Basically, what Noah says, especially:
The whole speech was wrapped in this sacramental progressivist cotton candy goo that leaves me just wanting to wash my hands. … exceptionally weak. Not a sale closer – not by a long shot.
I didn’t so much want to wash my hands as to rise from the couch and wander off in search of something to do. If the president could have persuaded Bill Clinton to come back out and talk for 10 minutes on his behalf, he would have been better off than the formless lightworker piffle he delivered.
The NYT loved it, though. Excerpts from their speech editorial, sent by a reader:
The president and his tight inner circle were oblivious to the Republicans’ explicit warning that he would not get the slightest cooperation from a party and a Congressional caucus driven by an implacable hatred of Mr. Obama that is mostly ideological but also fueled by his race. It took nearly three years for the Obama team to recognize that central fact.
Ah, yes. Race. Congressional Republicans “hate” him because he’s black. Oh, how lovely is to view the world from high above 42nd Street. More:
He blunted the extreme message of the Tea Party by offering an alternative vision of government’s obligation to help the neediest, provide everyone with the basic structures of society and the economy and end unconscionable discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. He has protected women’s constitutional rights and liberties, despite his own misgivings about abortion.
Misgivings? Really? This analysis is about like L’Osservatore Romano critiquing a papal address.
I thought Obama did get some good shots in at Romney’s foreign policy, but aside from that, a big fat meh. I can’t see that anybody tuning in who is on the fence was swayed to the president’s side by that speech. To be fair, from reading the commentary on Romney’s convention closer (which I didn’t get to see, as Hurricane Isaac knocked out my electricity), it sounds like the Republican gave a C-plus speech as well.