The Big Speech, Live Blogged


10:25 PM: Just got the text. About 4400 words.

10:35 PM: Maybe I’m overwhelmed by recent great speeches. But so far at least it feels sort of unexceptional.

10:37 PM: I wouldn’t say the delivery is off. It’s more that the speech itself seems intentionally even-keeled rather than soaring, transactional, a series of particulars. I’m sort of curious whether it’s intentional.

10:42 PM: As I listen to this, I’m more and more convinced the tenor of the speech is strategic, intentional. I don’t think his campaign wants a soaring speech. And well, they didn’t get it.

10:46 PM: Okay, tempo picking up a bit. And with a harder edge than we’d been led to expect vis a vis Romney.

10:49 PM: Now picking up momentum.

10:51 PM: There was no sense in the writing of this speech that they wanted to keep the president above the fray, above naming his opponent.

10:52 PM: ‘Citizenship’, the counter-attack to the “You Didn’t Build This” bamboozlement.

10:55 PM: “You Did That”

10:58 PM: Building to a very strong finish.

11:02 PM: Getting masterful. We know President Obama can do great speechifying. I’m thinking more the text of the speech, the structure and the different goals it addressed at different points.


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of