Originally Posted by Thus Spoke Elvis
While I personally liked Obama's speech on race (though strangely, I found it better when I read the text than when I heard Obama deliver it), I agree with Frum that it wasn't very effective. Based on the voting patterns in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, it seemed to do little to assuage concerns that white working class voters have about him. It was the concerns of those voters that Obama was attempting to mollify when he delivered the Philadelphia speech. If a speech fails to convince its target audience, how can it be deemed effective?
Well, for one, the Gettysburg Address was famously a flop initially (disclaimer: as much as I liked Obama's speech on race, and as much as I think it genuinely marks a turning point, I am NOT making a 1:1 equivalence between it and the Gettysburg Address; let's not get stuck on stupid, people).
I was fascinated by Cherny's point that Obama went through that speech and de-soundbited it. Very astute, both in terms of political self-defense, frustrating those who would use turn those soundbites against him (Exhibit A here
), and as part of what seems to be his campaign to tone down the national pie-fight and get liberals and conservatives that are willing to engage each other in good faith to do so on a more productive level.
In that vein, Elvis, I'd like to echo what Brendan said the other day about wishing there were more conservatives like you.