So Bon Jovi didn’t open for Barack Obama. Bruce Springsteen didn’t cap it off. The delegates didn’t exactly have prime seats. But for all the lack of recognition New Jersey’s delegates felt at this week’s convention, those interviewed by PolitickerNJ tonight felt that Obama was speaking directly to them.
There were so many tears on Mile High Stadium’s temporary floor that it was practically a slipping hazard.
U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman, who was arguably the face of Obama’s New Jersey campaign, said the speech was outstanding.
“He presented a clear and eloquent case for why this country so desperately needs change and why he is supremely capable by his experience, his judgment and his temperament to lead this country to a new day,” he said.
Earlier in the evening, Julie Diaz, a grassroots organizer for Obama from Perth Amboy, said that tonight was “coming full circle,” from a relatively rag-tag Garden State operation to seats less than half a football field from Obama. After the speech, she was choking back tears.
“I can’t talk now. Come back later,” she said.
Asemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, originally a Clinton supporter, said that speech “touched every morsel of everybody’s being.”
“I think if somebody wasn’t moved by his speech, they don’t have a pulse,” she said.
Republicans, however, were not so enamored. In a statement, they seemed to tacitly acknowledge a well-crafted speech, but questioned its substance.
“Actions speak louder than words. Tonight's speech cannot obscure Barack Obama's lack of substantive policies for everyday Americans,” said State Sen. Kevin O’Toole. “From his opposition to drilling, support for tax increases on the working and middle class, and to his blindingly naive views on the danger of a nuclear Iran, Senator Obama's lack of experience and judgment continues to be evident."