OK, the temple didn't look as bad as the overhead shots suggested. But the speech ... nothing special. If you buy into a Steinbeckian view of America, you loved it. If you don't (and more of the facts are on your side), it was fairly uninspired.
At Brazen Maverick, young Mr. Sarver asks conservatives just what they didn't like about the speech. It's a fair question. Here are a few answers.
The government did not, for example, stand by and watch a major American city drown. State and local government do appear to have stood by while an unprecedented storm approached. After it hit, the government's response to something that had never happened before was not as rapid as we wanted it to be. Bush, as is his wont, was slow to recognize that one of his people was not on top of things. At the end of the day, though, the loss of life from Katrina was a fraction of what what pre-storm projections suggested it would be.
As noted above, I don't think that his view of the American economy is accurate. There are economic problems. The value of homes has gone down but only after, during the earlier Bush years, they went way up. If you bought at the peak, this can be a problem, particularily if, whether by unfair inducement or not, you bought more than you could afford. But most people don't have subprime mortgages and very few are in foreclosure.
Unemployment is up, but is still below levels that used to be considered full employment. Growth has slowed but not stopped. Gas prices are maddening but they just aren't catastrophic. Obama's story rings hollow.
More to the point, these problems are not, for the most part, the result of government policies and won't be fixed by them. In fact, the policies that are advocated by Obama are likely to make them worse. A windfall profits tax will decrease oil production and do nothing to promote alternative energy sources. Raising taxes into an economic slowdown is more likely to exacerbate the slow down than to remedy it. While foreign competition undoubtedly can cause US job loss, protectionism always results in a net economic loss.
As for foreign policy, I heard two things. The Iraq War was bad and people in other countries don't like us as much. Both points are largely irrelevant. I have always been an Iraq War agnostic but the present issue is not whether to invade Iraq, but what to do now that we have done so. On that question, Obama has been consistently wrong and McCain has been consistently right.
Beyond the issues, I just don't think the speech was very interesting. Obama is a great speaker. This was not a great speech. If you are a believer, it struck the right notes. But if you are not, I don't think it was likely to have converted you.