Electrifying. Exciting. It’s easier, of course, to be excited and exciting when you’re winning, but he’s doing it. Hitting some populist themes strongly, but with a bit of subtelty and grace; emphasizing the idea of organizing and mobilization as more than just election tactics, but as integral to changing the world. The Obama who gets panned in Paul Krugman columns and sundry blog posts — the one who just wants to make nice with Republicans and doesn’t care about progressive values — doesn’t seem to be on the podium tonight.
Certainly, in principle Obama more than anyone else epitomizes the new progressive coalition and wields the coalition behind him with tremendous oratorical skill. The questions always been whether he can really deliver on that promise. Before today, I think relatively few people thought he would be able to pull off this unprecedented surge of young people and first-time caucus-goers — but he did. Charles Barkley says it’s a “great start”.