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09.07.12

7 Best Moments From Obama’s DNC Speech (Video)

The president faced down of the most important speeches of his career on Thursday night. Did he pull it off? Watch the most memorable moments, from his attacks on the GOP to a climactic rallying cry.

Obama’s Sick of Hearing Himself, Too

Each year, political campaigns become increasingly focused on trivial, ridiculous moments. Obama is the first to admit it, calling those small, silly things “big distractions” and bemoaning the fact that the larger, more important issues become “sound bites.” As for ad spending? “If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me—so am I,” Obama joked, to laughter and applause from the audience.

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‘Feel a Cold Coming On?’

Obama got feverish with medical metaphors as he lashed out at Republican policies that he said ignore new ideas. “Have a surplus?” Obama asked. “Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another.” And for the biggest laugh: “Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!

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‘We, the People’

Obama was one with the crowd during his speech, talking about working together to bellowing cheers. “So you see,” he said, “the election four years ago wasn’t about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens — you were the change.” Using examples of real folks, the president credited Americans with reforming health care and education, and with immigration policies that have affected hundreds of thousands.

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‘You Did That’

Does this make up for the “you didn’t build that” mess? Obama once again declined to take credit for his biggest policy achievements, owing the success to his base. “You’re the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home; why selfless soldiers won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely: ‘Welcome home.’”

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‘Times Have Changed’

A lot of talk in this election cycle has been about comparing the Barack Obama of 2008 to the Barack Obama of 2012. And the prez didn’t shy away from that comparison in his speech. “I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention,” he said. “And so have I.” Quoting Lincon, Obama confessed, “’I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.’”

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Hope and More Hope

Harking back to his original—and, for the GOP, often derided—message of hope, President Obama zoomed in on the individuals he has met around the country who have inspired him to keep going. From the science fair winner living in a homeless shelter to a family of business owners that sacrificed their salaries for their employees’ jobs, Obama listed examples of Americans who have given him hope.

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The Grand Finale

As the officially nominated Democratic candidate, Barack Obama neared the end of his speech with a rallying cry for voters to stand up against the idea that “this nation’s promise is reserved for the few”  and that “our government is forever beholden to the highest bidder.”  After the audience’s cheering subsided, he ended on a solemn note. “America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won’t promise that now. Yes, our path is harder—but it leads to a better place. Yes our road is longer—but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up.”

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