Voters React to President Obama’s Speech: ‘Heartfelt’ or ‘Disappointing’?

President Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Yahoo! News asked voters to share their reactions to Barack Obama’s address at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. In their own words, here are perspectives from voters across the nation.


“Stay the course,” a line famously attributed to President George W. Bush, came to mind during President Obama’s speech Thursday night. He reminded Americans to hold onto hope and look forward. Nothing comes quick and easy in life. Change takes time, and we must have faith that we are on the right course.

The president mentioned three things during his speech that give me hope for the future of this country:

1. Education is the gateway to opportunity.

2. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don’t have the money.

3. We are not entitled to success; we have to earn it.

— Craig Ramey


As President Obama talked about hard work, I reflected on the sleepless nights I’ve had because I can’t find a job, as no one will hire me right out of college. The promise of jobs is a wonderful promise, but it’s not something he can guarantee until businesses are able to wade through regulations so they can afford to hire new people.

And while it’s a nice idea, it is an illusion to think that the rich will pay for the debts, the poor, and the working class.

His speech was disappointing, and I am not impressed. So far this does not convince me that the Obama-Biden ticket is the way to go.

— Grace Conyers


Newscasters following Obama’s acceptance speech referred to it as something of a “mish-mash;” he defended his record, laid out a plan forward, and derided Mitt Romney’s views. I agree, but I don’t view the speech’s variety as a weakness.

Romney’s message has been utterly monochromatic — jobs — while the languid recovery has forced the president into a wider approach. At this DNC, instead of ducking the economy, the Democrats took it head-on with a bit of a history lesson. 2008 was a cataclysm. Presidents Clinton and Obama reminded us no one could have gotten America back to robust prosperity in four years. But it also could have been much worse.

Like Lincoln, Obama came into office with one crisis dominating his agenda. But on Thursday night, the president flaunted other achievements: Obamacare, the death of Bin Laden, the rescue of Detroit. His plan was light on specifics but what he made me feel was that, despite the downturn, the foundations are in place for a new era of growth.

The finish was vintage Obama, and in the end I’m still on board.

— Richard Carriero


After watching both the RNC and the DNC, Obama’s speech was indeed the most moving. I am currently undecided. However, President Obama took aim at issues that specifically affect me: student loans, a strong middle class, and the seriousness of droughts and climate change.

Obama also focused on the economy. He mentioned that the road to recovery is not quick or easy, and that it takes more than a few years to fix the economic mess he inherited. To help strengthen the economy, Obama discussed his plans to bring back jobs to America. The old economy is gone, and we must focus on the future economy.

His tone seemed sincere and heartfelt. As this week comes to an end, I find myself trying to take every bit of information I have heard from both candidates, and determine who I feel will help push our country forward and strengthen our economy.

— Kate Tabers


Barack Obama is a leader forged through fire.

He has seen our country through some dark, dark days, and he, alone, has made decisions, always with input, always with advice. But when it comes time to make the call, he’s made the call. Four years ago, Obama was a determined senator from my state of Illinois.

Now he’s the president of the United States, and after his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, there is no room for even a hint of a question of how seriously he takes his job.

But most importantly, with his speech, Obama reminded us of how seriously we must take ours.

We are the change, he reminded us. We are. If we lose hope, if we stop striving, if we stop pushing, if we stop embracing people because they are not like us, our country stops. We are the engine of this great nation.

And sometimes it takes a great leader to remind us of exactly that.

— Isa-Lee Wolf


My family has a lot at stake in this election: education, college, women’s rights, jobs and health care. I listened carefully for those issues in Obama’s speech, and he provided me with hope that America is on the right path. His positions on jobs, taxes, energy, education, and war and peace will have a huge impact on generations to come.

As a teacher, I appreciated his statement that hard work will pay off, responsibility will be rewarded, and everyone should play by the same rules. I agree that firing teachers won’t help us grow our economy or compete with China. Teachers like me not only educate students, they teach them to be citizens. Obama’s position that no child should have dreams deferred resonated soundly with me, as did his statement that “teachers must inspire; principals must lead; parents must instill a thirst for learning, and students, you’ve got to do the work.” Obama’s speech delivered a clear choice for my family and for America.

— Jennifer Wolfe


President Barack Obama gave a speech that will resonate with a large segment of the American population.

Obama reminded the American public that his attention and focus would continue to be on helping the middle class, saying, “Everyone gets a fair shot.” He spoke of how he had provided tax cuts for small businesses in his first four years as president, helping create new jobs. I believe it was important for him to highlight the goal of adding one million manufacturing jobs in the coming years as well.

I agreed with his repeated emphasis on improving education in America, especially his goal of recruiting 100,000 science and math teachers in the next 10 years.

— Shaun Ahmad


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