Obama talks to Joe Klein about Wright and the Philadelphia speech on race:

Obama: Well, during the course of this campaign probably our response to those Reverend Wright videos had to be a spot decision, because frankly it was unanticipated and I hadn’t seen those incendiary videos before. The decision to make it big as opposed to make it small.

Joe The Journalist: To make the [Philadelphia] speech.

Obama: To write a speech in two days and deliver it at a time when there was a singular focus on the topic I think is an example of having to make decision based on what in my gut would make sense.

Joe The Journalist: What was your gut telling you?

Obama: My gut was telling me that this was a teachable moment and that if I tried to do the usual political damage control instead of talking to the American people like an adult like they were adults and could understand the complexities of race that I would be not only doing damage to the campaign but missing an important opportunity for leadership.

(Hat tip: Ben Smith)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.