Damned good speech, if you ask me. Here’s the peroration:
And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I’m ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth.
“A new birth of freedom”: having chosen Springfield for the announcement, he played the Lincoln connection for all it was worth, and left the JFK allusions (“let us be the generation that …”) hanging there without stressing them.
Also not stressed: a little ad lib (at least, it’s not in the published text) right at the beginning, as he’s thanking and quieting the crowd: “Giving all praise and honor to God for bringing us together here today.” He didn’t shout it; it was clearly a phrase he was comfortable with. No other God-talk — not even the conventional “God bless you, and God bless America!” at the end — other than a mention that his work as a community organizer had taught him “the true meaning of my Christian faith.” But my guess is that his churchgoing listeners were more than satisfied; unlike most politicians, he knows how to make a religious reference that sounds as if he’s actually religious, and not just pretending.
If you agree, how about sending him a little love? If you have an impulse to send $10, please give in. Especially at this stage, numbers count, as well as dollars.