Barack Obama played to his strength Thursday, selling America on what it could be, but with too little acknowledgement of what it is now.
He proposed a plan with ambitious goals in manufacturing, education and energy, but each looked years ahead, not months.
He talked of reducing the debt and reforming the tax code. Our problems can be solved, he said. Our challenges can be met.
But he didn't say how.
He told America what he will not do fire teachers or lower taxes on the rich or roll back regulations on corporations. It was a speech reminiscent of earlier speeches a powerful appeal to his principles and his party's principles. A fair shake for all, he said. A fair shot.
If America held to those values, it would move past its struggles, he said.
He sold hope, one more time.
It was enough four years ago, when another president was mired in the details of a struggling economy. But will it be enough when he is that leader?