Wow. Two entries in one day. Perhaps I am trying to make up for all my slacking during the last few weeks.
Mrs. Geek and I were discussing Barack Obama's speech on race relations last night. I'd read it during the day as a transcript and then felt compelled to find video of Mr. Obama giving it... because it was just that good. Mrs. Geek had heard about it but had not yet heard or read it in full. I struggled to come up with words to describe it. After a few sentences that did not seem to capture the feeling, I finally found the shorthand that would convey exactly what I felt in a way she would understand: "It was a West Wing moment."
(The term "West Wing moment" refers to the many times during the last season of the TV series
The West Wing when Alan Alda or Jimmy Smits seemed to transcend all the dirty, petty, lowest common denominator politics of the Presidential campaign and raised the level of discourse to a higher plane.)
Judging from the reviews today, I evidently was not the only person who thought so. Words like "Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better", "No matter what happens in the 2008 presidential campaign, it is an address that Americans will read and recall for generations to come", and "It was a masterpiece to go down in history along with Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” and Kennedy’s about his Catholicism" suggest that this was Mr. Obama speaking for not just us, but the ages. The only question on the minds of (liberal) political pundits seems to be whether or not Main Street, USA will accept and approve of this sort of behavior. After all, it has been a long, long time since anyone running for President really asked the human on the street to receive a statement about a complex issue like race with vocabulary not found on the back a cereal box.
I voted for Mr. Obama in my state's Demcratic primary. My reasons for doing so were complex, and best reduced to something like "Hillary Clinton is probably the best qualified and will probably eventually win, but Barack Obama deserves to stay in the race because he will bring something important to it." I hope most of all that Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama will thrash John McCain in the Fall, but in the meanwhile... this is exactly the sort of thing that I hoped in my best heart of hearts that Mr. Obama would do. Not often in this age of sound bites do I get to hear eloquence phrased with the ring of history. For that Mr. Obama, I thank you.
on 2008-03-19 at 1:05 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond