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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Must Read: Obama and Race

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, NYT

Barack Obama this week gave the best political speech since John Kennedy talked about his Catholicism in Houston in 1960, and it derived power from something most unusual in modern politics: an acknowledgment of complexity, nuance and legitimate grievances on many sides. It was not a sound bite, but a symphony.

But the furor over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory sermons shows that Mr. Obama erred in an earlier speech — the 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention that catapulted him to fame.

In that speech, Mr. Obama declared that “there is not a black America and a white America... . There’s the United States of America.” That’s a beautiful aspiration, and we’re making progress toward it. But this last week has underscored that we’re not nearly there yet...

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