Well, what can I say that hasn't been said?
Not his best, but Obama's "not his best" beats Romney by a mile.
Obama's fire as a candidate gave way to the rooted earth of a man who IS president (as he reminded us). He reminded us that the job is hard and for serious people, implying that Romney is not serious enough for it — Romney merely wants the gig.
The speech seemed designed mostly to keep his somewhat disenchanted base in line, arguing that change is slow and we can't abandon the fight now.
Returning to Obama’s speech last night, we listed four challenges that he needed to meet. First, convince viewers his economic policies are better than Romney’s. On that score, he definitely made the case that the Romney/GOP approach on tax cuts, less regulation isn’t the way to go. But he didn’t persuasively argue that his approach is the best. (However, Clinton probably made that point for him the night before.) Second, describe how he would break the partisan fever in Washington. But he didn’t address this at all, and it might have been the speech’s biggest shortcoming (although one of his messages last night was how the bottom up can create change). Third, lay out what he could achieve in a second term. On that score, Obama pointed to several concrete — if not necessarily new — things. Examples: boost manufacturing by rewarding companies that create jobs in the U.S., recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers in the next 10 years, reduce debt based on the principles of the Simpson-Bowles commission. And fourth, rekindle enthusiasm and excitement, which might have turned out to be the biggest accomplishment from his speech and the three-day convention.
It's too soon to tell if Obama got a bounce (I'm sure he did, unlike Romney) and how big it was. Unfortunately, the jobs number for August came out this morning and while not depressing (the unemployment rate went from 8.3 to 8.1), it is a "win" for Romney (slightly). Will this kill any bounce from the last three days?