So last night, with growler of MGD in hand I sat in my lazy boy to watch the Kerry speech. I didn't realize until afterwards that I was behaving (creating a caricature) as the voter to whom the speech was addressed. And yet, somehow to me it fell a bit short. There were sections that were great. But overall it had the feeling of a speech written by committee. There is a political joke that a camel is a horse created by committee. I think this speech was similar.
Sections I liked: Family values flipped to valuing families. Well done, great section. John Kerry reporting for duty, good--but should have been built to. Didn't help the momentum of the speech. Abraham Lincoln quote, was brilliant. Whoever came up with that on the Kerry staff should get a gold star (or hell, they can have Kerry's silver star or was that a bronze star).
The speech felt too cobbled together for me to really like it, and he looked really sweaty. I know the second is a silly complaint, but he did look sorta sweaty and pasty. Overall he delivered a speech that worked, and that laid out a lot of the programs he wants to push forward. And he began to reclaim terms like hope, values, faith etc, and I cannot help but like that.