President Obama gave an acceptance speech that did not match the soaring rhetoric of 2008 -- nor did it try to.
"The times have changed – and so have I," he said. "I’m no longer just a candidate. I’m the President."
His speech was a dense series of policy prescriptions as well as a defense of his administration's work thus far. (Bill Clinton more memorably mixed policy and politics Wednesday night.) He aimed many of his words at his 2008 supporters, asking them not to give up on him now.
"If you turn away now – if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible…well, change will not happen," he said. "If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote; Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves."
The president offered a rejoinder to Republicans' frequent refrains of "You did build that," telling the people who voted for him four years ago that they were responsible for health care, student loan and immigration reform. "You did that," he said repeatedly.