Obama’s speech on race

by Stephen Tall on March 19, 2008

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama’s speech confronting the issues of race at stake in the USA has dominated the nation’s news coverage in the last day. USA Today gives a flavour:

On USATODAY.com, an article about Obama’s speech attracted 7,502 comments by 2:30 a.m. ET today, the most for a single story. The previous high for comments on a single story (5,517) was an article about Obama defeating Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Feb. 19 Wisconsin and Hawaii nominating contests, according to USA TODAY research. By late Tuesday, Obama’s speech was the most-viewed video on MSNBC.com, the second-most viewed story on websites for ABC, CBS and CNN.

You can watch the speech in full here:

Two things continue to impress me about Obama’s campaign:

1. His speeches are impressive, thoughtful, crafted – and clearly authored (primarily at least) by the candidate himself. Of how many politicians can that be said? This is a politician who cares about words, and the impact they can have.

2. His ability to shape the political agenda. Perhaps it was inevitable that race would become a big issue at some point during the contest – but Obama hasn’t just mouthed the easy platitudes that the country must learn from its past and now move on. Instead, he has put up, front and centre the fact that race remains an issue.

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No comments

There’s a problem with commenting on LDV. My comments are going nowhere after submission.

Laurence Boyce.

by test comment on March 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm. Reply #

Probably due to bandwidth issues 🙂

by Hywel Morgan on March 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm. Reply #

Laurence – it’s a dreadful plot against you!
Signed #1 Fan club member

by Felix Holt on March 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm. Reply #

How can you tell he writes his speeches himself? Surely the job of a good speechwriter is to write in a way that sounds convincingly and sincerely like one’s employer. Any good speech-giver collaborates with their speechwriter but I maintain his schedule is far too busy to allow room for writing his own speeches. He has an excellent speechwriter. We’ll know quite how excellent that speechwriter is if we never ever find out his or her identity!

by Liz on March 19, 2008 at 3:57 pm. Reply #

Obama’s Speech Writer Interview (Link)

by Tom on March 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm. Reply #

Barack Obama is quite simply an inspiration, particularly for those of us engaged in politics. He appeals, and is a role model to young and old, white and black. For those politicians over here in the UK, who claim and attempt to glean some relective glory from Obama – don’t bother, you are not in his league.

by Meral on March 19, 2008 at 5:39 pm. Reply #

It was a good speech and dealt with the issues raised quite frankly…having said that now is the time for the Democrats to start to heal the wounds that they are inflicting on themselves because there are some indications it is damaging them in the polls…

by Darrell on March 19, 2008 at 5:46 pm. Reply #

Laurence – it’s a dreadful plot against you!

Well I hope not. I’m not generally one for conspiracies, but there’s no point in going under my profile for the moment.

Laurence Boyce.

by j3hydd78e on March 19, 2008 at 9:27 pm. Reply #

This is great, you can’t make this s_ _t up. Here we have a black man with the charisma of Martin L. King and the resume of howdie doodie. The man has a racist “typical white” grandmother and a pastor who makes Al sharpton look like Ghandi.
The guy gave a great speech but should make him leader of the free world ?

by A gargano on March 22, 2008 at 10:50 pm. Reply #

Gargano: The world has (almost) survived George W., and I don’t see either McCain or Clinton being any better. He’s got a better CV (that’s English for resumé BTW) than many of the best Presidents in history, so that bothers me not at all.

The think I like most? He thinks. Makes a change from the incumbent.

by MatGB on March 22, 2008 at 11:21 pm. Reply #

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