I didn't mean to stay up so late to see this speech -- have to get up in a few hours for a hinterland trip -- but I am glad I did.
This was as good a job as anyone could have done in these circumstances, and as impressive and intelligent a speech as I have heard in a very long time. People thought that Mitt Romney's speech would be the counterpart to John Kennedy's famous speech about his faith to the Houston ministers in 1960. No. This was.
A reminder of a non-obvious but crucial principle in speechwriting. Make the language simple, clear, vivid, and comprehensible -- of course. But never, never talk down.
Will this defuse the Rev. Wright issue? Who knows what cable news will make of the speech. But it was a great moment, to which Barack Obama rose.
(Update: while considering just staying up until the hinterland trek, I will correct the preceding sentence. It was a moment that Obama made great through the seriousness, intelligence, eloquence, and courage of what he said. I don't recall another speech about race with as little pandering or posturing or shying from awkward points, and as much honest attempt to explain and connect, as this one.)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.