Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama to Give Major Speech

Update: Here's the text of the speech.

Barack Obama is scheduled to give a major address this morning (10:15 E.T.) on race and religion and unifying the nation. I think this is the right move.

I suspect it may be carried live on the web at http://www.barackobama.com/tv/.

Jonah Goldberg
highlights the sort of issues that Obama should address (but undoubtedly won't):
Obama righteously deplores "divisiveness." And yet he literally worships at the altar of division. He wants to transcend race, but his black nationalist church and his liberation theology pastor consider race permanent and central issues.

Obama claims that he's a different kind of politician, but his "repudiation" of Wright last week is traditional pol-speak and nothing more. To listen to Obama, you'd think he was the only person in Chicago not to know that his minister is a hatemonger. Either Obama is the worst judge of character in living memory or he's not the man he's been portraying himself as.

Or there's a third option. Perhaps Obama didn't hear Wright's bilious rhetoric because it blended in with the chorus around him. This is the fact that Obama really needs to address if the "Obama movement" is about more than getting the junior senator from Illinois elected. . . .

Obama preaches unity. Well, real unity requires real truth-telling and the ability to tell right from wrong, and Wright from right. . . .

Obama's power base is made up of black voters and the upscale left-wingers who condescend to them. Well, it is time he spoke truth to that power. If the eloquent, self-proclaimed truth-teller and would-be first black president can't manage that, he should go straight from would-be to never was.
Thomas Lifson has a more plausible prediction.

More thoughts from Ross Douthat.

Joe Carter weighs in.

Update: Quick reaction, for what it's worth: a very good speech; I can't imagine one better given the circumstances. But not perfect, for I still think it's a walking contradiction for Obama to be a post-racialist candidate while investing deeply for 20 years in a deeply racialist church. Obama didn't choose his grandmother; he did choose his church.

Good commentary here from Douthat.

Update: Video here: