It wasn’t just this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© and the NYTimes editorial board who were impressed with Tuesday’s Philadelphia declaration.
Obama Offers a Progressive Vision of Patriotism
By Drew Westen, Huffington Post. Posted March 21, 2008.
Obama’s brilliant discussion of race, class and patriotism shows substance unlike any politician in recent history.
I watched Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday morning intently. The “pre-game show” of cable commentators predicted a somewhat grim outcome. What could Obama say that could possibly overcome his association with the words of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Would he throw his pastor on the train tracks? And even if he did, would he still suffer from guilt by association?
But then, for 45 minutes, I saw a man who for days had appeared somewhat at sea, buffeted by waves that relentlessly pushed him off course, seem to find his compass and chart a course directly into the eye of the storm. I saw a man with the inner confidence, and the steadiness of a captain who knew he was sailing on uncharted waters but needed to go there anyway, take the nation with him and land them safely on the shore.
In our 24-hour news network world, analysis is instant, and is offered like the play-by-play of a football game, almost always with less insight.
Will they be writing books about Obama’s Philadelphia speech the way they’ve done for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address for 145 years? Perhaps not. But, Obama crafted and delivered an extraordinary (overused, sorry, but in this case appropriate) and eloquent statement that deserves the appreciation it has already received.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
Yr (justifiably) humble svt wants to believe that objectivity on his part about people in public life is possible. I am the same guy who, pitying Barry Goldwater as a laughingstock after his ignominious campaign and defeat by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, mustered tremendous respect for the statesman senator from Arizona who, 9 years later, stepped up to call his party’s president to account when he knew the Constitution had been wilfully violated by that president.
I am the same guy who has been intrigued for an entire year by the possible presidential aspiration (okay, probable, it’s only the campaign that was possible) of Michael Bloomberg.
Objectively, Tuesday, I was moved, and have been more than once over the past few years, by the deeds and words of Barack Obama. The man is presidential in a way that far outstrips the “current occupant,” recent occupants, and this year’s competing aspirants, active or retired.
He expresses a vision that, in these all too troubled times, is inspirational. If we’re to make this tossed salad bowl of a nation a melting pot once again, it will take the likes of Barack Obama to get us there, or at least to start getting us there.
A start that is 145 years overdue, at least.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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