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Friday, March 21, 2008

Barack Obama - a speech that will be remembered...

As you probably know, Barack Obama spoke in Philadelphia on March 18, in response to the furor over clips of Reverend Wright, his pastor, speaking in extreme terms. If you have about half an hour to spare, here is the speech, which ranges far beyond that specific issue.

Whether Barack Obama wins the Democratic race and the Presidency is yet to be seen (I hope he does), but whatever happens, his is a voice of unity that is sorely needed... and not just in America.

According to Gary, of Withinsight,"This is perhaps the most honest, articulate and insightful speech by a leader on race in America in this modern era."

(You can find shorter clips on youtube if you want to.)

I still get chills every time I hear it!

This guy is awesome.
Damn that guy! I so wanted to vote for a woman for president in my life time. He's ruined it. He's getting my vote.
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Oh to have a president that can actually speak coherently, eloquently, intelligently! It's been a very long time...

He did a great job with this speech.

I love this man!
hi Gary
If elected it is said the view towards the US, outside the US, will take a gigantic step up the richter scale for the better,to reverse negativity.

Best wishes
Gary, being a Canuck, I think you may have "Misunderestimated" (Chimpy actually used that word) the damage Wright's words did.

Many white voters appear to be turning away from Obama now, especially in the South.

The speech was nice, but it looks like he might be finished.
Thanks all.

Fairlane - I hope you're wrong, but the polls have slipped for him. Apparently white middle class voters particularly have been frightened by repeated airings of Rev. Wright clips. Gut reaction over brain reaction (in my opinion), but not surprising.
the terrifying thing about great leaders (and Obama does seem to have that potential) is that they so often become targets for fanatics who disagree with them, and they're so often assassinated. this seems to be especially true of great black leaders in America. though on the one hand, i'd vote for him in a minute, were i a citizen of that country, i'd also fear i was signing his death warrant.
The man has 2012 or 2016 potential but is hopefully naïve at this point. Remember what Emily Dickinson said: "Hope is a thing with feathers." It keeps people going, but pandering to our desperate need to hope right now will not serve this potential Jimmy Carter the Second president well. Nothing is worse than hope unfulfilled and the exhilarating orator Obama is soooo over his head. Sorry I cannot validate the starry-eyed gushing, but you can always delete this. Adda
Grannyfiddler - I fear the same.

Thanks anonymous (Adda?). Of course I won't delete your comment -it is one point of view - and I've heard it a lot.

Another view is that a good leader with a vision can pull good people to him and make things happen - Give me Carter over a Bush 100 times out of 100.

Here's something to counter your opinion: these tried and tested current or recent leaders, who were elected or appointed to a large part based on their vast experience and being seasoned in the system:
- George W. Bush - nothing need be said
- Gordon Blair in the UK - flopping around link a trout and losing support rapidly
- Nicolas Sarkozy in France - tanking quickly and despised by many
- Paul Martin in Canada - saved our fiscal bacon and was a tough Finance Minister - then as Prime Minister he self-destructed in months.

I'd still vote for Obama if I had a vote.
I have thought a lot about the possibility that if I vote for Obama, I'll be signing his death warrant. But we really have no good choices here. I will vote for him if he wins the Democratic candidacy, but I don't know if or how I can vote otherwise.

Then there's my cynicism about whether my vote will even count...

We have a very broken system here. The last two elections were stolen, so really, it doesn't matter for whom I vote.

Still, until the end, I will be a cheerleader for someone with brains, heart, and voice. That's all I know to do.
Well said, Carol.
Mr. Obama was here in Portland on Friday and there is indeed a lot to like about him. The Philadelphia speech was a great one but it's true he's lost support among the usual suspects.

GFid's point is well understood in this country and black leaders have been at special risk. I also agree with Scarlet who noted that Carol said it well.

and yes, there really is a vast right wing conspiracy - it's not all in our imaginations.
Negro Liberation Theology is practiced even in parts of Calgary. I must admit my grandmum has uttered the words blackie when walking by an African.
I hate that race or gender is even an issue in this election.
I know evolution is a process that takes thousands and millions of years, but still...
I thought we were past all that.
Hello, Gary.
I liked Obama's speech as well.
It seems that something of that sort has been long overdue. I see the misunderstandings as a product of factionalism due to the prevalence of identity politics, ie lack of ongoing dialogue. The fact is, in the States, our level of multi-culturalism isn't quite what we would like to believe. As is often the case, uncomfortable reminders are seen as less than welcome among many.

Of course, the media loves to play the most inflammatory clips from Wright, but let's face it, sensationalism is their main business.
I just realized how long I could go on with that particular line of thought, so I'll just drop it.

Now, about those "stolen" elections...

Never once has anyone won the office of the presidency without carrying their home state, and Gore lost Tennessee.
And both Kerrey and Gore left themselves in a position to be running such a close election. If they would have had broader appeal, it would never have come down to any one state. The predominant Democratic strategy (until Howard Dean) has been to take New England, California, and a few midwestern states, and hopefully squeak one out. That squeaker strategy just hasn't been working out so well. Time to move on.

The Democrats are really in the midst of an ongoing shift. They're really two parties with two separate bases joined in an unlikely semi-commitment. Neither Hillary nor Obama represent either faction, but rather a compromise between the two.
I believe Obama to be the better of the two, for a number of reasons, but I won't go into it here, as I've already run a bit long.

But thanks for the video.
When people ask me about the Reverend Wright "flap", my response is those who are upset, would just be angry about the truth. Wright said why is the US surprised about the 9-11 attack when the US goes about the rest of the world doing offensive/miltary moves. The Reverend spoke the truth- those who can't handle the truth would be upset. Still, it is not Barack
Obama's job to account for the Reverend's words. Let the reverend explain himself. Personally, I find it refreshing to have a minister stray from the blind pablum for the masses. God implored us to be seekers of the truth, and we are so accustomed to having religion-politics be s omething the right wing uses to manipulate fundamentalist voters- with fabricated issues like gay marriage, and prayrer in the schols, and the debate over if to keep "one nation under god" in the pledge of allegiance, that we miss the big picture of the universal religious focus-- being kind and loving one another. This speech was eloquent, and real-- saying prejudice, perspectives, and the need to continue to try to fix the problem were all right on. I think Obama is the best man for the job, and his view is a breath of fresh air.

Totally off the subject, but Gary, you SOOO need to come check out my legs.


But, no, seriously.

... for an other bunch of numbers of reasons, (or perhaps the same ones) Obama is the one who gives me more hope than Hillary
I think we'd better get used to the idea of a President McCain.
Thanks all. These are interesting political times in the USA. Don't give up on pushing the pendulum back from madness and greed... It doesn't have to swing to nirvana for things to improve.

Jeez, even McCain looks good compared to King George II. However, I think it's time to fight like hell for Obama and/or Clinton. Either would be a good President.

I made a donation last week to Obama's campaign and am considering other ways to influence the election. I have a lot of American friends in Canada - maybe I get the info to them that they need to vote in absence.

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