Strategically, the speech was a commonplace effort to reduce resistance to a political agenda by generating a vague sense of uplifting cohesion and casting any possible opposition as outmoded, small-spirited, and immature. Politicians take this tack because it works, and Obama's really good at it. People liked it. Obama worked the perennial rhetoric of transformative politics expertly, but if you were expecting something truly transformative, beyond the transformative fact of a black president, then you've got to be a bit disappointed.
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