Barack Obama is perhaps in his best element when delivering speeches. For many, his speech on “Yes We Can,” was his most famous and passionate. However, now, many are considering his speech on Race the most influential, comparing it to earlier speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. It weaves together his common calls for unity, a new kind of politics, and also his recent rejection of Wright’s comments (and the racial politics that followed).
Yael T. Abouhalkah of the Kansas City Star Editorial Board reports, March 18, 2008:
Barack Obama’s smoothly delivered speech on race wasn’t perfect. But it hit most of the right notes. His campaign for president moves on.
Obama on Tuesday rightly criticized inflammatory remarks by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and also aimed remarks directly at white Americans. Obama’s view:
Many whites have grievances, too, because they are oppressed by corporate greed and powerful lobbyists in Washington, D.C.
So these mostly lower- and middle-income Americans need to work with blacks and others to improve the country, Obama said.
Excellent points, and they could make a difference with some white Democratic voters trying to choose between Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The full audio file of his speech, through NPR: Obama’s Speech from Philadelphia
A full transcription from the New York times: Obama’s Speech on Race
Already Air America and Rush Limbaugh are commenting on this speech, and its sound bytes will probably filter into the news for the next few weeks.
Update by Nate
Here’s the entire video of the speech unedited from MSNBC:
More to come later as the story develops and we get reaction to his statements.