Barack Obama restores the level of discussion with this speech. . . IF Americans listen to it, if the press gets it. . . . The speech was made in Philadelphia on Tuesday 3/18. It was not a campaign speech, rather it was a speech that reminds us of what elections and leaders can and should do.
3/20/08 update: Some members of the press did get it:
Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Universal Press Syndicate said: “Obama may have wished to avoid this moment, but when he found he could not, he handled it with courage and candor and grace.” Tucker added that Obama “might easily have handled the moment differently. He might have simply used [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright for his ‘Sister Souljah’ moment, as Bill Clinton used inflammatory remarks by the black rap artist to signal to whites his rejection of black extremism…. But he refused to pander or offer safe, poll-tested bromides.” [Emphasis LOL’s.]
Another Universal columnist, Richard Reeves, wrote: “If Barack Obama is elected president, his speech on race in America will be remembered as one of the greatest in the country’s history. If he loses, it will still be remembered as a terrific speech, an astonishing display of grace under pressure.”
Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG) said, “Yesterday morning, in what may be remembered as a landmark speech regardless of who becomes the next president, Obama established new parameters for a dialogue on race in America that might actually lead somewhere — that might break out of the sour stasis of grievance and countergrievance, of insensitivity and hypersensitivity, of mutual mistrust.”
Kathleen Parker did not get it: Parker said Obama’s speech “was eloquent, inspiring, and will be read in schools for generations. But between the lines of change and reconciliation were a discomfiting hint of buried fury, a sense of racial righteousness, and a tacit approval attached to his expressed disapproval of Wright’s now-famous raves.” [It’s inconceivable that Parker could have come away with such an impression. There was no “buried fury” or “racial righteousness” in it. How anyone could have thought that, when in fact, the opposite was true, beggars the imagination. Listen for yourself and see.]
Excerpted from a Obama for America mailing:
Join Barack Obama in Butte on Saturday, April 5th for the annual Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner at the Butte Civic Center. Tickets will be available for online purchase from the Montana Democratic Party starting this Wednesday, March 19th at 9:00 a.m. Limited number of tickets will be available.
Online tickets and more information: http://www.montanademocrats.org
Here are the details:
Mansfield-Metcalf DinnerButte Civic CenterSaturday, April 5th, 2008
Event begins: 5:30 p.m.
According to the Web site: The tickets are General Admission: “2,400 general admission tickets will go on sale 9am Wednesday, March 19th.” Both Senators Obama and Clinton are attending.
MoveOn.org has announced an “Obama in 30 seconds” ad contest. They are seeking real ads from real people, with a $20,000 gift certificate for a video camera/production setup as the prize, as well as a national airing of the winning ad. MoveOn has endorsed Obama, so it will be interesting to see how Hillary downplays the significance of one of the most pervasive grassroots organizations ever. Deadline is April 1, and the ad will air the week before the Pennsylvania primary, depending on the political climate. It is understandable that they have given themselves that out. There is no coordination of MoveOn adevertising for Obama and the Obama campaign, as that is illegal. [Think Republicans and Swift Boating.]
These videos are longer than 30 seconds, but might offer some inspiration: