The daring complexity of Obama's speech, by @DavidOAtkins

The Obama speech in full

by David Atkins

Here it is:

Digby already noted the Grand Bargain hedging we're all watching out for in the lame duck session. For now, then, I'll just note the following:

The President had a singular task tonight: take a message of hope and change, and adapt it to the reality of the struggling economy. Attack Romney while looking presidential, not punching down, and remaining statesmanlike. Show empathy without showing weakness.

And I think he accomplished those goals very well, in one of the most progressive speeches I've heard him give. It wasn't the greatest speech he's ever delivered, but that's because the message is hard and doesn't lend itself to the most soaring rhetoric.

He made it clear that the American people (and, I would argue, the citizens of the world) are in a project together, and that we can only succeed in that project if we have faith in it and in one another, without "othering" groups or allowing selfish cynicism to take hold. That's a daring message for a U.S. president.

It's also worth noting that in a convention where the words "climate change" seemed conspicuously and intentionally absent, it was the President who directly said "climate change is not a hoax" in his own speech. A low bar, to be sure, but quite interesting.

Now the key is, of course, to make sure that President's policies match his rhetoric.