According to the New York Times’ notes accompanying the text of Sen. Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, his remarks evoked AUDIENCE BOOS at three points, APPLAUSE at seventy-one points and LAUGHTER at two points.
The boos, of course, were directed at Republicans, not at Obama.
The applause followed such memorable lines as “Thank you so much,” “Thank you very much,” and “Thank you, everyone.”
And the two lines of Obama that moved the assembled thousands of Democrats to laughter were:
1 “Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn’t know;” and
2 “Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years. And, by the way, John McCain has been there for 26 of them.”
Presumably Obama did not think this audience would find it just as laugh-provoking that the two fellow senators he had a few minutes before so lavishly praised — Teddy Kennedy and Joe Biden — have been around Washington even longer than John McCain.
If they thought those two lines were so funny, I’m surprised they didn’t even catch the funniest thing he said Thursday night. As Obama was speaking of “the promise of America” and referencing a “fundamental belief,” he uttered a line that should strike everyone as a really funny thing for him to say: “I am my brother’s keeper.”
He actually said that — and none of them laughed.
This man whose income last year exceeded $4 million and whose passion is to lecture the rest of us about compassion and helping the poor has a half-brother named George Hussein Anyango Obama who is living in a dilapidated hut in a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi on less than twelve dollars a year. He receives no help from brother Barack. Obama’s parting with some of his own change is not change his brother can depend on.
Yet he stands before thousand in a stadium, addressing millions on television. and he says: “I am my brother’s keeper.”
Now say what you want about the Clintons, they lent a helping hand to Bill’s half-brother and Hillary’s two brothers. Remember? In the closing days of the Clinton presidency, Bill and Hillary kept their brothers in the White House from where the three of them were able to support themselves selling presidential pardons. Bill even gave his brother a pardon for free.
If Obama should decide that a change is in order in the matter of helping out his brother, let’s hope he lends a hand to the brother in that hut in a Kenya slum and not to his other Kenyan brother Abongo Obama, a militant Muslim activist who is campaigning to inflict Sharia law in that country.