Barack Obama delivered "the perfect speech for a skeptical nation," writes Joe Klein in Time. Absent was Obama’s typical lofty oratory; in its place was a speech that was “lean, efficient, practical and very, very tough.” Obama’s goal was to prove that he was a pragmatist, not a dreamer, willing to take the fight to John McCain.
The speech's impact could be blunted by McCain's VP announcement today, Klein notes, but may win Obama a closer look from some doubters. "He stood there not as an orator, but as a plausible chief executive. His message was as tight as a power-point presentation, but far more elegant. And tough—above all, tough: not an egghead, not Adlai Stevenson. No, tonight Barack Obama was a politician from the south side of Chicago, ready for the brawl of his life."