On the whole, I was impressed. He was polished and passionate. He stayed on theme and drove home his points. Good job.
From a political perspective, he was transparent about his motives. The generational appeal suggests that he is interested in adding mew Republicans to the party. He directly referenced young Americans at least three times, made several other references to "future generations," and even tied the war to his responsibility to future generations. He is trying to brand the Republican party as the party of youth.
The GOP political operation has always been better at marketing than Democrats. They fine tune their message with polls and focus groups. They test not only various language choices but also the various contexts within which to place the language. Tonight's context- maintaining a strong union for future generations- served as the backdrop for everything else.
The President did a great job tonight, much as it pains me to say, and his speechwriters must be ecstatic. His performance tonight was equal to his speech after 9/11, and was on par with Clinton. The loyal opposition has its work cut out for it.