Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Made Obama's Speech Great

The true power of the speech is that it does what it says. It not only talks about empathy, it creates it.

We are on the cusp of a new politics in America. It should be dated from March 18, 2008, the date of Barack Obama's landmark speech "A More Perfect Union." The usual pundits have looked mainly at the speech's surface theme: race. They weren't wrong. It was indeed the most important statement about race in recent history.

But it was much more. It was a general call to a new politics and an outline for what it needs to be. Just as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was about much more than the war dead on that battlefield, so Obama's speech -- widely hailed as in the same ballpark as Lincoln's -- went beyond race to the nature of America, its ideals and its future.

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