Obama’s offer of a planned economy was coupled with repeated invocation of the military. That theme was also used in a new video played shortly before the president’s speech.
The video showed Vice President Joe Biden lauding Americans for “bravery.” Biden, in his own prime-time speech, also described the party’s policy in military terms.
“We’re on a mission to move this nation forward — from doubt and downturn, to promise and prosperity. A mission we will continue, and a mission we will complete,” he said, shortly before praising Obama’s role in the May 2011 raid to kill bin Laden, the global leader of the al-Qaida terror network.
Like Obama, Biden also downplayed expectations of quick success. “You never quit on America,” he said. “And you deserve a President who will never quit on you. And one more thing that our opponents are dead wrong about: America is NOT in decline,” he said defensively.
The word “NOT” was rendered in upper-case letters in the prepared text the Obama re-election campaign distributed Thursday evening.
If Americans choose his proposal, Obama said, he promised benefits — although without a timeline or recognition of the private sector’s productivity.
“We’re offering a better path — a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal. … If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports by half in 2020 and support more that 600,000 new jobs,” he said.
His long speech included a few complimentary references to the private sector. “We don’t think government can solve all our problems,” he insisted, before adding that “we don’t think the government is the source of all of our probems.”
Obama quickly returned the subject to government’s role.
“We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities, that our destinies are bound together, that a freedom which asks only what’s in it for me … is unworthy of our founding ideals.”
The word “people” was capitalized in Obama’s prepared text.
He ended with a resounding — and wildly cheered — repeat of his basic theme of a bigger government pursing big goals. “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.”