Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"On Obama's Speech"

Political Wire:
Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race this morning showed off exactly why he's become the Democratic front runner for the presidential nomination. He's absolutely willing to challenge the conventional way of how politicians approach controversy. In my opinion, it was the best speech so far in this campaign.

Andrew Sullivan: "I have never felt more convinced that this man's candidacy - not this man, his candidacy - and what he can bring us to achieve - is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man's faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian."

Ben Smith: "A smart colleague notes that this speech is the polar opposite of this year's other big speech on faith, in which Mitt Romney went to Texas to talk about Mormonism, but made just one reference to his Mormon faith. Obama mentions Wright by name 14 times."

First Read: "His tone throughout was quiet and thoughtful. The same speech could have been delivered in a fiery tone. But Obama chose one that was quiet and thoughtful. It did little to lessen the impact and may have added to the weight of his words."

Marc Ambinder: "How it plays will determine how it plays. If the media focuses more on the Wright defense-by-renouncements and then juxtaposes them with clips of Wright's comments, then I think the trouble remains. The seeds of doubt about who this guy really is may be nourished. I know that Obama believes that a discussion about race plays to his benefit, no matter what people think about white working class voters and their latent feelings. Perhaps this is the beginning of his opportunity to lift the veil and get everyone -- not just himself and the media -- to talk openly."

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