In Order to Form a More Perfect Union

Bob Beckel, who managed Walter Mondale’s campaign (which came up with the 3am phone call idea), writes persuasively about the Obama campaign.  Here is his reaction to Obama’s speech in Philidelphia yesterday:

Obama’s speech in Philly yesterday on race, and specifically the Wright issue, was one of the most compelling I have heard in over 30 years in politics. It was direct with no attempt at evasion. It was emotional yet straight forward. Where most politicians would have abandoned a supporter like Jeremiah Wright and the community he served, Obama, while strongly criticizing him, but did not throw his friend overboard. It was, in my view, one of the best, if not the best, transformative speech on race and politics ever given.

Read the text of the speech here.

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3 Responses to “In Order to Form a More Perfect Union”


  1. 1 Mr. Roach March 19, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    What was so great about this speech. He doesn’t take Wright and other black leaders to task for the thoroughly corrosive view that there is some endemic white conspiracy that has caused black problems in recent years, rather than a moral breakdown in the black community that was paradoxically stronger in the years it had to endure racist white oppressions such as the Jim Crow laws. This new pathological black culture, the one that says talking correctly is “acting white,” has damaged black people far more than the racist institutions of the past. Barack wants to straddle the fence with false equivalencies, and it’s throughly duplicitous and cowardly.

  2. 2 Matt H. March 20, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Mr. Roach – the tone and words you use seem a bit sanctimonious? As far as Barack “taking Wright and other black leaders to task” – perhaps his is living the values of Christ and seeking to understand before passing judgement. Perhaps we all could remember the words from the gospel of Matthew 7:1-5?

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

  3. 3 bobbyjones March 21, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Booya! It’s been a while since we’ve have a good throw down. But, I really didn’t expect Matt H. to whip out the scripture. Has Easter got you in the mood?

    Why beat around the bush when you can use words like duplicitous, cowardly and hyporcite?! Now that’s what I call making a point.

    In Nicholas Kristof’s column in the NYT yesterday, he wrote:
    “Barack Obama this week gave the best political speech since John Kennedy talked about his Catholicism in Houston in 1960, and it derived power from something most unusual in modern politics: an acknowledgment of complexity, nuance and legitimate grievances on many sides. It was not a sound bite, but a symphony.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/opinion/20kristof.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    “An acknowledgment of complexity, nuance and legitimate grievances on many sides.” That’s why Obama’s candidacy is so refreshing because it combines McCain’s straight talk but without the sodden pessimism (not to mention the baggage of the war).

    Kristof continues, “all of this demonstrates that a national dialogue on race is painful, awkward and essential. And that dialogue needs to focus not on clips from old sermons by Mr. Wright but on far more urgent challenges — for example, that about half of black males do not graduate from high school with their class.”

    Mr. Roach, I hope you aren’t put off by Mr. H’s bible thumping. This is the kind of debate we like here at Broken Spines.


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