His speech was daring. I would dare anyone to say otherwise about someone who has more or less shied away from explicit comments/lecturing about racism in his campaigns. As for how successful he was about addressing his pastor’s comments – I would say a caller to NPR before the speech put it best. He said “to conflate Pastor Wright’s comments with the views of Sen Obama is to act as if Pastor Wright represents more than his own views. It’s to act as if Fundamentalist right wing pastors represent McCain.” That may have been a terrible paraphrase, but that’s what I took away from it. However, I thought that was more or less an accurate description of all the media obsession over Pastor Wright. Honestly, why focus on him? He doesn’t work on the Obama campaign. To put such inordinate weight on him is a little odd, especially, when Obama has stated time and time again ‘I do not agree with some of his views.’ When Obama cast this relationship as being similar to the one with his grandmother, I thought Genius. I thought it was a good way to connect to the American people. It was a good way to frame the nature of his relationship in a way that would be difficult to take out of context, difficult to make negative because the media would have to insult his family. On another point, I thought it was brilliant the way he contexutalized Pastor Wright’s experience, brought that up to date, connected that to his experience, then spoke about the work left to be done. Not to mention, unlike Sen. Clinton, he takes the good and the bad (remember their debates); Obama takes all of this in, processes it and makes his own choice to move forward and act differently. He writes his own destiny.
Barack Obama On Race & Politics in America