I’m listening to Obama’s speech. Yes, he doesn’t have a Texas accent, which delights the coastal elites. Otherwise, it’s a fairly standard speech, promising all things to all people: we’ll have incredibly strong national security, except we promise not to hurt the bad guys; we won’t rely on government to solve all our problems, except that we’ll rely on government to solve the economy, health care, education, infrastructure, etc.; we won’t change the American way of life one iota, except that we’re overheating the planet and hogging resources, and Obama’s government will make sure we stop those bad behaviors; and on and on.
If you want comparisons to Lincoln, Obama might do well to remember Lincoln’s warning that “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
The media will kvell, of course, but this was not a great or memorable speech on its own terms, being hectoring, rather than inspiring.
UPDATE: Some asked me if Obama’s speech met the public’s expectations. My response: Depends which public. He could have stood up there and burped out the Star Spangled Banner and the Democrats would have hailed it as the second Sermon from the Mount. For those of us not politically charmed by his personality or politics, he also met expectations since, as I noted above, his speech was uninspired.