David Kirkpatrick

March 18, 2008

More reactions to Obama’s race speech

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:58 pm

You can find my part one here and part three here.

Here’s some more reactions around the right and left parts of the blogosphere.

From the Corner:

Have I missed the competition?    [Charles Murray]

I read the various posts here on “The Corner,” mostly pretty ho-hum or critical about Obama’s speech. Then I figured I’d better read the text (I tried to find a video of it, but couldn’t). I’ve just finished. Has any other major American politician ever made a speech on race that comes even close to this one? As far as I’m concerned, it is just plain flat out brilliant—rhetorically, but also in capturing a lot of nuance about race in America. It is so far above the standard we’re used to from our pols…. But you know me. Starry-eyed Obama groupie.

Also from the Corner:

My Two Cents and Bottom Lines   [Cliff May]

Barack Obama gives a good speech — better than most of his congressional colleagues. But at this stage in his life and career, he’s not yet who he wishes to seem.

Obama’s supporters will now say: “Enough. Let’s move on.”

Hillary supporters will say: “We agree. Enough. Let’s move on.” But they will whisper: “You don’t think those evil Republicans will use this against him in the fall? He’s damaged goods.”

Independents will be split — they always are, that’s their job. But fewer will see him as they did: a different breed of politician, one who transcends race and party, an agent of beneficient and desirable “change.”

Conservatives are less likely to think an Obama presidency would be not so bad, and more likely to  see McCain as the lesser evil.

And one more from the Corner:

So, I just watched Barack Obama’s big race speech on YouTube. I haven’t yet read or heard any reaction or analysis. So, please forgive me if I repeat what has already been said.

My first reaction? Race speeches are rarely good, and this was no exception. For all of Obama’s new talk of change, courage, politics you can believe in, I heard a whole lot of liberal boilerplate dressed up in euphemism and offering no fresh solutions.

From Little Green Footballs:

Obama Attempts Double Back Flip

Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:05:24 am PST

Drudge Reporthas the transcript of Barack Obama’s speech, and it was just as weak as you thought it would be. Amazingly, Obama is sticking with the “cherry-picking” defense.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

From Obsidian Wings:

That’s Why I Say Hey Man Nice Speech

by publiusFirst impression – good speech. I wasn’t entirely convinced it was a good idea to do it, but I think it will play well – and certainly better than Romney’s. What I liked about it in particular was not so much the arguments themselves (which were good), but the unwillingness to fold in the face of media pressure.To back up, I think the relentless multiple-news cycle coverage of Wright has been absurd – and rooted in old stereotypes of the black community as a hotbed of angry nationalists. My fear was that Obama, in opting to give the speech, was giving into the trumped up and bogus frenzy. While I knew this specific controversy would pass, my more general fear was that Obama the candidate and president would be pressured to twist in the Beltway winds.

Here’s a link to a slew of reviews at Daily Kos.


  1. […] Head here for more reactions from the blogosphere. […]

    Pingback by Obama’s race speech « David Kirkpatrick — March 18, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  2. Yes, it was a gutsy speech. But, it was the speech he has been avoiding all along. He was forced into it. And, I dont find it convincing.

    Obama used an emotional device to get the listener to stop thinking. “I will not disown” This language gets us to feel an emotional bond. But, emotional bonds to people with wicked thoughts and who teach lies and falsehoods are dangerous.

    Obama ought to disown this man, not yesterday, but 20 years ago. Obama upon hearing that Klannish thinking should have run the other way.

    But, Obama held on to Wright and Trinity because they were his tie to a black community he had never been a part of. Obama, from an elite prep school in Hawaii and Harvard, was looking for street cred in the hood. He has used Wright for 20 years. And, this is just as evil as the words of Wright himself.

    Comment by Fr. J. — March 18, 2008 @ 3:05 pm

  3. The speech was most certainly brilliant. Unlike most politicians, Obama is not wishing away racism. It is very deeply seated in american society while most people want him to damn Wright and close this chapter he’s chosing the hard way out. I hope America continues to deal with racism issue because it did not end with he segregation.

    Comment by muthiani k. — March 19, 2008 @ 12:59 am

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