Tuesday, March 18, 2008

James Fallows' Instant Reaction to Barack Obama's Speech on Race in America

From The Atlantic:
This was as good a job as anyone could have done in these circumstances, and as impressive and intelligent a speech as I have heard in a very long time. People thought that Mitt Romney's speech would be the counterpart to John Kennedy's famous speech about his faith to the Houston ministers in 1960. No. This was.

A reminder of a non-obvious but crucial principle in speechwriting. Make the language simple, clear, vivid, and comprehensible -- of course. But never, never talk down.

Will this defuse the Rev. Wright issue? Who knows what cable news will make of the speech. But it was a great moment, to which Barack Obama rose. ***

It was a moment that Obama made great through the seriousness, intelligence, eloquence, and courage of what he said. I don't recall another speech about race with as little pandering or posturing or shying from awkward points, and as much honest attempt to explain and connect, as this one.
And I've got nothing to add to that.

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