can’t help but feel Michelle Obama outshone her husband, but her speech was so incredibly heartfelt and emotional. I was happy to see that they gave the base reasons to turn out and vote.
Eddie Escobedo Jr., publisher of Spanish-language weekly El Mundo.
He was just tremendous. He really knocked the ball out of the park. He really delivered the message that the only way to move forward is us, like we are all part of the team. We need to keep working with him … I loved the line about not blaming immigrants and gays for our problems. I loved that line because you could see the cameras pan in on the LGBT group and you could see the emotion on their faces. He spoke to so many different groups, and made each group feel that they're in this fight with him. ... I wish he had brought up immigration more than once. But he did bring up what he did as part of the Dream Act."
Sondra Cosgrove, history professor at College of Southern Nevada
It seemed like a safe speech. It seemed like he was talking to each of his constituencies that are important to get out the vote. The speech was uplifting and sincere.