I thought Obama did a good job early in connecting those in power with those not in power, those in history with those in current times. And I thought he mentioned more specific policy points than I expected.I was also surprised by his implied criticism of the Bush administration. But it's not the stuff that makes for memorable speeches.
W looked thoroughly uncomfortable from the jump. I was surprised. He’s usually the type of guy that can smile and look like he’s having a swell time even when he’s thrown (think how well he handled Gore’s debate approach). The only time I remember him looking the way he did today was during his 9/11 story time. About midway through the speech I figured out why he looked that way: he had seen Obama’s speech beforehand. Obama really raked him and his administration over the coals. I was surprised how directly he condemned the administration in that setting. As necessary and fitting as I thought it was (given the world audience), I was surprised Obama did it.
I think overall the speech was very blunt, offered a challenge to American’s to put and take responsibility for much of what goes on in this country and voiced an attempt to have American live up to the world’s expectations, to a certain extent.