One is accustomed to Barack Obama giving good speeches, and his father's day address is no different. This one will, I expect, be a pretty big hit politically, too, since it has certain conservativish resonances about the centrality of family conditions to our social problems.

The New York Times remarks that "Obama laid out his case in stark terms that would be difficult for a white candidate to make" which is doubtless true. Nevertheless, it's worth pointing out that while the level of single-parent households is lower in white families than in black ones, the trend is toward increase and has been for some time. The sorts of problems stereotypically associated with black families, in short, are becoming more and more common across the demographic spectrum.