President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination on Thursday night with a powerful speech that plainly laid out the stark choice facing voters on November 6. With America at a crossroads, Obama delivered a roadmap for how, together as one nation, we can travel forward.
His speech hinged on the same basic principle that has guided his entire campaign: Voters must see the 2012 election not as a referendum on Obama’s first term, but as “a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”
Obama went on to vividly paint the contrast between his and Romney’s visions. While Republicans call for trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthy, Obama called for a return to Clinton-era tax rates for those who make over $250,000 a year. “I refuse to go along with that,” Obama said of the GOP tax plan. “And as long as I’m president, I never will.”
While Republicans lobby for massive oil subsidies and openly mock climate change, Obama called for investment in clean energy and warned that “climate change is not a hoax” but “a threat to our children’s future.”
While Republicans call for “voucherizing” Medicare, Obama declared that “no American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
“Yes, we will reform and strenghten Medicare for the long haul,” Obama said, ” but we’ll do it by reducing health care costs — not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.”
He laid out a particularly sharp contrast on foreign policy. “My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we’ve seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly,” he said. “After all, you don’t call Russia our number one enemy – and not al Qaeda – unless you’re still stuck in a Cold War time warp. You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.”
The joke reinforced what Wonkblog’s Ezra Klein has called the “policy gap:” Throughout the campaign, Romney’s proposals have plainly lacked the seriousness expected from a presidential candidate.