Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama's speech on race

You can read the transcript or watch the speech here.

There are so many different perches from which to respond to a speech like that: The purely emotional level where I was going "sing it, brother", most of the time. The political pundit level of me asking which excerpts will be drawn out to be used as THE message of the speech, to be endlessly dissected and reinterpreted and discussed until the speech indeed has become those few excerpts. The political nerd level where I was making mental lists of any actual solutions the speech contained. The wannabe campaign advisor level of me wondered if all the needed buttons had been punched, if all the focus groups liked the speech equally well. The feminist me noting the ever-so-slight tilt towards men in the speech. And so on.

But mostly I think it is a very good speech, on a topic that Americans really need to be able to discuss more openly and with more patience than has happened so far. It is a speech for adults, which is rare and refreshing in political speechifying.