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How would you rate Senate candidate Barack Obama's keynote address?
CNN analysts offer their assessments.


Paul Begala
Political analyst
A A A+ A+

Tucker Carlson
Political analyst
B B+ A A-

Bill Schneider
Political analyst
A+ A+ A+ A+

Mo Rocca
Political satirist
O* O* O* O*+

Carlos Watson
Political analyst
A A A+ A
NOTE: *Obamatastic

Paul Begala
You can no longer call him a rising star. He's a star. He spoke to 40 million Americans without breaking a sweat. He spoke directly to the kinds of middle class values that Democrats embody. I particularly liked the end when he talked about a skinny kid with a funny name from a small town and when he (said) "I believe ... I believe ... ." It's optimistic. It's affirming. It's reverential. I loved it.

Tucker Carlson
He came out for tax cuts for corporations; that's kind of interesting. He didn't say anything about Iraq; that's interesting too. He didn't say anything about the Patriot Act. He didn't say anything about desecrating the environment. He said not a word about Halliburton. In other words, his speech sounded nothing like the typical Democratic speech this year. I thought it was good.

Bill Schneider
He had a moderate message about the limits of government, about the necessity to go to war, delivered as a red meat speech. It takes real skill to deliver that kind of speech. He also made an impassioned plea for overcoming the division of the country, for unification, for Kerry as a unifier which is the message that the Kerry campaign wants to say.

Mo Rocca
He gets an O for Obamatastic. Overall, he gets an O+ because the pressure was so high. Anyone would have choked -- except Obama.

Carlos Watson
It was a great speech, delivered with real passion. Obama has a Harvard pedigree and a telegenic family; he is a university professor and an author; he is young, idealistic and also realistic. He's got the potential not just to be a star, but to be a superstar. The most important thing about his speech, for him, was that it probably impressed Illinois voters. It also impressed his Senate colleagues, if he is elected. Lastly, his speech probably impressed enough donors so that future strong candidates of color will have an easier job.

• July 30: How would you rate the Democratic National Convention?
• July 29: Did Sen. John Edwards make the case?
• July 28: How would you rate Senate candidate Barack Obama's keynote address?
• July 27: How would you rate former President Bill Clinton's speech?
• July 26: How would you rate the Kerry team on convention preps?
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