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Friday, March 21, 2008

Reflecting On The Speech

After a few days of reflection there is more reaction to the Barack Obama race speech, and it's not all as good as the earlier, glowing reviews.

Dan Schnur, John McCain's 2000 communications director, writing in his NY Times Blog see's Obama's standing going up in peoples eyes because of the speech, but that they'll be less likely to vote for him.

His arguement is somewhat compelling. He say's the speech definitely shows Obama's skills as an orator, and leader on a tough subject, but also reminded people of how much is still unknown about him. The unknown is what he thinks makes Obama harder to elect than say, Hillary Clinton, who's been through this wringer before, and has less unknowns.

He also correctly (I believe) points out that Obama probably played the Jeremiah Wright problem the only way he could. While many of us would have preferred that he toss Wright under the bus, not his Grandmother, that would have angered a much larger group of his supporters. His denouncement of Wrights words, but not the person, mollified the middle of the road folks, and kept the African-American constituency happy. Yes, conservatives were left unsatisfied, but then he wasn't going to satisfy conservatives anyway.

Charles Krauthammer was less impressed by Obama, giving his column the title "A Brilliant Fraud". Charles want's to know why Obama didn't leave a church that he obviously knew was run by a man with some strange beliefs and horrible rhetoric.

He takes Obama to task for tossing Grandma under the bus, noting that the example of her saying she was afraid when she passed black men on the street was something that Rev. Jesse Jackson has admitted to in the past. And while she may have said some things in private that bothered him, she wasn't standing on a stage, trying to incite a thousand or so when she said them, as Wright was.

His criticism of Obama for staying in the church is well placed (IMHO), if as he said on Tuesday, Wright is a man rooted in the past, and spewing vitrol from an era gone by, why did he expose his daughters to it?

It's a good question, if you are a man of "hope and change", they why not find a better spiritual venue for raising your children than a place that claims nothing has changed and there is no hope? I'm not an expert on African American churches, but my guess is there is one out there that more closely aligns to the Senator's hope and change mantra than Trinity UCC. In fact, I pray that there is one, because if there isn't, the black community is in much more dire straits than anyone can imagine.

If you need a totally useless comparison, though one that makes some sense in the context of Obama's assertation that Reverend Wright lives in the past, read E.J. Dionne's column. He spends his time comparing Wrights current demeanor with that of Rev. Martin Luther King. Great comparison, if King were speaking today, or Wright were preaching in 1968. However, they are 40 years, and eons separated.

What I gleaned from Dionne's column is something Krauthammer pointed out in his; because of "white guilt" the liberal elite would love and defend Obama's speech, and Rev. Wright. Dionne proves it his column, becoming the apologist white guy for the Reverend.

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