The mic sucked, as Marc notes. So did Obama's presentation. He gave a pedestrian speech that he appeared to have barely read. The speech itself was poorly constructed, with a surprisingly interesting Lincoln quote tacked on too late to rescue it. Afterwards, the hacks were grilling his frontman on how these proposals dealt with the AMT, how they fit in with his methods for financing his healthcare plans, and so on. The fact-sheets we were promised didn't materialize. I haven't gone through the details. I like the idea of ridding the tax code of so much corporate welfare - one of the worst of so many bad things the Bush GOP has given us is an immensely more complex tax code, rigged by special interests to scam the rest of us. But the message was a mess; and much of it seemed to defend new tax breaks and credits, even as he was proposing simplification. I was bored. If I'm bored, and I'm paid not to be, what will be the response of the people Obama is trying to reach?
Leaving, however, I was struck by a simple fact. If Obama gets no further than his current rut (I suspect he'll surpass it later in the fall), he will nonetheless have achieved something remarkable. Here is a credible, serious African-American candidate for president boring an audience on tax reform. The days of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton dominating African-American politics and visibility are gone. This is the game Obama has already changed. It is immensely good news for the future of race - and of African-Americans - in America. Boredom can be a good thing. And it was.
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