At last. Our whole day had been built around this. Obama accepts the nomination with the highest TV ratings of any acceptance speech in modern US history, according to the Hollywood Reporter:
Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night was seen by 38.4 million viewers -- 57% more than watched John Kerry four years ago -- and was the most-watched convention speech ever.
Thursday night's viewership set a new record for national convention coverage, according to Nielsen Media Research. Naturally, it's also the largest number since the convention began, up 42% from Hillary Clinton's speech on Day 2.
Obama's speech was seen by more U.S. viewers than the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony (34.2 million).
It was a remarkable speech in a spectacular setting. You either watched it or you didn't - watch it here. It's actually worth more than one viewing for not only the substance but also the environment and symbolism. Watch it -- it's pretty amazing.
Here's a transcript, too.
I waited until today to write this because I felt so much emotion last night that I thought I should let it all sink in. I've seen so many acceptance speeches, and my sense of Obama's role is so deep that I didn't think I had much new to offer. It doesn't seem to be wearing off though -- not that I'm alone. MSNBC super-conservative and often inflamatory and somewhat cruel Joe Scarborough was still rhapsodizing when I woke up. I think any aware American, anyone who's lived through a substantial portion of our modern racial history, anyone with any desire for a better, more just country -- any of us -- could not have watched what happened last night and remained dispassionate. Tweets all night, and not just from those in the arena kept saying "Tears everywhere" "Tearing up" "Didn't think I'd cry but..." I was fine until the family walked out to the center of the stadium holding hands. Then I just disolved.
Beyond the moving historic moment, and the incredible tableau of two decent committed families who have made public service a life-time commitment, who are the kinds of people who seem to manifest what Americans used to think of as "real American" character, the substance was also inspiring, at least for me. You can read blogger comments on the wonderful CSPAN Hub -- assembled by a team that includes that very smart woman you keep seeing on CSPAN, Leslie Bradshaw. This post of hers will give you an idea of what it took to run the Hub operation - so valuable to so many bloggers.
From there, of course, we moved to Sarah Palin. I thought it was smart but very unsportsmanlike of McCain to name her today, but there ain't gonna be no playing nice in this campaign.
Again, people who know more about her will let us all know who she really is. But, listening to her, all I could think of was some of my mom's slightly goofy but smart and always fun friends. I think it would be a mistake to understimate her. She's nervy enough to get herself from small-town mayor to governor and to be raising five children, one with special needs and another on his way to Iraq. (Take a look at what Morra Aarons-Mele has written about this in the HuffPost: a caution to us all.) Palin is also, by the way, married to an Alaskan fisherman who for all we know may be a cool, Deadliest Catch kind of guy and another kind of asset. This is uncharted territory and we all better hold on to our hats - or at least our blackberrys. I'm betting that among these four candidates we won't wake up many mornings to a day without some kind of electoral surprise.