Radar columnist Charles Kaiser has written a good piece about Sen. Barack Obama‘s MLK moment in Philadelphia this morning.
“No other presidential candidate in the past 40 years has managed to speak so much truth so eloquently at such a crucial juncture in his campaign as Obama did today,” he began. “And he did it by speaking about race, the most persistent source of hatred among us since America began.
“It turns out that a candidate for president with a white mother and a black father has a capacity that no one else has ever had before: He can articulate an equal understanding of black racism and white racism — and that makes it possible for him to condemn both of them with equal passion.”
The 3.19 N.Y. Times editorial about the speech (“Mr. Obama’s Profile in Courage”) is pretty good also.
“There are moments — increasingly rare in risk-abhorrent modern campaigns — when politicians are called upon to bare their fundamental beliefs,” it begins. “In the best of these moments, the speaker does not just salve the current political wound, but also illuminates larger, troubling issues that the nation is wrestling with.
“Inaugural addresses by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt come to mind, as does John F. Kennedy‘s 1960 speech on religion, with its enduring vision of the separation between church and state. Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better.”