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For Obama, a Test of Leadership

By Dan Balz
PHILADELPHIA -- The damage to Barack Obama's presidential candidacy was already real when he stepped into the pulpit of the National Constitution Center here on Tuesday morning. Obama was a politician under fire, his campaign engulfed in controversy by the fiery, divisive and racially charged words of his Chicago pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

His text was the Constitution and his theme "A More Perfect Union" and his most urgent political mission was to explain his relationship to a minister whose words were so at odds with the tone and message of Obama's presidential campaign in hope of tamping down the controversy that threatens to undermine his candidacy.

But there was much more to this speech than a political rescue mission, one that may live beyond his candidacy. For his other objective was to use the heat of the moment to speak frankly about the grievances and resentments that exist on both sides of what remains a chasm between black and white America -- and to elevate the country's sights towards the beginning of ending what he called a "racial stalemate" in America.

It is always difficult to talk frankly about race and politics, all the more so when a candidate begins on the defensive, forced by circumstance and experience to deal with unpleasant realities. But for Obama, this was a moment he could not evade.

Obama dealt with first things first by again denouncing Wright's angry words, which have played repeatedly since Friday. Obama said Wright had expressed a "profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America."

But in condemning the words, Obama refused to abandon the pastor who had brought him to Christianity, performed his marriage, baptized his children and who, in Obama's testimony, had never spoken derogatorily of any ethnic group in any personal conversations between the two. Wright, he said, embodies the contradictions of the community he has served on Chicago's South Side for decades. "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community," he said.

Obama then offered his own unique perspective on race in America, seen through his experience as the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother. "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother," he said.

He described his grandmother as a woman who "loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her by on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

For the first 15 minutes of the speech, the invited guests sat quietly -- perhaps uncomfortably -- in the auditorium, listening to Obama explain not only his relationship with Rev. Wright but the culture of African American churches that few white Americans ever see. Those congregations, he said, include doctors and welfare mothers and former gang members. They are full of "raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor" and they house the full range of emotions of the black community -- "the struggles and successes, the love and, yes, the bitterness and biases that make up the black experience in America."

But the rest of his speech was an effort to set the controversy in a broader context, to move it away from his pastor and his church to the schism between black and white that the nation has yet to resolve.

Wright's comments and the commentary they have set off, he said, "reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through -- a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American."

There is anger on both sides of the racial divide, Obama said. To white Americans he described the effects of generations of discrimination on African Americans, particularly those who like Wright grew up in a far more segregated America.

"That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends," he said. "But it does find voice in the barbershop or the beauty shop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings."

But he reminded his audience that there are similar grievances among white Americans as well, middle-class Americans who have worked hard and struggled to make ends meet and who see their children bused to school across town or lose a job or a space in a coveted school to an African American who is given advantages because of past discrimination in which they had no part.

"Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren't always expressed in polite company," he said, to murmurs of agreement in the audience. "But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation."

Both whites and blacks, he said, must recognize "what ails" the other -- and embrace the idea, as he said Wright has not, the idea that American can change. "This union may never be perfect," he said. "But generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected."

Neither Obama nor his advisers can know at this point where the Wright controversy will lead. It is not likely that one speech, however well-crafted, can put it to rest. But the test of leadership is to turn adversity into opportunity and on Tuesday Obama took it. Now he must await the judgment of the voters.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 18, 2008; 2:32 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

Americans can no longer trust the agenda driven media (especially those who are so far to the left such as Keith Olbermann of MSNBC) to present the truth. Voters must begin to ask many questions of Barack Obama who is attempting to win the White House in 2009. We MUST begin to ask "who is Barack Obama?"

The following excerpt is from Obama's book titled Dreams from My Father; "I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets."

Obviously, aside from Obama's current esoteric position about transcending race- the important question is "why surround your self with Marxist professors? Simply put- Marxism is the system of socialism of which the dominant feature is public ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange. How does this relate to America, which is based upon Capitalism through individual freedom.

Therefore, who would Obama as President surround himself with for advisors? Would it be the Marxist Socialists from the Left? Or worse?

Obama just didn't join any church- he intentionally joined a "militant black nationalist one." Rev. Wright preaches a "black" gospel or "Black Liberation Theology" in the black community. It is the same Marxist/Communist, revolutionary, humanistic philosophy found in South American Liberation Theology and has no more claim for a scriptural basis than it did in South America.

Therefore, it should be no surprise why Obama chose the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to join his campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination for President. It should be no surprise why Barack and Michelle Obama chose Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ 20-years ago. When Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaks he reflects the mind-set of his congregation, which includes Michelle and Barack Obama. People attend houses of worship, which make them feel comfortable.

It is no secret Rev. Jeremiah Wright courts utterly immoral people (i.e., Farrakhan and Momar Kadafi) who hold anti-Semitic, anti-white prejudges and Marxist/Communist beliefs which are un-American and ungodly. The question is not should Obama be judged by his pastor's comments for the past 20 years- but, are Barack Obama and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright inseparable in belief, theology and philosophy?

How could Obama and his wife sit in a church pew for 20 years and listen to ANTI-AMERICAN "sermons" from a Marxist/Communist sympathizer and not want to hear these ungodly words? This is not just an issue of racist remarks. It is an issue of Obama posing as the successor to JFK and MLK, but in reality he (Obama) being the Pied Piper singing his sweet eloquent sounding words as he leads this great country to disaster.

The Democratic Party leadership along with the American voters need to think about the consequences before continuing down this road of supporting Barack Obama.

JN in NY

Posted by: redjeep1 | March 21, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

"I have a Dream! I Dream of Barack and Wright along with all the other people of African backgrounds who hate this Country,
TO GO BACK TO AFRICA!"

That way, we can replace them, with all the Africans who would Kill for a chance to come here! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 19, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a master... at smoke and mirrors.

You know what? If he can deliver a speech motivated by saving his political hide and have people walk away thinking he's such a great leader, then maybe he will do just fine is Washington.

Amazing to me how people can be fooled over and over again by pretty words, even when the actions don't match.

Posted by: write2caro | March 19, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

marklash: " Senator Obama needs to go way beyond simply denouncing his pastor's words and actions. He needs to explain how he could continue to be associated all these years with a person whose views are so divergent from those he espouses in his campaign and which are the basis for his candidacy. He also needs to explain what kind of judgment went into that kind of decision making, as he is also claiming to have the judgment to lead."
_____________________________________

And how many times and how many ways will he have to explain it to you. At some point you have need to take the responsibility and comprehend it or at least, find someone to help you comprehend it. The man has explained it over and over again. There comes a time when one have to admit their lacking rather than blame someone else. At this point, the numbers of are in and yes, we get it, even if you don't. I am just getting weary with those that want to continue to bring down to that he did not answer based on their own lack of comprehension and understanding. Enough already. I sense that there is an unwillingness that exist that is the culprit here.

Posted by: ddraper81 | March 19, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama's speech demonstrates not only a passion, high level of intellect, but a willingness to tackle a very difficult situation with words. He listens, and can bring a new level of respect to America that has been missing for a very long time. He will make a great president.

Posted by: happyhun007 | March 19, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

To me the speech was and is not the issue. What is, concerns the reasoning Obama used in not responding when these racial and imflammantory statements were declared. Had this been Clinton or McCain, they would have been roasted and burnt at the stake for waiting this long before attempting an answer. Obama's speech is just a little late and designed to spin out of a mess that should have been publicly handled when it happened.

Obama indicates he wasn't in church at any time such statements were given and although there are still some questions not fully answered on that count, I would think given Obama's declared closeness to the church, he would most certainly would have heard from someone about the ministers retoric and would have had the political and personal courage to publicly condemn such statements.

I don't think him entirely truthful and his silent acceptance until forced to spin the situation through a speech makes me want to question his crediability and racial intergety. We have lived through eight years of a bad president that plays to just those people that fit his conservative philosophy. Are we looking at another of the same or one that would have the same concern for all the people? Given the minister/Obama situation and how he handled it, this is a fair question to ask and one everyone should consider.

Posted by: 1ken | March 19, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Racism is taught to us by our parents, teachers, churches and our associates.

A fresh mind knows racism.. knows nothing about the past. They learn from others..or read about it.

In the case of Obama.. he is supposedly a leader of his community.

His goal is to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and to unify all Americans.
This is a lofty goal... but he has no concrete policy/plan to do so.

He readily admits that Pastor Wright is his
mentor/family member. He admits attending Trinty Church for 20 years. He is a beacon/leader in that church. He finally admits that he has heard sermons that he does NOT AGREE WITH. Yet he continue to attend church and expose his wife and children to racist/anti-American sentiments.

Thus he has passed on this racism and anti-American sentiments to the next generation of Black Americans. Note that his children go to PRIVATE SCHOOLS as do many of the wealthy. His wife clearly indicates that she is FINALLY proud to be American this is after attending some of the finest universities in America.

He knew a year ago that Pastor WRight could be a liability... Yet neither he, the DNC or mainstream media mentioned Wright. He continued to listen to his sermons, made him a member of his Campaign Board and lied about his relationship with Wright.

Wright was his mentor and moved him into community activities. (Primarily helping Black Americans in Chicago.) Gave him an idea for his book.

WE have had seven years of a PRESIDENT that promises one thing and then lies and deceives the public. I would hate to have another lair.. and smoke and mirrors politican in DC. Especially one that exposes his family to racist and anti-American sentiments by attending services at a radical christian church.

Posted by: miller51550 | March 19, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

"the test of leadership is to turn adversity into opportunity and on Tuesday Obama took it. Now he must await the judgment of the voters."

Small quibbles on a sound article that ends with an apt "test of leadership":

1) Obama was not FORCED into delivering this address. He could have hunkered down and hoped this too would pass, pass with minimal damage to his campaign as other issues predictably arose. Instead he stepped forward and met this issue head on.

2) He must indeed await the judgment of the voters. However, in the meantime how publics react will depend heavily upon opinion leaders and their media bases. Will opinionators settle for horserace reflexions? Or will you and other news intermediaries analyze such themes as Obama's approach to reconciliation...while developing your own welcome theme of what constitutes effective leadership, and how candidates measure up.

Posted by: FirstMouse | March 19, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I was interested in seeing how the MSM reporters would spin one of the best speeches ever given by a political candidate. Some could not get past the Rev Wright clips and associating Obama with them and were obviously not suppportive of Obama. They were willing to give a pass to the association of McCain with vitriol spewers like Hagee and a pass to Hillary being associated will the lieing, cheating, philander Bill. Some posters on this site definitely showed their true racist, prejudiced colors. Obama showed class, intelligence, articulation, and sound judgement, and the ability to rise above the dirty politics being displayed in recent weeks. These characteristics are what we need in our president. We do not need more of the same politics and policies we would get with McCain or Ms. Clinton.

Posted by: gtown48 | March 19, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

GetOvertheHillalready- she's an empty pantsuit

Posted by: ehyomang | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

GetOvertheHillalready- she's an empty pantsuit

Posted by: ehyomang | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

GetOvertheHillalready- she's an empty pantsuit

Posted by: ehyomang | March 19, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I have believed in Obamas message of hope and change. Not the words of inspiration because I am too old to be swayed by the words of any politican. Beneath the words, he seemed to have integrity and ego without arrogance. The extraordinary thing about this speech was that he made it. He could given a further disavowel of Rev. Wright together with his standard message.

But he chose to take the issue of race head-on. He not only showed understanding and compassion, but unbelievable courage for a politician in the midst of a close race for President. Integrity, understanding of others, and courage are what is needed by a President.

Haven't we had enough misrepresentations and outright lies for sixteen years. I am a white, southern male Republican. I would vote for a woman for President in a heartbeat if one runs with Obamas character. There is not one this year.

Posted by: patrick2020 | March 19, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

You had the chance to vote for Al Gore! You got George W. Bush.You have now the chance to vote for Obama. If not, you get Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Your choice.

http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/europe-on-a-more-perfect-union/

Posted by: old_europe | March 19, 2008 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh mighty Clinton, dost thou lie so low?

Posted by: eljefejesus | March 19, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Bitter?

Hillary supporters wallowing in the mud even more, it seems moreso the further along the race gets without catching up...

Oh mighty Clinton, dost though lie so low?

Posted by: eljefejesus | March 19, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

"2. His wife says that Barack's election was the "first time she's been proud of America." She's been ashamed up until then?"
posted by SLB2008
--------
I didn't see/hear this quote, and I'm sure there was some sort of context around it. But to be honest, while I've been proud of many of my fellow Americans, there's certainly been precious little to be proud of in the way our government has performed in the last 7 years.... And, you can hate what the country's leadership is doing without hating the country. Besides, who didn't know someone in the SDS or such in the 60's - I even new klansmen -- who were just as bad. That doesn't mean I agreed with them.

One final comment. If you are only going to vote for someone who holds all the exact same views you do, then you've really limited the kind of leadership you will get. Surprisingly, someone may have a broader experience or insight than the individual voter - in fact, that's the basis of a representative democracy.

Posted by: richturner | March 19, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

When America finds out that Chicago Obama got to where he is by forcing everyone else off the ballot and by supressing votes, the last bit of his teflon will be gone.

Remember the guy who charmed all the kids on star trek, but turned out to be a monster?

Barry Obama's like him in real life.

The Real Barry Obama is really bad news.

He's not just not good, he's actively bad.

The real Barry Obama is the guy who let people freeze to death, not the guy who gives pretty speeches.

He's a Black version of Bush, but worse, because he's a lot more intelligent.

You're not going to like him very much.

That's guaranteed.

Posted by: svreader | March 19, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Surely all of us have had friends with beliefs that make us cringe. I know that some of my best friends have views of race that I don't agree with, including my closest friend at work and someone who's been a close friend ever since we roomed together in college.

But I also see value in the other pieces of who they are and what they believe, and I'm willing to accept them as imperfect, just like every other human being on this planet. It doesn't mean I agree with them, and it doesn't mean that I don't object to some of the things that they believe. It just means I'm an ordinary human being.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Or, does anyone *not* have any friends who you think are a little off the deep end at times?

Posted by: davestickler | March 19, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Someone may be fooled by a talker like Hitler, Lenin...

Obama, your america-hater mentor, crook-friend, and not-proud-america wife tell us more.

Posted by: va-us | March 18, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe that we need a racist and a liar who is pro-abortion in the White House. Farewell Mr. Obama.

Posted by: Geminate | March 18, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

It was a good speech. Not unique -- Bill Clinton gave a very similar speech in 1995 during the Million Man March.

But I don't think it put this issue to bed. Let's look at the number of issues this guy has to face/answer to:

1. His pastor makes these remarks, emphasizing his hate for America.
2. His wife says that Barack's election was the "first time she's been proud of America." She's been ashamed up until then?
3. Barack was friends or acquaintances or colleagues with the Weather Underground terrorists who bombed several U.S. buildings in the 1960s. Both 60s now, they are unrepentant about the bombings, saying they should have done more.

The company you keep indicates the attitudes you support. And there are at least 3 folks on his list who have indicated disdain or outright hate for America.

Fine speech or not, this man has to answer for more. I think he needs to own up to his own disdain or hate -- or anger -- at the U.S.

Posted by: SLB2008 | March 18, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

can you imagine - this man - speaking and representing our country on a trip abroad

the knowledge that the American people elected this man -following our current President - would immediately restore some of our luster in the world

would that be beautiful

Posted by: awb75 | March 18, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

That was the best speech I've heard from ANY politician in 40 years (or more). It was the most intellectually satisfying, but also the most socially aware and sensitive. After more than 7 years of a leader who can't even pronounce "nuclear," I feel like I've been living in a desert and finally came upon a lush oasis. This man is human, and not perfect, but he's the best presidential candidate I've seen in my lifetime. Regardless of what someone he knows has said, I'm certainly willing to give this man a chance.

Posted by: jef2 | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I am fascinated at the ideas presented in the comments. While I agree with some and find others scary, it is an education to read them. I am particularly interested in the "actions, not words" group. As we elect leaders,we have traditionally ignored actions (Clinton's sexual escapades, GWB and company's avoidance of Viet Nam, Reagan's avoidance of WWII) and actually believed words (Swift Boat "witnesses", WMDs, compassionate conservatism). I think we should really look and see how the candidates have lived their lives and compare it to their rhetoric. Mr. Obama and his wife have given up considerable wealth to work in their communities to help people who are not part of the empowered majority of this country. I believe that the Clintons have also acted on their convictions and beliefs, and there is no doubt that John McCain suffered for his country and has served in public long and well. While I abhor the language from the pulpit of Pastor Wright, I have heard similar language from "white" pulpits (having grown up in Alabama in the 50's). I don't condone any of that language. However, I worry much less about relationships within a particular community than I do relationships across communities, and I believe, given a fair hearing, Mr.Obama can be a bridge and touch that which is best and most American in us all. I have seen the Clintons in action for 8+ years, and after the first 6 months, I don't recall them "inspiring" much of anything. I have been disappointed in Mr. McCain's change in position and convictions to become insider rather than renegade, and I disagree with nearly everything he wants to do. Mr. Obama is the perfect candidate to fill the role of healer - to the nation and to the world. Much of that healing will be accomplished with words followed by reasoned actions that are aligned with America deepest goodness - not by insults, promoting fear, and the misuse of force of arms.
I would hope that those who have seemed most angry would think back to where our country is right now and focus that anger on the actions of the current administration rather than on any of the candidates who, for reasons beyond my ken, want to try to clean up the mess they have left us.

Posted by: richturner | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This was yet another great speech by Sen. Obama. He demonstrated that while he values the religious teachings given to him by Rev. Wright, he disagrees strongly with his controversial and basically offensive views on other subjects. I don't think any of us should be judged based on the worst things ever said by our friends. Both McCain and Clinton have friends who have said things just as bad.

Instead, let's look at what Obama says and what he believes in. He is an incredibly smart and compassionate person, just the right candidate we need to move us past these horrible Bush years.

Posted by: existenz | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama said it as it is. Tough lucky for those who were not moved by the content of the speech. It is probably that it touched on your comfort zones. As others have said before, for those who didnt see anything positive in the speech, it is likely that you will never accept anything he says.

For me really, he does not owe anyone an apology. No one can take him into a court of law, get him charged of being "guilt by association", and expect to win. He is simply not "guilt" because of what his pastor said. Case closed!

Those talking about him letting his children hear his pastor? As though you really care!

Posted by: wmainga | March 18, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

This was yet another great speech by Sen. Obama. He demonstrated that while he values the religious teachings given to him by Rev. Wright, he disagrees strongly with his controversial and basically offensive views on other subjects. I don't think any of us should be judged based on the worst things ever said by our friends. Both McCain and Clinton have friends who have said things just as bad.

Instead, let's look at what Obama says and what he believes in. He is an incredibly smart and compassionate person, just the right candidate we need to move us past these horrible Bush years.

Posted by: existenz | March 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

my dad was a "jack ass" too, But he's my dad, I love him anyway.

Posted by: bproulx45 | March 18, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

This was a great speech, a very clear, human and on-point description of the bases for race relations in this country today. It was courageous of the man to point out the deficiencies on both white and black sides, and maybe even more so to not abandon, on a personal level, someone who has been--on a personal level--so important to him. It's heartening to see how many others here agree with this assessment, although both the Post and the NYTimes are still quoting the simplistic jeremiads of the Washington flacks. Beyond the election, this speech may well be seen as the Gettysburg address of our day, and will outlive the speaker.

Posted by: ecdysiast | March 18, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I want to know why John McCain gets a pass for hanging out with Jerry Fallwell the bigot who was against integration. I guess Jerry gets a pass because he is an old white guy.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 18, 2008 08:06 PM

This is a group thing. Whites are 70 percent of the voters. Blacks have to be palatable to Whites in this country to get ahead (mostly). If we were 70 Islamic we would have many different issues and Mac would not be doing to well. That is the way it is.

Posted by: mul | March 18, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

You cannot lead by looking backwards!

Posted by: LL22102 | March 18, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama says LAST WEEK - "never heard those things"

Mr. Obama says THIS WEEK - "I did hear those things"

Mr. Obama says LAST MONTH - "only $125,000 from Mr. Rezko."

Mr. Obama says LAST WEEK - "$250,000 from Mr. Rezko (that's a QUARTER MILLION)

Mr. Obama says IN OHIO - NAFTA will be changed

Mr. Obama says IN CANADA - NAFTA won't be changed

Mr. Obams says ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - I'm wonderful, I'm on the Oversight Committee for Afghanistan

Mr. Obama admits in the debate - "I've been too busy with my campaign" TO HOLD ONE MEETING IN FOURTEEN MONTHS


Mr. Obama has a lot of problems.

Alot of dirty, dirty dishes in HIS OWN KITCHEN SINK

Mr. Obama likes to wiggle, wriggle and talk himself out of problems; he likes to blame and point, divert, diffuse and distract you from noticing his many lies

Mr. Obama never takes responsibility.

Mr. Obama refuses Press Conferences and "prefers" SERMONS and SPEECHES where he is in control of the information you receive

Mr. Obama is NOT PRESIDENTIAL

He's is though, damn sneaky.

Posted by: Thinker | March 18, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Gee! Foir the past week Obama has been claiming he never heard a hate sermon from Wright or hateful words.

Now he admits he had. That makes him a liar!

He seems he has been doing a lot lying. How many other lies are goin to come out. I'll bet the Republicans have the facts and the ad ready to go if Obama gets the nomination.

Posted by: wj_phillips | March 18, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who makes the claim that the United States has not been, and is not (at least partially) now, a racist government (in function if not always form), and that its policies have never murdered innocents, spread hate, undermined democracy or supported corruption is either woefully ignorant of history and current events, or is purposely deceiving themselves.

The Pastor's words hit a nerve. The same nerve that got us into Iraq: arrogance and a sense of American exceptionalism.

Sure we are a country of great ideals, but we don't always live up to those ideals, and without a constant critical assessment of how we're doing, we deserve to wither and die as a nation.

Posted by: ekg1 | March 18, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse


i can imagine hillary and slick willy sitting back the past few days patting themselves on their backs for a 'job well done' in trying to bring down obama.

but after today, i'll even bet hillary, with her little chipmunk cheeks and her smug smile, is probably looking at obama a bit differently..

hillary is probably saying, "dang... obama is good.. he is really good! hey bill? i think i'm going to vote for obama for president.. would that bother you? hey bill.. why don't you vote for him too.. he can save this country.. he'll do a heckuva lot more than we were going to do... we didn't really care about the people, we just wanted the power! LOL!"

Posted by: presGWBfanclub | March 18, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Nice speech. Not buying it.

Earlier, Obama said he didn't know of the incendiary statements of his minister. But now that this has broken in the media, he now admits that yes, he was aware of these vulgar, ignorant, bigoted statements of this pastor, over a 20-year time span. Yet the unaswered question is WHY did he and his wife just sit there and not stand up and protest that in fact AIDS was not a man-made virus invented to kill blacks, or that we live in the "US of KKKA," etc.

A man of conscience and faith would have stood up and protested!

Obama knew the Rev. was a "problem" for him politically, and only now that this has exploded, he has come forward in contrition before the public. Well it's a convenient time to do so now that the issue has been exposed on You Tube.

I'm sorry, but Obama's wife said she had never been proud of the US in her adult life until her husband started winning primary votes, and now this ugly episode.

Obama has flawed judgment and some nasty skeletons in his family closet. This episode represents a grave failure of judgment.

Hillary Clinton will have my support.

Posted by: hyperlexis | March 18, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not surprised that what was touted as an analysis of Obama's speech turned into a praise Obama article.

Why? Becuase Danny boy wrote it. As the WaPO's own ombudsperson put several weeks ago many staffers are suffering from OBamania -- under the spell of Obama's snake oil speeches. Nothing has changed for Balz. He is still intoxicated on Obama.

Posted by: wj_phillips | March 18, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I wouldnt even call a religion that promotes those types of sentiments as Christian. If Jesus were alive he would be ashamed of what they preach in his name!

Perhaps if he had the same message, but different 20-year background he would have retained my vote.

Posted by: LL22102 | March 18, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

What I see is a TYPICAL politician with exceptional skills. He is a typical politician as evident in the last few weeks that he will do anything including lying for political gains. He has exceptional skills particularly in his speeches (or doing the spins) that can confuse a lot of good-will people about the real issues.

I already know that he is an exceptional speaker, and I do not need another proof. I want to see his track of records and experience. Initially, I did not know much about him, and I was almost willing to give him some benefit of doubt. However, the more we know about him, the more I found it troubling.

Posted by: River1 | March 18, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

"Two words: empty suit"..

Ebabin,

My interest is piqued....how would you describe our current "leader"?

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | March 18, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

The most amazing speech on race I have ever seen. This man deserves to lead our nation out of division. If you did not get this speech I feel sorry for your soul because you have none and the devil has your heart. I want to know why John McCain gets a pass for hanging out with Jerry Fallwell the bigot who was against integration. I guess Jerry gets a pass because he is an old white guy.

Posted by: bradcpa | March 18, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse


Barak Obama today earned even more respect from me. He is showing himself more and more each day, as a person who has the leadership qualities to become not only the president, but a GREAT president.

Obama's words inspire. He speaks with passion ~and~ compassion. I feel he is the uniter this country needs, after suffering the deep wounds from bad decisions and indifference from our current president, and those before him.

I would be honored to have Barak Obama as my president.

True leaders aren't made.. they are born.

Posted by: presGWBfanclub | March 18, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"And, I am afraid, it will be a bad bet. He is too eloquent, too passionate, too truthful for the average american whose knowledge of history extends to the prior American Idol episode"

Do you remember Friday when he lied on two networks. Anyway he is trying to scuttle Michigan but it won't work.

He gave a speech any 2nd year at the U of Chicago in the sociology department could have (just sounded cooler). Bill gave it several times in 92 (I remember).

Several Reporters had O on camera a bit like the Romney speech.

Problem is he did not say what was black anger and what was Wright's Hate speech on 9/11. Made his Grandmother and Gerry all the same.

The Supers are going to try and get rid of him as fast as they can.

The Lib media has not severed Obama or democracy well in 2008. They tried to help like after 9/11 and ended up with Iraq. We end up with a big joke at the end which even as a HRC supporter I find sad.

Posted by: mul | March 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Most bloggers who state that Barack's speech moved them or quelled their doubts on how he handled the issue have one big problem. What exactly about the speech changed your mind? Please be more specific, as in what were your doubts in the first place, and exactly what line made you change your mind? It's just obvious in posts when someone opens up with "I'm a conservative who is now an Obama supporter," that you were an Obama supporter to begin with. He still didn't answer the major issues that trouble voters. He admitted(after earlier denying) that he was present during "controversial" sermons(who knows how many) and more importantly why he supported this man for so long knowing what his sermons were like. The issue wasn't about race it was about judgment. How is this different from any of the speeches he has given before? It was a brilliant speech, but I wouldn't expect less from a great orator that is Barack Obama. Thus I expected so much more and this has done nothing to quell the fears of swing voters and the controversy. Think about it everytime this speech is mentioned so will the scandal in the first place. Also Barack Obama had a golden opportunity here. He could of given this speech at the Trinity Church in Chicago, not only to show he supports his church but why, and he could of stated that speeches of unity not division were the reason he attended the church in the first place. Instead he does it from PA, and this golden opportunity becomes just another great speech, at a moment when people will look back and say this is where Obama lost the presidency. Basically the speech didn't change anyones mind, Obama with the hits from Hillary(self-destruct candidate) and his negative responses, is no longer the candidate of hope,change, and unity but now a controversial first term senator running for president and nothing more.

Posted by: gonzog3 | March 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a 28 year old African-American woman. I read the entirety of the address and felt very moved by what I believed to be a thoughtful and genuine account of Senator Obama's nuanced experienced with race. I'm grateful for Obama's speach: for the opportunity it gives open-minded, thinking people to discuss issues that have historically divided our country and led to the oppression of many. Let's rise above the politics of race and discuss renconciliation and healing. At our core, this is what we all want.

Posted by: paziencia | March 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm a 28 year old African-American woman. I read the entirety of the address and felt very moved by what I believed to a thoughtful and genuine account of Senator Obama's nuanced experienced with race. I'm grateful for Obama's speach: for the opportunity it gives open-minded, thinking people to discuss issues that have historically divided our country and led to the oppression of many. Let's rise above the politics of race and discuss renconciliation and healing. At our core, this is what we all want.

Posted by: paziencia | March 18, 2008 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Homerun.

Regardless of whether or not one supports Obama.

Posted by: Oomingmak | March 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The historical parallels are hard to ignore:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600

Where others run and hide, where others seek to "change the message", where others wait for the news cycle to end, Barack Obama confronts the issue and, as Balz writes, paints the controversy in its broader context.

The man is a true leader.

Posted by: PDiddy | March 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Two words: empty suit

Posted by: ebabin | March 18, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

svreader, still on the Clinton payroll. You can look forward to seeing a lot more of Obama for the next 8 years. I know I do.

Posted by: tasteblind | March 18, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama was very effective at digging deep into the issues of racism and discrimination, historical and present, where his pastors statements were rooted, and challenging the country to confront them. He was very genuine about his relationship with his pastor. You don't have to be black, nor a member of any congregation, nor religious, to understand and identify with what he had to say.

Posted by: mhamdall | March 18, 2008 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Actually, as a member of church with a congregation that is mixed race, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation, I can say with complete honesty that there are times when I disagree with my pastor. That is our right as members of a congregation that comes together to worship freely.>>

I disagree with mine occasionally but if she regularly made the kind of hateful diatribes that Wright did, I'd be out of there very quickly. By the way, there was nothing to prevent Obama from attending another area church with a mostly black congregation. He wasn't forced to stay with Wright - he chose to do so and, in fact, he was happy to do so. That shows, at least, an appalling lack of judgment. One which he, thus far, has refused to address. What I'd like to hear from Obama, just once, is "I made a mistake - I'm sorry." What are the chances of that happening?

Posted by: AndyfromVA | March 18, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Dan framed this speech as one of leadership, because that is what Obama did today. I think it was a historic speech and I think it elevated the entire campaign. It proves that Obama has the strength to lead and that leadship involves more than "fighting" or answering a telephone call at 3:00 in the morning.

Posted by: Elinor.Miller | March 18, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"Essentially, he is betting his entire candidacy on whether or not the collective I.Q. of the American electorate is over 95."

And, I am afraid, it will be a bad bet. He is too eloquent, too passionate, too truthful for the average american whose knowledge of history extends to the prior American Idol episode.

I mean, look at our current "leader". Can't form a cohesive sentence, needs phonetically written names in speeches (which he STILL manages to mangle)....

Nah, american is better suited for McTorture who proclaims his ignorance of economics and spent the better part of today linking Al qaeda and Iran, apparently oblivious to the whole Sunni/Shiite thing.

That man is more america's speed.

Posted by: vze2r3k5 | March 18, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

new tune to be posted shortly
"OUT OF MANY WE ARE ONE" to accompany "YES WE CAN" at www.myspace.com/wenmew1
www.myspace.com/wenmewsaxophonistflutist
www.jamwave.com/wenmew7

wenmew@verizon.net

wen in santa monica, ca

Posted by: wenmew | March 18, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

new tune to be posted shortly
"OUT OF MANY WE ARE ONE" to accompany "YES WE CAN" at www.myspace.com/wenmew1
www.myspace.com/wenmewsaxophonistflutist
www.jamwave.com/wenmew7

wenmew@verizon.net

wen in santa monica, ca

Posted by: wenmew | March 18, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

new tune to be posted shortly
"OUT OF MANY WE ARE ONE" to accompany "YES WE CAN" at www.myspace.com/wenmew1
www.myspace.com/wenmewsaxophonistflutist
www.jamwave.com/wenmew7

wenmew@verizon.net

wen in santa monica, ca

Posted by: wenmew | March 18, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

It was indeed an outstanding speech; long on style and delivery but short on substance. Obama identified a laundry list of problems, but he offered no solutions. He made remarks about how unfair affirmative action is to whites, but he offered no solution. He said he understood the frustration of parents having their children bussed across town to a school; but he offered no solutions. The list goes on.....

We don't need someone to delineate the problems. We know what they are. We need someone to come forward with a vision to solve the problems.

Posted by: jp31901cg | March 18, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

talves...you clearly have an agenda...why don't you just let us adults discuss the speech here. I'm sure you must have a book-burning rally to get beer-ed up for.

Posted by: chasmack99 | March 18, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

No one can say this guy does'nt have balls.
Essentially, he is betting his entire candidacy on whether or not the collective I.Q. of the American electorate is over 95.

Posted by: diabloquick.wa | March 18, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Speech of the ages? You've got to be kidding. The man is not a leader he's a liar and a hypocrit.

Posted by: TALVES | March 18, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

AndyfromVA said: "I know what Obama's explanation is, but it's obvious to any of us who are members of a religious organization that you do not become a longtime committed member unless you believe strongly in the message of the pastor/leader."

Actually, as a member of church with a congregation that is mixed race, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation, I can say with complete honesty that there are times when I disagree with my pastor. That is our right as members of a congregation that comes together to worship freely.

That does not excuse, for a second, Rev. Wright's inflammatory commentary. But it was NOT Senator Obama that said these things. I am saddened, though not shocked, that people are acting as if he did.

If everyone always decided not to associate with people who said things they disagree with, the world would be a very lonely place.


Posted by: KSL76 | March 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This was a heart-stopping speech. That's all I can think to say. Sheer brilliance.

And Wright's comments were no worse than Jerry Falwell saying 9/11 was God's punishment for allowing homosexuals in the United States, nor was it worse than many things I've heard Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich or Michelle Malkin say. Yet the media gives these lunatics, as well as the politicians that support them, a free pass. They let it slide - because they know these people are lunatics.

And when an inner-city pastor in Chicago says something equally insane, people flip out like the world is turning upside down. Forget the hideous things that are said by GOP pundits every day on CNN and Fox News - a black guy in Chicago said something offensive! Everyone run for cover!

Obama saw Wright like a father-figure, and yet he's still able to clearly differentiate between the right and wrong things that Wright says.

I care more about how Obama reacts to Wright's comments than I do about the comments themselves. Clearly Obama has not taken Wright's radical statements to heart or he wouldn't even be interested in running for President because he'd think it was corrupt by racist white men or something. But Obama is using Wright and the rest of racial America as a launching pad to move to a higher level of discourse. And I support that.

Posted by: thecrisis | March 18, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Whatever your opinion of Senator Obama, this was a speech for the ages...the kind of speech our grandchildren will learn about in History classes...a speech that forced America to really look into the mirror and see America as it truly is...that can only lead to a better America...whether Senator Obama leads us there or someone else...whether we do it today or 15 years hence.

One thing that is clear though...the man is a leader and both Senators McCain and Clinton look small in his shadow.

Posted by: chasmack99 | March 18, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Words matter. Deeds matter even more.

Posted by: svreader | March 18, 2008 06:34 PM
____________________________________________

Is lying not a deed? Name the author of the book you claimed attacked Obama! Name the publisher! Stop lying!

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 18, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Words, just words of a Harvard trained lawyer. What Obama has not explained is how he sat in a pew and listened to this man spew venom for 20 years. In fact, it was an admission of a lie he told when he originally said he heard nothing like the venom reported - so, which Obama to believe; the lawyer or lier? There is a clue in the statement of Michelle Obama, "..this is the first time I have been proud of America." Thank you very much ... every American has grievances with society or the political process, but very few would stand by and not defend this country. That is in the final analysis the primary role of the commander-in-chief and Obama is only now having an epiphany.

Posted by: Weaver1 | March 18, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

One of the most revealing things of Obama's speech was that Rev. Wright has four degrees. That makes it harder for me to excuse his rants. Wright has the benefit of higher education that many of his congregants do not have. Thus they, in accepting his superiority, also accept his teachings. Those teachings are wrong, wrong, wrong.

I have a four year old very blond, blue-eyed granddaughter who goes to nursery school. If the children who attend Rev. Wright's Church should happen to attend the same school, how do they feel about my granddaughter; moreover how do they treat my granddaughter? He is robbing the children in his parish of their innocence and their natural inclination to love others. He is abominable.

Posted by: jp31901cg | March 18, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

The audacity of more lies. It is not about race but it is about his lies. It's not about the preacher or the church. It's about his lies. Rezko? More lies. His campaign is a fraud and he is a hypocrit.

Posted by: TALVES | March 18, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced from these responses to Obama's speech that the lines have already been drawn, and that opinions will simply harden in response to it -- Obama supporters will like the speech, Clinton and McCain supporters will not.

For myself, I have been resisting comparisons between Obama and Bobby or John Kennedy, but this speech put him in their league. In my mind, I now think of Obama and RFK in the same breath. This was probably the most astonishing and inspiring speech I've ever read in my life - and I'm old enough to have heard RFK when I was in high school.

I started this season out thrilled that we had two exciting Democratic candidates, and I was certain that I would vote for whichever one won the nomination, but I have been so floored and insulted by Clinton's cynical, petty, self-centered, devisive and underhanded fight, and so impressed with Obama's response to it, that I could honestly never put a mark next to her name on a ballot. I'd vote for McCain with hopes for 2012 if she were to pull this nomination out from under Obama (which I don't think she can do).

So, as I said at the beginning of my post, I think the lines have already hardened. Clinton supporters admire the fighter in her, and are fighters themselves. They will not listen to this speech with any other goal than how to attack it. Obama supporters genuinely believe we can move the political discussion to a new and better level, and that this is the man that can help us do it, and the speech confirms that for us.

Posted by: fid4wp | March 18, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the speech was great. But words are cheap; actions count. Mr. Obama did not stand up in the face of hate. It doesn't require much to do so--it simply requires that we say no to evil and yes to good. If I can do that then anyone can. My mother survived the Holocaust and she taught me to stand up for what is right--that is not self-righteousness, that is being truly human in its best sense.

Mr. Obama cannot deny hearing and then acknowledge hearing these sermons and minimize his actions.

When wrong take the blame; let the chips fall where they may.

We seem to have a president who has a hard time admitting error; we don't, I feel, need another with those same qualities.

When I am wrong, tell me. If I don't stop...remove yourself from me until I get my act together. If you don't you simply enable my behavior.

A 12 stepper, I have learned these lessons the hard way, and yes I turn in those who hurt others--and yes I end friendships when those would bring me down--and yes I stand my ground. Holocaust survivors often state that in the camps, if you cried, you died.

I don't cry: I act and so do millions. And I expect anyone who will be president to do the same. That's all.

Posted by: rrbb2003 | March 18, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Words, just words.

Posted by: Chesterfield1 | March 18, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Hanson says it well:
*************************
The message? Some of us are never quite responsible for what we say. And Obama has no responsibility to explain the inexplicable of how he closely tied himself to someone of such repugnant and racist views. We will never hear "It's time for Rev. Wright and me to part our separate ways, and here's why."

Instead, the entire Wright controversy evolved due to America's failure to understand the Wright's past and the present status of race. No doubt, the next time some public figure utters a racist comment -- and it will happen -- we will then expect to hear about context that explains and excuses such an apparent hurtful outburst.

Obama is right about one thing: We are losing yet another opportunity to talk honestly about race, to hold all Americans to the same standards of public ethics and morality, and to emphasize that no one gets a pass peddling vulgar racism, or enabling it by failing to disassociate himself from its source -- not Rev. Wright, not even the eloquent, but now vapid, Barack Obama.
***************************

Posted by: AKafir | March 18, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Although he repudiates the words of his pastor, Obama seems to still speak of Rev. Wright with deference. Apparently, that is the character of their relationship. What was truly confusing was that he spoke so harshly of his grandmother while trying to save the pride of the racist, hate-mongering Jeremiah Wright. Time for a gut check, Obama.

Posted by: jp31901cg | March 18, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Words matter. Deeds matter even more.


Posted by: svreader | March 18, 2008 06:34 PM

**************************
then I suppose your bowel movement of the day cured something, right?

Honestly, shut the f**k for one day already, you lying, homophobic hump.

Posted by: LABC | March 18, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

obama was essentially insulting most if not most black pastors in usa. How many black pastors go around saying that the whites invented HIV to enslave the blacks? America has moved beyond the race position that Obama was sketching out to deal with the simple fact that he lied when first confronted with
Wrights statements. He denied he knew anything, and now he reduces the insults with the sleight of words tricks by using the word "controversial". Wrights words were way beyond controversial.
Ward Connerly is a black leader that really wants to do something about the race issue and does not give into the victim mentality. Obama does not even measure upto the integrity and honesty of a Ward Connerly. There are many many black leaders in USA who when they look at the pathetic justification of the victim's role that some black leaders may want to push, that they have been fighting all their lives will be appalled. Obamas words do more harm to race relations in the long run than they help.
Obama is no Martin Luther King. What a let down!!

Posted by: AKafir | March 18, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

His speech writer cannot rescue him, nor can his delivery. Do you think the American public would sit down and listen to this man lecture for an hour? The fact that he attend the hate speeches for 20 years speaks loudly about what this man is made of.

Posted by: work2play | March 18, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama will never win with those who are determined not to support him. He doesn't have to. Fair people will give him a fair hearing and won't go on guilt by association.

Posted by: Free_Ride2300 | March 18, 2008 04:10 PM

*****************************
God bless you for saying that! I agree - it was a great speech and articulated so much that I experienced and wish I had the ability to say about being an American. Those that are not moved by it - so be it. He has shown an insight and depth that few will be able to put down. He has shown why he is a viable candidate and why he should be the nominee of the Democratic party.

Posted by: LABC | March 18, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

His instincts were true and the speech was pure. If this is'nt good enough, nothing will be.

Posted by: diabloquick.wa | March 18, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama's response to Wright in his church was indeed a test in leadership, which Obama has failed in every sense. Having sat there for 20 years, did Obama, who aspires to become the leader of the free world, ever think to exercise some leadership in his own church and stop or curb these racist diatribes? We have all been called upon to act in our houses of worship to do what was right and, sometimes, fight what was wrong. Obama either skulked away from such a fight or, worse, didn't think what he was hearing, week after week, was wrong. he cannot claim to have any moral right, after abdicating his responsibility as a citizen, to the office of the Presidency of the United States.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It was a good speech. You can see that just by reading the comments. In comparison to his fellow politicians and past presidential candidates, it was absolutely amazing... whether you agree with him or not. But it was pretty clear no? If you had a problem with this speech, it's likely that your life is tougher than mine.

Posted by: snapple1 | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have not had time to even hear the speech yet but no matter what he said I have to take a persons actions over their words. I have been an Obama supporter so far but I will be taking a very close look at this issue. I can't make a decision yet because I have so far only read second hand about the Reverends remarks but not heard them for myself and have been more pre-occupied with this weeks economic news so far.

Having said all that, my first instict is, I don't think the issue is going away soon for Obama. His decision to remain involved with the Church for so long looks either like a political calculation or just poor judgement. Either way looks bad for a Presidential candidate to have been in this congregation for 20 years which was led by someone of such a devisive character.

Posted by: congero | March 18, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I saw the speech twice. This was a truly great speech of the caliber we've long grown accustomed to not hearing. Once again, Obama has taken a tough moment, explained it, and elevated the moment to one of universal national concern. It was a moving speech devoid of campaign platitudes, and Obama came off as something we have also not experienced in a long time: presidential. His words extend beyond words; they have powerful substance. This man has the potential of becoming a great president, and we need this in these times.

Posted by: StaggoLee | March 18, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

i am so glad that i have read all of these posts from so many enlightened bloggers. today, i am going to publicly repudiate my church. next, i will sever all ties from my siblings because of their belief that because i have married outside of my religion, i will never make it into the kingdom of heaven nor will i be united with my husband for all eternity, and if my children are not baptized into the church, well same goes for them. oddly enough my husband has more decency and integrity than the whole lot of them but is not deserving of everlasting life because he does not share my religion. i have not abandoned my church although i strongly disagree with them on these issues, because of the good things that they teach re: family values, personal responsibility, taking care of the less fortunate, and living a clean life. six of one, half a dozen of the other..... i am guessing that to satisfy many of todays posters i should stand up in the center aisle during sunday services and publicly chastise my minister/bishop/pastor. otherwise i am a closet hypocrite. to all the holier than thou, thanks for enlightening me.

Posted by: smartchick1 | March 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

felicitymason said: "How many Catholics approve of the sexual abuse of young boys by priests? Nobody! But we go to Church anyway."

This is off-topic, but I want to respond to felicitymason. I am a Catholic who DID leave a church because of the actions of the priest; specifically, because he continues to support illegal immigration.

I explained my opposition to using the church's resources to sponsor illegal activity. He stood his ground, and I stood mine and found another church. Fortunately, our Archdiocese does not leave priests in place for more than four or five years, so I will likely be here after he's gone.

Posted by: jp31901cg | March 18, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

I am currently in Europe and this speech made a huge hit here.

Too bad there will always be nay sayers with their "gotcha!" outlook.

In the end though, Obama will win the presidency.

Posted by: storyofthefifthpeach | March 18, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

lndlouis said...
"He threw is grandmother under the bus while keeping Reverend Wright close to his heart signaling to me he espouses Wrights views"

"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

I wouldn't call that "throwing his grandmother under the bus." Obama recognizes that none of us is perfect, that our nation is not perfect. We still have a lot of work to do...as individuals and as a nation. Right? Or are you one of those holier-than-thou right-wingers?

Posted by: joy2 | March 18, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

An ordained Catholic minister-I have also been a teacher on both the high school and college levels for 35 years. In my years, I have come across abusive priests and each time, I have turned them in. I will not Obama this. Some of us in holy orders stand up for what we believe. I tell my second graders that if you go to confession and a priest is verbally abusive, tell him so and walk out. Mr. Obama does not accept responsibility for his actions: he sat there and listened; he was a collaborationist. My father was Catholic and I am by choice. My mother was Jewish and she taught me long ago about the dangers of charismatic speechmakers--they mesmerize even the most educated. Obama is no Hitler, but perhaps neither is he what he pretends to be. If a Catholic priest of deacon preached such hate, they would be stripped of faculties in 5 minutes. The mainline denominations have accountability in such matters--not so the freelancers.

Mr. Obama displays poor judgment and is not qualified to be president. I would tell him that to his face.

Rev. Mr. Ron Bodin

Posted by: rrbb2003 | March 18, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

As a British Citizen (European background), Obama exemplifies the idealism of America that Europeans once loved and admired about America. After the Reagan era that destroyed that relationship, and the Clintons and Bush Clans, who made it worse overall; it would be nice to believe that there is some hope for America to once again be admired. Once again Obama proving Hillary wrong when it's obvious that WORDS MATTER. Perhaps since she is so awful at communicating without seeming like a mean spirited callous ego she is just bitter that his words inspire when all she can do is divide? McCain or Obama would be an improvement on the poisonous minds of Bush or Clinton and the harm they do to America and the world.

Posted by: chunkylimey | March 18, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Excellent column and well reported...As to some of the posts here, I am not surprised to find that many had the same reaction as I: a powerful, gutsy speech that opens the door for greater discussion but puts the Pastor Wright incendiary language to rest. Yet, there are posts that are a waste of time and effort....that's why I usually don't even bother because of the time it takes to read such drivel. But I wanted to let Dan Balz know I appreciated his efforts.

Posted by: Bernie4 | March 18, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama delivered a very good speech about a very sensitive topic in this country.

To All Catholics: How many of you are pro-choice and practice birth control even though the Catholic Church prohibits this. I do!

How many Catholics approve of the sexual abuse of young boys by priests? Nobody! But we go to Church anyway.

Senator Obama's public rebuke of his pastor is good enough. There is no need for him to terminate his private friendship with his pastor. He distanced himself politically from his pastor. This is good enough for me.

Posted by: felicitymason | March 18, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I think that his speech probably did not help him with a key constituency he will need in the coming weeks, the Reagan Democrats. From what I've heard from folks in that demographic, the "GD America" rhetoric of Obama's pastor is something that just sticks in their craw. He acknowledged that they probably didn't like black folks taking their jobs, but he has never talked about how to solve that distrust. Is he for or against quotas? He didn't say. He explained black anger, but again didn't say how to solve that except to "elect me". And yes, he could have quit his church when he heard that kind of hate speech. If my pastor got up and started spewing that kind of hate, I'd be gone in a second. Let's put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. What if David Duke decided to start preaching and took up residence at John McCain's Church. What would anyone think of John McCain, if he stayed a member of such a church that preached that type of racial hatred. Would Obama understand the hatred and explain away the hatred that created the KKK? These things happened over a century ago. The way you get past it, is to call hate, hate and don't wait on saying it, until you're running for President.

Posted by: johnrodgers | March 18, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The speech was outstanding. If only Americans could lift the blinders off their eyes and see this moment as a time for us to move forward. But I know there are entities in the media who would never let this go, they see this as a way to destroy Obama. We can only hope Americans will give the man the benefit of doubt. As they say only time will tell. God bless America and her citizens. Today was a great day.

Posted by: lumi21us | March 18, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is exactly the sort of performance I was hoping for from Obama, and addressing the issues I think a lot of us were thinking of silently in supporting him. I think he will reclaim and advance America's standing in the world, and possibly begin real healing of age-old domestic wounds. Let's hope we have the maturity and wisdom to elect him.

Posted by: Seytom1 | March 18, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

rrbb2003 said
"An ordained Catholic minister, I denounce the speech and would call for the preacher's loss of preaching faculties."

First of all: I never heard a Catholic priest call himself a minister.
Secondly: Catholic priests and bishops have no authority over a UCC church. (Thank God!)
Third: The Catholic clergy has much more serious problems of their own that they continue to shove under the rug.

Posted by: joy2 | March 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Test of Leadership, Indeed! How can Obama represent himself to be a leader when he admits that he attended the church, heard Rev. Wright's rants that he considered to be wrong and divisive, but TOOK NO ACTION to correct the wrong? Those are not the actions of a leader; they are the actions of one who goes along to get along.

Where would we be if Martin Luther King failed to speak up? Or Rosa Parks? They took action and took the heat for it, but they made a difference.

Obama is charismatic, sophisticated, handsome, intelligent, and probably the most naturally gifted orator of his time, but he has exhibited no leadership qualities that make him suited to be president. Perhaps he will grow into a role of leadership, but he is not ripe in that regard yet.

Posted by: jp31901cg | March 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

rrbb2003 said
"An ordained Catholic minister, I denounce the speech and would call for the preacher's loss of preaching faculties."

First of all: I never heard a Catholic pries call himself a minister.
Secondly: Catholic priests and bishops have no authority over a UCC church. (Thank God!)
Third: The Catholic clergy has much more serious problems of their own that they continue to shove under the rug.

Posted by: joy2 | March 18, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Not a very impressive speech when you consider it was made to save a campaign and a career and not heal and unite.

He threw is grandmother under the bus while keeping Reverend Wright close to his heart signaling to me he espouses Wrights views.

He did not think what this would do to the democrats in the general election, he thinks only of himself. He should have taken care of this along time ago but was too arrogant and impressed with himself to think it wouldn't matter because he is Barak Obama.

Now, we will lose the white house.

Posted by: lndlouis | March 18, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Words matter. Deeds matter even more.

Posted by: svreader | March 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Not a very impressive speech when you consider it was made to save a campaign and a career and not heal and unite.

He threw is grandmother under the bus while keeping Reverend

Posted by: lndlouis | March 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

So much hate and vitriol against a man giving a speech many of you would never in your lives (a) dream of hearing from a politician or (b) want, or have the courage to, give yourself. Even admitting that your political affiliations will color your position on the content of the speech - some of you will never accept what Obama says, much as many will not believe Clinton no matter how many documents she puts out - merely giving this speech took political, as well as personal, courage that few have demonstrated. Can you see Bush or McCain speaking on such a touchy topic, ever? Rather than attempting to hide the subject in the shadows, Mr. Obama has done the country a service by bringing it up front. Even if you like other candidates more, isn't there a part of you that admires his prescience, poise, and courage in simply addressing this issue head on?

Posted by: alterego1 | March 18, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

BARACK OBAMA IS PRESIDENTIAL! Period. Let's skip November. Let's swear him in now.
We can just offer George W. Bush early retirement and send him to Afghanistan, where he said he'd rather be anyway. That's right - Bush said he "envies" the "romantic" work the military is doing in Afghanistan.

Posted by: joy2 | March 18, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Earlier today, Barry Obama so ruthless, its a new low even for him. ...

Posted by: svreader | March 18, 2008 05:59 PM
____________________________________________

Speaking of new lows, svliar, what's up with calling me gay (and for the record, no matter what my sexual persuasion, I wouldn't do you with Hillary Clinton's [redacted]? Just cause I pointed out that the book you say you have, doesn't exist (which is why you can't name the author or publisher). Not my fault you made up a book and tried to skate by on a lie. And do you think we don't know you're lying? Your lie won't go away, we can look it up anytime we want.

On another point, you cry about Obama's ethics all the time -- does your wife know you're trying to meet other WaPo posters?

Posted by: gbooksdc | March 18, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy what he is selling. First he knew nothing about these sermons, now he does. Obama, by remaining in that church, is complicit in an act of hate. An ordained Catholic minister, I denounce the speech and would call for the preacher's loss of preaching faculties. Mr. Obama shows poor judgment and yes, words matter. Obama's and his preacher's speak volumes. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing and keep in mind the old addage: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Obama did not answer the question but instead turned the argument on us: we need introspection. With all respect, I am not running for the office of president--you are. And I want to know what are you views about races other than yours and why could you sit and listen to this hate for 20 years.

Moral cowardice is not needed in the Oval Office.

Posted by: rrbb2003 | March 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy what he is selling. First he knew nothing about these sermons, now he does. Obama, by remaining in that church, is complicit in an act of hate. An ordained Catholic minister, I denounce the speech and would call for the preacher's loss of preaching faculties. Mr. Obama shows poor judgment and yes, words matter. Obama's and his preacher's speak volumes. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing and keep in mind the old addage: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Obama did not answer the question but instead turned the argument on us: we need introspection. With all respect, I am not running for the office of president--you are. And I want to know what are you views about races other than yours and why could you sit and listen to this hate for 20 years.

Moral cowardice is not needed in the Oval Office.

Posted by: rrbb2003 | March 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy what he is selling. First he knew nothing about these sermons, now he does. Obama, by remaining in that church, is complicit in an act of hate. An ordained Catholic minister, I denounce the speech and would call for the preacher's loss of preaching faculties. Mr. Obama shows poor judgment and yes, words matter. Obama's and his preacher's speak volumes. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing and keep in mind the old addage: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Obama did not answer the question but instead turned the argument on us: we need introspection. With all respect, I am not running for the office of president--you are. And I want to know what are you views about races other than yours and why could you sit and listen to this hate for 20 years.

Moral cowardice is not needed in the Oval Office.

Posted by: rrbb2003 | March 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I am 70 years old and I have heard many many speeches in my lifetime,and this one was the best. If he can grasp all sides of the issue in our country, think what he can do internationally to help solve differences.

Posted by: dort | March 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

We watched history in the making. Honest. Powerful. Presidential.

Posted by: PamelaM1 | March 18, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

There can be no Doubt that Obama and his wife are both Racist & American haters. After watching videos of their preacher I have lost all respect for Obama and anyone the attended that Church or still supports Obama. If any white had belonged or attended even one sermon of a church that spews that kind of hate they would be vilified by everyone, and rightly so. Michell was being honest when she said for the first time in her life she was proud of American. Because for all of her life she has hated American and most of its White Citizens! Obama belonged to that church for 20 years yet he does not share those views? That is beyond belief! How can he expect any one intelligence enough to vote, even a left wing loony to be that stupid? We have to get away from this double standard where it is ok for blacks to do things way over the line esp. ones that would be be President! It is very scary to think that someone that supported that preacher and went to that hate filled church for 20 years may be President! After watching those videos I can very easy see where Obama may well be a Muslin with a secret agenda for this Nation when elected! One thing for sure it is hard to see how anyone that listen to the venom spewed out from that so called preacher for 20 years can be a Christen! If Obama gets elected after this he will have did a better con job on the American public than any President in History even better than the Moron in the WH now.

Posted by: american1 | March 18, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama's speech was excellent; he clearly demonstrated courage and intelligence and whether Americans agree with him or not I would hope that all will respect him for making this difficult speech under extreme pressure.

Now, my next comments are probably totally unrealistic; however, I will provide them anyway.

If I was advising Sen. Clinton I would suggest that she also break out of the mold and congratulate Sen. Obama on the speech.

The same for McCain; what a great moment in our history, in the full heat of this campaign, for all three major candidates (hey, even Nader too) to commend Sen. Obama for making a speech that all of us as Americans needed to hear.

Thank you Sen. Obama for making such a powerful speech and for sharing so much of yourself today....and if it be that this speech hurts you politically then let us acknowledge that at least you will not put political expediency above what is best for our nation!

Bill Edwards

Posted by: BillEdwards | March 18, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama's speech was excellent; he clearly demonstrated courage and intelligence and whether Americans agree with him or not I would hope that all will respect him for making this difficult speech under extreme pressure.

Now, my next comments are probably totally unrealistic; however, I will provide them anyway.

If I was advising Sen. Clinton I would suggest that she also break out of the mold and congratulate Sen. Obama on the speech.

The same for McCain; what a great moment in our history, in the full heat of this campaign, for all three major candidates (hey, even Nader too) to commend Sen. Obama for making a speech that all of us as Americans needed to hear.

Thank you Sen. Obama for making such a powerful speech and for sharing so much of yourself today....and if it be that this speech hurts you politically then let us acknowledge that at least you will not put political expediency above what is best for our nation!

Bill Edwards

Posted by: BillEdwards | March 18, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Blacks need to start taking some personal responsibility for high rate of high school drop out, sexual promiscuity, children born out of wedlock, , absence of male parenting/role models, drugs, crime, incarceration, AIDS, and lack of personal responsibility instead of playing the victim hood game and blaming everyone else for their plight! Until that time there will always be hate mongers & race baiter,s to use them and profit from their plight like the Rev. Wright, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, E. Robinson as well as 10,s of thousands of White and Black Politicians. In fact the whole Democrat party! Hands outs, instead of a hand up, is the means of keeping Blacks down and economic Slaves! Keeping Blacks as an race of victims instead of a race of achievers is in the best interest of Black preachers and Democrat politicians! Blacks will never be lead to the promise land by hate mongering Preachers like Rev. Wright or by bottom feeding Politician that wants and works to keep Blacks in the Ghetto on Welfare, and voting Democrat!

Posted by: american1 | March 18, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein, born into a Mixed Race Cosmopolitan environment, met an America Hating Racist, who then introduced Barack to a Black Church, out to Promote Blacks, Fixate on Blacks, and generally only worry about and deal with Blacks.

ALL, so he can try to become President and Represent ALL the People.

LMFAO! :-D

Riiiight! He is not a RACIST!

Just EVERYONE ELSE in the Black Church's community! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Obama is an American hating Black racist!

What a man he keep his Race baiting, American hating Crazy preacher but threw poor old White Grandmother under the Bus. The man has no Honor, No Pride, and no Shame!

Posted by: american1 | March 18, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

There are so many comments, I can' read them all. The gist seems to be that Obama salvaged his candidacy by speaking candidly about issues most people don't want to deal with publicly. The Democrats can only win if they are united and this campaign has been divisive because winning means so much to both women and blacks. If the two groups can't unite, they are crowning McCain and many will be happy about that. Obama hs a grreat future, but maybe not right now. Time will tell.

Posted by: Soberstien | March 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It is typical of What Obama is, when confronted with a serious issue he gives a speech and the media buys it. When confronted with trouble, he tries to wiggle out of it by talking big. How many more skeletons this man has in the cupboard.
If we look at the pattern and read together, What his wife said recently " For the first time I am proud of America, What she said in her Graduate work, what his pastor has been saying, you can really see the problem. This man is not what he says. He will say nything to win election. However, the sad news is Republicans wont let him. Ultimately democrats will be the loser

Posted by: bjoseph1 | March 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

More and more Obama sounds like the only grownup in the campaign. He doesn't shy away from addressing sensitive issues or spend time "spinning" them. He promised to be straight with the American people and he is certainly doing so. He has my vote and my respect. Imagine - the opportunity to have a President we can respect!

Posted by: jquinlan29 | March 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

His speech does not change a thing. It is about judgement, experience....he doesn't have it.

Posted by: yvonnek.scott | March 18, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Earlier today, Barry Obama so ruthless, its a new low even for him.

Barry threw his own Grandmother "under the bus" in an attempt to save his faltering candidicy.

Barry Obama's campaign is fueled by vague generalities, vacuous promises of "change", and lots of hot air.

Its like a giant "hot air balloon"

Barry doesn't view principles, ethics, family, friends, or supporters the way other candidates do.

He views them as simply five different kinds of "ballast"

Nobody who supports him shouldn't be surprised when he throws them, or their issues, out of his balloon.

Barry has never viewed any principle, any issue, any other person, or group of human beings, as anything more than important, or sacred, than simply means to an end.

In this case, any means necessary, and the goal is getting elected President.

That's the real Barry Obama.

Posted by: svreader | March 18, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I never realized what a kindly man Rev. Wright is. Now that the families see what a great guy he is, they will be willing to take full responsibility for the death of their loved ones. After all, they were asking for it. My goodnees, I didn't realize that all Afro-American of Rev. Wrights generation were bigots, AND RIGHTLY SO. I know I'm going to start singing GOD DAMN AMERICA! It was so touching to hear that the memers of Senator Obama's church defended and agreed with Rev. Wright and cast the blame squarely where it belongs, WITH THE RICH WHITE MEDIA, who's sole purpose is to defame Obama and his church. Never mind that CNN and MSNBC has been "in the tank for Obama" And Golly Gee, let me be the first white male to apologuise for that aids thing, what were we thinking?

Posted by: wratso | March 18, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I listened to Mr. Obama's speech today to learn about his character and his judgment. I noticed that, in his initial response to interviews about Rev. Wright, Mr. Obama said he wasn't in the pew personally to hear those reported hate filled comments on our country and outright lies (white invented AIDS to infect blacks). But today he said he had been there and knew about them. He lied initially, or parsed it at best. Today he compared Rev Wright to his white grandmother. However, Rev Wright was an affiliation by choice, unlike his grandmother. All of us, as adults, are responsible for choosing our value systems, and acting on them. As whites, we must refuse to support or endorse, through words and actions, the older generation's hate filled speech and bigotry, in order to change the world. But Mr. Obama, by choosing to become and remain a member for 20 plus years a member of Rev Wright's church, has given his support philosophically and financially to perpetuation of black racism and hate toward America and whites, while he was an elected State Representative, a US Senator and now would be president. In my view, his character and judgment is now revealed as not of Presidential timber.

Posted by: arizworrell | March 18, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

A quote from above "I heard comments recently by Donna Brazile on an ABC news show that there really wasn't that much to the pastor's words and that it was common for those types of ideas and words to be used in pretty much any African-American church that you might happen to attend."

As Obama eloquently put it... words move and inspire others to action. Therefore, if Obama did not find the courage to take exception to his pastor's words in 20 years, it makes me question Obama's integrity and judgment.

Posted by: CPCook | March 18, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

i want a black president... in 2012 or 2016. speeches are not enough. go back to the senate and work, mr. obama. if condoleeza rice were not republican, i'd prefer her.

Posted by: nonoyd | March 18, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

One of my favorites too, johnelliott75.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | March 18, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA ON RACE:

These two paragraphs sum up what I believe to be the core, the essence of that magnificent speech Barack Obama made today. The "Reverend Wright thing" ought be secondary now. Today Barack told us who, and why, and where from here.

"But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through - a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American."

Try as we may, America, we must deal with this ugly, vicious thing that raised its ugly head just a couple weeks ago. Barack Obama talked about it when he mentioned that the campaign had been going on for a year and a half, without major incident.

What happened. Well on the one hand, the "preemptive, pre-ordained" nominee on the Democratic side, began to get desperate when the prize she feels destined to acquire, began to inexplicably slip away from her. So, she and her husband, and a few leading members of her campaign resorted to the tricks of old failed-politics.

On the other side of the ticket, the Republican candidate had the luxury of tying down his nomination rather quickly. And, folk on his side decided to throw stuff into the game and resort to tricks that they are well-known for. All the while they could hide their skulldugery behind the "record" of the candidate of choice (the one they felt more capable of defeating), while they lambasted the candidate they really feared-the candidate of change.

Now, that's where the "race issue" comes in. Think about it. How many times have you heard over the last couple weeks about "black churches" and "winning the votes of the working class white male" and the like. Tell me something, do they serve the same God, praise the same Jesus in these "black churches", as they do in "white churches". Tell me, what IS a "white church"? I've belonged to and attended many "black churches". I was married in a "black church". My kids were baptized in a "black church". I've never worshiped in, a "white church". None of my kids were baptized in a "white church".

I've lived on this planet for over seven centuries, now. I've lived in America for all that time. Let me ask a question, then that I've been anxious to ask. If waited for the "right moment". That moment has come, and so I ask. They have "black churches" and "white churches", you say-do they have one god for the "black churches", and another for the "white churches". Are they separate but equal Gods?

Of course I know the answer. Then, let me ask a rhetorical question: Why do they have "black churches"?

Henry T. Wilfong Jr., MBA, CPA
President, National Association of Small Disadvantaged Businesses
Former Appointee of Governor and President Ronald Reagan
Member, Bush-Cheney Transition Team-Small Business Advisory Group
Co-Chair, Obama Unity Committee/Black Republicans for Obama

Posted by: hwilfongjr | March 18, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Masterful. In one eloquent speech, Obama closed the door on the pastor controversy, and opened the door to a real and meaningful conversation about race in America. Brilliant. This speech proves what a perceptive and capable leader Obama really is.

Posted by: ncalpaul | March 18, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Phil Merrill....and ebubuk2004, get a job!

Posted by: horace_simon1 | March 18, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I think Obama told it like it is, and while he can find it in his heart forgive character flaws in blacks, he also finds it in his heart to forgive character flaws in whites.

The ones who cannot see that, and cannot understand how a Christian man can discourse with those less than perfect, perhaps you ought to read Matthew 7. Verse 3 is my favourite:

"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Obama, sees all the wood.

Tells it like it is.

Posted by: johnelliott75 | March 18, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

This is yet another one of Obama's politically expedient speeches. That is his major asset. Speeches had gotten him to where he is and we can expect more tear jerking speeches that play on mass guilt that he will use whenever things don't go his way. There are too many questions about Obama that haven't been answered and won't be answered by another speech. We need more time (say another 8 years) to assess this man.

In Obama's speech, the only racial issues of consequence are between blacks and whites and slavery is the root of all evils. That's far too simplistic and exclusive a view. Slavery was abolished more than 200 years ago. There is discrimination against people of other, non-Black, race who don't try to solve their problems by establishing venomous anti-Americanism as part of their tradition.

Obama is very good at exploiting the collective guilty conscience of the masses. How can he make excuses for himself and for Wright, yet giving credence to Ferraro's impolitic remarks as racially motivated? Discrimination works both directions.

I am sure he wants us to move forward and forget all about his associations with Rezko and Rev. Wright. How convenient. Obama will do anything to win the nomination and this tear jerker of a speech is calculated and calibrated to do just that. He should put an end to the division his candidacy has brought and bow out of the race now.

Posted by: alee21 | March 18, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

marklash: " Senator Obama needs to go way beyond simply denouncing his pastor's words and actions. He needs to explain how he could continue to be associated all these years with a person whose views are so divergent from those he espouses in his campaign and which are the basis for his candidacy. He also needs to explain what kind of judgment went into that kind of decision making, as he is also claiming to have the judgment to lead."

___________________________________________

When he explains it, he'll have your vote right? You know what I want? I want Hillary to explain her thinking in removing "personal files" from Vince Foster's office before his body was cold.

Or how about McCain's sudden embrace of the 'Religious Right' who have been spewing this crap for years AND making money from it. Why isn't the IRS investigating the churches of Pat Robertson or John Hagee for making political pronouncements from the pulpit?

Every Republican candidate for President since Nixon has had to give a speech at Bob Jones University...well known for its progressive racial dating policies.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | March 18, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I question why when these VIDEOS FIRST BROKE OBAMA LIED to the people of America and said he NEVER HEARD Rev Wright's political rhetoric. The following from his speech......

"Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes."

He only admits it when he has a staff that put together a speech which will take Americans eyes off the real picture.

Why would a Senator that it ran on a premise of unity, change, morals, and WORDS COUNT, sit thru and remain a member of this church.

If he was saw the errors of Rev. Wright's way...why did he not try to change Rev. Wright's views speak to him the way he tries to speak to us or is it political rhetoric to get elected?

Yes, it might be talked heard in a barber shop. Rev. Wright OPENLY SPOKE racism, hatred, ANTI-AMERICAN rhetoric, not to
mention, the terrible comments of Bill, Hillary and the referencre to Monica IN A CHURCH . Rev. Wright physically makes gestures how how Bill screwed the blacks, while on the pulpit. Don't tell me this is common preaching in churches all over America.

HE WON'T GET MY VOTE. Prove to the American people you believe what
you preach and come back in 4 to 8 years. Oh wait, your wife, Michelle Obama, says this is a one shot deal. If he doesn't get
nominated he won't run again. So how much do you really care about the USA?

Posted by: Diane17 | March 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I question why when these VIDEOS FIRST BROKE OBAMA LIED to the people of America and said he NEVER HEARD Rev Wright's political rhetoric. The following from his speech......

"Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes."

He only admits it when he has a staff that put together a speech which will take Americans eyes off the real picture.

Why would a Senator that it ran on a premise of unity, change, morals, and WORDS COUNT, sit thru and remain a member of this church.

If he was saw the errors of Rev. Wright's way...why did he not try to change Rev. Wright's views speak to him the way he tries to speak to us or is it political rhetoric to get elected?

Yes, it might be talked heard in a barber shop. Rev. Wright OPENLY SPOKE racism, hatred, ANTI-AMERICAN rhetoric, not to
mention, the terrible comments of Bill, Hillary and the referencre to Monica IN A CHURCH . Rev. Wright physically makes gestures how how Bill screwed the blacks, while on the pulpit. Don't tell me this is common preaching in churches all over America.

HE WON'T GET MY VOTE. Prove to the American people you believe what
you preach and come back in 4 to 8 years. Oh wait, your wife, Michelle Obama, says this is a one shot deal. If he doesn't get
nominated he won't run again. So how much do you really care about the USA?

Posted by: Diane17 | March 18, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I cried reading the text of this speech. I can relate to it so much and understand what Obama must be going through with this situation.

I respect his opinion and ackowledgement of the greater issue we face as a nation.

Posted by: PTAmerica | March 18, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I think Mr.Obama makes very bad choices of associates ,therefore how can we be sure he will do better if he becomes president.

Posted by: bosswesty | March 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Mr.Obama makes very bad choices of associates ,therefore how can we be sure he will do better if he becomes president.

Posted by: bosswesty | March 18, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

For all's interest, I cut-pasted some comments form the New York Time comment board:

Brilliant, gutsy, and historic. I feel I am privileged to be living through this man's candidacy, win or lose.

-- Posted by RaymondA

I am a 70-year-old white man. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat all the way through the speech. Obama knocked it out of the park! This is the man I want to represent the face of America to the world.

-- Posted by Clint

I waited up until 1 am in the morning in Australia to hear Obama's speech. He exemplifies an understanding of what it will take to unify American. Americans want to walk tall again. They are tired of living in fear, prejudices, and uncertainty. Obama has my vote from Americans abroad.

-- Posted by Robert Norton

This Clinton supporter concedes that Obama just delivered a tour de force of a speech. If he can talk with that tone, that honesty, that grace, to the American people on issues as important as race (like the environment and the economy), then he may just be able to lead us out of the wilderness. I loved the story about the old black man and Ashley.

A+

-- Posted by Hilary

Forgetting for a second the quality content of this speech, the simple fact that Obama is WILLING to give a speech of such breadth on a very difficult topic exemplifies the huge difference between him and any other candidate. I want someone who can talk openly about real issues and not just play politics all day. This was an amazing speech.

-- Posted by Rob

Moving, honest, and brilliant. I'm not a Democrat. I'm just a random white American woman who adores her country, the United States of America. I'm a cynic too - and yet here I am, cradling precious hope in my hands.

-- Posted by Ashley

Posted by: pinepine | March 18, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

You all get off of AndyfromVA. I heard he walks on water.

Posted by: horace_simon1 | March 18, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Today Senator Obama attempted to move his campaign for the presidency past the comments by his pastor, spiritual leader, mentor, friend and eccentric uncle that were made public this past week.

I'm sure that many of the news people and pundits will praise him for addressing this important issue and for the eloquent way in which he did so. However, a good speech should not be all it takes to get past a very serious issue when that person is trying to become the President of the United States.

Senator Obama implied today that perhaps he had been sitting in a pew when some of his pastor's inflammatory remarks. In just the past few days Senator Obama had categorically denied that he had ever heard those types of remarks himself.

Senator Obama said that nobody's perfect and he won't disown the pastor just because of his behavior. At such time that Senator Obama entered public service as a member of the Illinois state legislature he had no business associating himself with a person who espouses the kind of rhetoric that his pastor seemed to do on a recurring basis. I would think the same could be said for when he entered service as a United States Senator.

I heard comments recently by Donna Brazile on an ABC news show that there really wasn't that much to the pastor's words and that it was common for those types of ideas and words to be used in pretty much any African-American church that you might happen to attend.

She spoke to the need for the black church to raise people up who have been, or are, oppressed and that this was why Senator Obama's pastor used the words he used and said them in the manner which he did in his sermons.

I don't discount the fact that African-Americans have been oppressed in this country and in many cases continue to be oppressed, but that isn't an excuse for the type of hate and venom used by Senator Obama's preacher to "raise people up".

There are lots of groups of people in this country and around the world who are oppressed or certainly feel that they have been oppressed. In this country we've had people like David Duke and the Klu Klux Klan preaching hate and anger because they felt that African-Americans were responsible for many of the problems in this country. I'm sure that there were also many white church pastors who preached (and maybe still do) the same kind of hate and anger towards African Americans in their sermons.

The Islamist Jihadists who preach anti-American slogans and teach their people to hate the United States and Americans. We have also had (and still do) the various militia groups in the United States who vilified the United States government and inspired people like Timothy McVeigh to perform acts of terrorism against the "enemy".

The question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not the type of rhetoric used by Senator Obama's pastor, some Islamic religious leaders, some Palestinian leaders and others is the best way to "raise people up" and to help right the wrongs that are happening all around us.

All of the words Senator Obama has used in his campaign seem to make it clear that he certainly doesn't believe in the approach taken by his pastor. Yet, he has had a 20 year relationship with him and considers him a spiritual advisor and mentor.

Senator Obama needs to go way beyond simply denouncing his pastor's words and actions. He needs to explain how he could continue to be associated all these years with a person whose views are so divergent from those he espouses in his campaign and which are the basis for his candidacy. He also needs to explain what kind of judgment went into that kind of decision making, as he is also claiming to have the judgment to lead.

Posted by: marklash | March 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The true value of a life is not measure by professional achievements nor the accumulation of wealth but instead, the true value of a life is measure by the way you touch the lives of others. And I believe Mr. Obama is displaying every day of his life, with his words and his actions, an absolute understanding of this reality.

May God bless you sir!!!!

Posted by: pedro.aybar | March 18, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The speech nor Obama's ability to deliver speeches was the question. The question that Obama should answer are that of courage, integrity and leadership. I thought the speech, although well-written did not address these. Why did he continue to associate himself with Rev Wright for 20 years, and severed ties with him when it became politically expedient to do so? If Obama knew Rev Wright that well before, why remove Rev Wright from the campaign and denounce him now? Is there any new information about Rev Wright that Obama did not know before? I don't know, but I am beginning to question Obama's judgment and leadership right now. Quite honestly, I think he is a hypocrite for criticizing Clinton on acting for political expediency when he himself does the same thing.

Posted by: CPCook | March 18, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Awesome speech. I watched it together with my wife and 2 year old daughter. Listening to that speech, I felt a strong sense of duty to teach my daughter to see skin colour as she sees the colour of people's eyes. We are not a white or black or brown race, we are the human race and that's all that matters. This is the most honest speech on race I've ever heard from a politician. I really do genuinely admire and respect this man

Posted by: jakes | March 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The one thing you can depend on Obama to do and say is anything that will appease White voters in this country. And the reality experienced by Black voters, a reality largely missed by Obama, gets pushed aside and apoligized for. Obama is the quintessential "house negro" and I never thought I'd use that kind of language in the 21st century.

Does he seriously think that he can by fiat declare racial equality and those of who don't experience it, can be denied giving voice to our reality. Do Whites seriously believe if they vote for this man it's all good, all racism ends?!

When he was shown in African dress he called it "dirty politics" buying into the African isn't really American and is politically threatening. When he is accused of being Muslim, its "dirty politics", Muslim is also dangerous and threatening. Now being Black and Angry is also dangerous and threatening. In each case he could have stood up and spoken out for a group that is largely misunderstood in this country, what does he do, apologize.

Whites can keep him. He's one of you inside where it counts anyway!

Posted by: NeedMoreThanHope | March 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Hi MarineWife - I live in New York.
First I would like to say my prayers go out to you and you family. I hope your husband is safe and if he is not home yet I hope he returns soon.

Your questions are reasonable and your points valid. However, Barack never said that the black race of people were owed anything. What he said was the treatment of the past is evident in the condition of the present. This is a sensitive topic because many white people feel they are being judged on the history of their ancestors. But it needs to be dealt with. I agree with Barack's overall statement that White people feel like they are not included when people talk about racism and they resent that.

You have a good understanding of your ancestral history and I applaud you for that. When you get a chance you should read up on the history of African Slaves. How African slaves were treated as less then an animal's. How African slaves were legally declared by American law as 4 tenths of a human to justify the inhumane treatment. Black men were not allowed to marry the black women they loved. Black women were forced to mate with large Black men so their owners could bred large black children to sale at market or work fields. Black women were constantly raped by white owners. Entire families were forced to work for free and eat the scraps thrown by their master's feet after the dog. Black men were murdered for something so insignificant as to look a white man in the eyes or eat ear of corn from the field. The beatings and killings of millions of Africans on slave ships and on land is truly horrific. The inhumane treatment is often indescribable and went on for centuries. There are pictures of whippings, hangings and burnings on line at many sites. In 1950 - 1960s the civil rights movement and brown v board of ed. brought about an end to segregation. This was good but it was only a band-aid on a caesarian! Because of hundreds of years of abuse to the Black race of people as late as 2008 Black schools, jobs, and housing has suffered almost irreparably. Just remember Brown v. Board of ed. happened in 1954. That means that only 54 years ago a white child and a black child could not even sit in the same classroom. They did not receive the same education and their parents could not work in the same factory. There are people that are responding on this website that remember that treatment as a child. That feeling of being despised and being dehumanized all based on the complexion of their skin.

That being said -

This does not mean that white people OWE black people anything at all. I have worked hard for all of my accomplishments. I have never asked for handouts, or assistance. I own my house, I have a MS in Human Resources by working my way thru college. I work at one of the top investment banking corporations in America. I was NOT given any preferential treatment for being black; and as a woman I work extra hard regardless of my skin color (sexism whole new topic). All the black race of people (that I know) have ever wanted was to be treated fair and equal. To stand a chance at learning, earning and providing for their families on the same comparable level of anyone else. I don't think that is too much to ask for. Do you?

Title VII: prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or her association with another individual of a particular race, age, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

If it wasn't for this law neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would not be where they are. Period.

Posted by: ymaxoneil | March 18, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Awesome speech. I watched it together with my wife and 2 year old daughter. Listening to that speech, I felt a strong sense of duty to teach my daughter to see skin colour as she sees the colour of people's eyes. We are not a white or black or brown race, we are the human race and that's all that matters. This is the most honest speech on race I've ever heard from a politician. I really do genuinely admire and respect this man.

Posted by: jakes | March 18, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

In his own words:

"At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings."

I give the speech a C-

Nothing more than fanning the flames.

Winks and nods about Geraldine Ferraro, the 'racial tensions' in SC (blaming the Clinton campaign again), and, amazingly, an omission of any title for Senator Clinton, merely "Hillary".

A slip perhaps: all weekend Senator Obama was claiming that he "never heard" any of the awful things Reverend Wright had said. Today he says that he did.

I found the speech to be lacking in any underlying theme other than "I dare you not to vote for me."


Posted by: babrown12 | March 18, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If I were a Hillary campaign consultant, I would have just realized my worst nightmare (next to Hillary actually releasing her tax returns) watching Obama's speech. Never put an opponent's greatest weapon in his hand!

Posted by: Stonecreek | March 18, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

It's wonderful to have a candidate who responds to a tough situation with such thought and maturity.
Just the kind of person we need in the White House to take those critical calls - at any time of day.

Posted by: sfast | March 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What a brilliant speech! Sen. Obama is a man with great "gifts" and they were on display and the world listened as he spoke clearly and confidently. He is focused - never distracted by pettiness. The American people needs him more than ever to correct the continuous "mudslinging" journalists. To the American public, please do not be mislead by the media. Go on Sen. Obama's website, email and he or a staff person will get in touch with you. Don't go blindly into the night. This is a historical moment in our lifetime - take advantage of it. Sen. Obama is going to be the next president of the U.S. He is under fire and is handling it with character, grace and limitless intelligence. He makes those who are voting for him prouder by the nanosecond!

GOD BLESS AMERICA and GOD BLESS SEN. OBAMA

Posted by: hblackshire | March 18, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Barack has taken this attack on his integrity and turned it into an offensive of his own. You can't swift boat a guy who grabs the momentum of his attackers and spins it in their faces, just like the martial arts trainers tell you to.
Why did Hillary & Feraro want to bring this up again ? They both look very foolish now, and have tainted the feminist movement with their racist offensive.

Posted by: steelcondo | March 18, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

When Obama uses a teleprompter, his head jerks back and forth as if he's watching a tennis match.

Posted by: ernestruckle | March 18, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama's biracial, multicultrual background gives him unique insight into America's racial problem. I've heard few people who can understand both sides of the racial divide as well as he and suggest some answers to the problem Bill Clinton called a "curse" when he was president.

Many of us, of course, wish that Obama had the audacity to rudely disown the Reverend Wright. But even so, I understand. It's also impossible for me to disown my mother and most of my relatives because they have racist and anti-Catholic views that I have fought against all my life.

Posted by: DWSouthern | March 18, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Words? Just words?"
Don't know this time, where those words of his speech were from today.
A good actor!
You've committed political suicide, Mr. O!

Posted by: pollyxhe | March 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Reading down this blog saddens me deeply because it clearly shows that America is not ready for a change. America doesn't deserve Obama!

Posted by: thisworld | March 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

hhkeller: I assume by your contention that race wasn't an issue before Obama and your screenname that you're trying to be ironic.

Otherwise, Obama isn't the dumb one.

Posted by: BABucher | March 18, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The speech didn't address the real issues with Barack Obama on these stories that are coming to light and finally getting long over due coverage. The issue is not his growing list of associates that could cause one to pause and raise an eyebrow but rather it is his avoidance to address hard questions. Senator Obamas usual first response is a charming ambiguous answer. We do not like the fact that we have to count on the media to ask the same set of question 2 or 3 times before we get a answer that is straight forward and not a charming ambiguous response. Obama's press release, The first part was good and had substance but then he went to pandering for his support base. He was so busy hitting us with the right words to reaffirm his voting base to make it anything more then a self serving political press release. The ending was incredible selfish and horrible. For him to have the gall to basically say Vote for me or you will be choosing to go down the wrong path was a total self pandering statement. The matter was already laid to rest for me a week ago. NOBAMA!

Posted by: snags85 | March 18, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Senator Obama's speech showed why he is more than qualified to be our next president. No matter what they throw at him, he stays calm, refuses to lash out, and proves that he is open to other's opinions and thoughts, unlike the "Current Occupant". He must have known this day in the campaign would come and he handled it perfectly. He learns quickly from his mistakes and I sincerely believe that he means what he says, something rather uncommon in the polticial world.

Posted by: ksusan | March 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

From what I can tell, people who hold Wright's words against Obama do so for the following reasons:

1) They support McCain or Clinton for president. This is 95%. It' sad, but it's human nature. First you pick your guy, then you make up the narrative to support the choice.

2) Usually in combination with reason 1, they are subtly racist and don't realise it. When they see a black church crowd a-hoopin' and a-hollerin' they see Zulu warriors coming at them with spears. They also tend to think 'how dare blacks be prejudice after all they're expecting from us.' This is about 30% of all people. Ferraro is a great example. They tend to get really indignant because they're not aware of their racism and think everyone else is playing the race card and attacking them.

3) They are not thinking people. Wright's statements were over the top, and in order to understand them they have to turn a complex situation into a simple one. This is about 20%.

4) Usually in combinatioin with reason 1, they are openly racist and have no interest in unity. This is just a few percent.

Otherwise, holding Wright against Obama is really overdoing it. I mean, do you really think Obama secretly agrees with Wright and is some type of trojan horse? Come on.

Posted by: rschmieder | March 18, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants whites, Hispanics and Asians to be post-racial so they'll ignore their longstanding animosity towards blacks and vote for him for president.

But it's okay for blacks to still steep themselves in racist, separatist churches that commit themselves to blacks and Africa above all others, because blacks have suffered so much.

All the other races are supposed to help everyone regardless of color, but the blacks are supposed to help the blacks first and only. No thanks.

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 18, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants whites, Hispanics and Asians to be post-racial so they'll ignore their longstanding animosity towards blacks and vote for him for president.

But it's okay for blacks to still steep themselves in racist, separatist churches that commit themselves to blacks and Africa above all others, because blacks have suffered so much.

All the other races are supposed to help everyone regardless of color, but the blacks are supposed to help the blacks first and only. No thanks.

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 18, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants whites, Hispanics and Asians to be post-racial so they'll ignore their longstanding animosity towards blacks and vote for him for president. But it's okay for blacks to still steep themselves in racist, separatist churches that commit themselves to blacks and Africa above all others, because blacks have suffered so much. All the other races are supposed to help everyone regardless of color, but the blacks are supposed to help the blacks first and only. No thanks.

Posted by: ebubuk2004 | March 18, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama gave a well-crafted speech, which in some respects was inspiring. But I thought the self-described "harbinger of the new politics" over-reached in a politically calculated move that equated one arguably accurate comment by Geraldine Ferraro with a long series of incendiary remarks from the pulpit by Rev. Wright.

I think Obama demonstrated today that he's not about a "new" politics. Instead, he's just more adept than the average politician at the same old games.

Posted by: ichief | March 18, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama gave a well-crafted speech, which in some respects was inspiring. But I thought the self-described "harbinger of the new politics" over-reached in a politically calculated move that equated one arguably accurate comment by Geraldine Ferraro with a long series of incendiary remarks from the pulpit by Rev. Wright.

I think Obama demonstrated today that he's not about a "new" politics. Instead, he's just more adept than the average politician at the same old games.

Posted by: ichief | March 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama gave a well-crafted speech, which in some respects was inspiring. But I thought the self-described "harbinger of the new politics" over-reached in a politically calculated move that equated one arguably accurate comment by Geraldine Ferraro with a long series of incendiary remarks from the pulpit by Rev. Wright.

I think Obama demonstrated today that he's not about a "new" politics. Instead, he's just more adept than the average politician at the same old games.

Posted by: ichief | March 18, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This voter's verdict is that this speeech did nothing to stop this controversy. Who is Obama to lecture us on race? He has spent 20 years in a race hating church..period. And he refuses to leave it or to leave the man who spreads the hate. America won't put up with it and that doesn't mean we're racists. It means just the opposite. We won't put up with racism of any sort.

Posted by: deminFLA | March 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As an Asian american, I believe America is not ready for a Black President. I mean look at him, Barak Obama, find someone like him among white or latino or even in black community. You will not find another one even close. He inspires people the way Roosevelt inspired people. Yet, some people among democrates such as Ferraro think he is an affirmative action President, some think they will never vote for him because he is black. America does not deserve a well articulate President who has a the capability to inspire wolrd community and change how others look at America. But I guess you will not let it happen. First he was a closet muslim and now he is a bad black christian??

Posted by: omolll | March 18, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

As an Asian american, I believe America is not ready for a Black President. I mean look at him, Barak Obama, find someone like him among white or latino or even in black community. You will not find another one even close. He inspires people the way Roosevelt inspired people. Yet, some people among democrates such as Ferraro think he is an affirmative action President, some think they will never vote for him because he is black. America does not deserver a well articulate President who has a the capability to inspire wolrd community and change how others look at America. But I guess you will not let it happen. First he was a closet muslim and now he is a bad black christian??

Posted by: omolll | March 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

This speech should lead every American of good will to ask what can they do to move the agenda of reconciliation forward. For news people it means taking the broader issues head on and setting aside an approach to this discussion which gives aid and comfort to the worst side of our countries history. For Democratic leaders it means stepping forward, right now, and saying that politics is not a game, it is a process that reveals our core values, or in some cases that the process of comprimise has washed away any values except the belief in and love of power.

I remember the night John Kennedy addressed America on the question of race. He was forced to do it by events beyond his control. But faced with a moral choice, he planted his feet squarely on the side of uniting America. This created a moment of testing for every American and those who serve in high office. I suspect that some of those leaders who still live today are proud of having stood on the right side of history and that some are regretful that they did not. Alas there are others who are proud of how successfully they exploited the racial divisions that followed in the wake of the Civil Rights act of 1964.

Now it's time for the super delegates, it's time for John Edwards and Al Gore to step up.

Posted by: philmerrill | March 18, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

He is the most noble and eloquent creature to grace the American political scene in quite some time. What a convincing way to show leadership at such a difficult time. Where others see a bitter setback, Obama sees an opportunity to reflect, instruct, and above all elevate the discourse. What an amazing man! I don't care how much or how little experience he has, I am convinced he should lead our country. His courage and intelligence are astonishing. He has transformed a political campaign into a shining example of the very leadership we so desperately need!

Posted by: Rallywood | March 18, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Correction to Obama's critics: Obama says he has heard Wright say "controversial" things. Controversial does not mean hateful or inflammatory. Wright preaches gay marriage. Do you have any idea how controversial that is in the black community. He holds a lot of views that many people, liberals and conservatives, would find "controversial." That's not necessarily a bad thing.

In 1963 day, MLK's Dream speech was considered "controversial." Controversial does not necessarily mean bad!


Posted by: Free_Ride2300 | March 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Correction to Obama's critics: Obama says he has heard Wright say "controversial" things. Controversial does not mean hateful or inflammatory. Wright preaches gay marriage. Do you have any idea how controversial that is in the black community. He holds a lot of views that many people, liberals and conservatives, would find "controversial." That's not necessarily a bad thing.

In 1963 day, MLK's Dream speech was considered "controversial." Controversial does not necessarily mean bad!


Posted by: Free_Ride2300 | March 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama not only looked presidential but his content was on the mark. The spin doctors will continue to analize should there be more of something, anything to repair the damage. More than race, this country has been polorized by party philosphies. No matter what Obama say or do to rectify any damage Rev. Wright has done it won't be enough. The one thing you can say about him is that Obama is not a politician but a statesman. True leadership in a time of crises. He is cool, calm, collective, and the fact that he is real. Will this be enough for everyone--of course not. He'll beat McCain in a general election. This is a time when everyone should vote genuinely on the issues, even African-American voters. However, we are just too rooted in race, gender, party affiliation, ideology, to put all that aside and vote as intelligent as we can the issues. For example, to some, even though theres been lost of lives, heartbreak, trillions of dollars out of the U.S. Economy, and eight years of an administration that has tarnished our country, we face putting another of the same in office because we can't get past the shock of an angry black man voicing his opinions outwardly. It's time to get real and ask ourselves are we ready to have a whitefemale or black male as president of the US. If not, then we simply have gone the way of the status quo. Obama has not played any of the race card nor has he spoke against the gender thing, or the old thing. He simply sees America as everyone no respector of person. I would like to see a ticket of Obama and Condelisa Rice. Nothing to do with race, gender, or politics.

Posted by: washdc11 | March 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This speech transcended politics and touched the hearts of most of us. It has truth and sincerity and it is already making us think about and discuss some very difficult issues.
Just one thing to those who say how could Obama have sat through Wright's rantings. I read that Wright gave 3 sermons every sunday. One in the morning to seniors; one in the evening to the more laid back yuppies and preppies and one in the afternoon that was usually a more raucus affair filled with hyperbole. It is quite possible that the Obamas went to the more toned down sermons of the mornings or evenings. In my church, they have special services for teenagers where they go in for modern music and scew the message to the young and address issues that our young people face that we old fogies never imagined. I find it amazing that so many Christians seem not to be very charitable and so many patriots seem not to understand freedom of speech. Let's judge Obama on Obama's actions not someone else's words. Also, I disagree with a lot of my church's social views. I've sat through some sermons that infuriated me; but, I've never thought of leaving my church. I take what I need from the sermons and leave the rest.

Posted by: SueB2 | March 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This was a very well drafted and delivered speech. But it opens more questions than it answers about who Obama really is.

Obama wants the listener to compare Wright's more outrageous expressions to those they might have heard and disagreed with from their own clergy. The problem is I, and I suspect most Americans, have never heard their own clergy utter anything nearly as insane and ugly as Wright has said, EVER -there is no comparison.

Obama offers no explanation why he did not drop Wright like a hot rock after he had been around Wright along enough to hear some of Wright's vitriol, or how he could have stood for Wright's extreme views long enough to absorb him as "family"

There are many wonderful clergy in the black community that do tremendous things for the entire community, and that do amazing things to heal the problems that racial injustice has done to the nation-and that do not fan racial and class schisms as Wright does.

I suppose that Obama, while he disagrees or disapproves of Tony Rezko also, Obama also thinks of Rezko as "family"????

Instead of saying something like, "Yeah, I have made mistakes in judgment and here is what I have learned from them....," Obama diverts the listener into the race question. Obama has no problem excoriating his pastor for errant views. Of course that does not take the guts that taking responsibility instead of making excuses would.

He most eloquently asks the listener to move towards attitudes that his own pastor does not understand. It was telling he did not mention the most eloquent and healing speaker to ever address race issues, Dr. Martin Luther King. Did Dr. King condemn the USA the way Wright has?? No.

I found this speech cunning, clever, calculated, disingenuous and in some ways insulting. Obama is as evasive as ever and pulls the race card to save his own political hide and dodge the issue-his credibility.

Obama did that most eloquently- and most cynically.


Posted by: plaza04433 | March 18, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

AndyfromVA,

he states himself that the church has done great things for that community, but he didn't agree with his pastor all the time. i don't see why people allow nuance in their everyday life but don't allow their politicians to exhibit the same thing. like many people, i have friends that say and sometimes believe in outrageous things but those relationships exist in spite of that, not because of them.

Posted by: fox_qajgev | March 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The people who keep saying "he should have quit the church, he should have shot his pastor" won't be satisfied with anything Obama has to say. They are set against him are will use this Wright flap to justify that. Regardless of how he responds.

Andy says he knows many Catholics and Jews who have left their congregations when they disagreed with it. So do I. But I also know many, many more who stayed. Why? Because they take the totality of their faith and the message, not just bits of it.

There will never be any situation or group in which you agree 100%. NEVER. I was tempted to leave the Democratic party when a lot of members voted for this war but I stayed because I believe is most of what this party represents but certainly not all of it.

Obama will never win with those who are determined not to support him. He doesn't have to. Fair people will give him a fair hearing and won't go on guilt by association.

Posted by: Free_Ride2300 | March 18, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The people who keep saying "he should have quit the church, he should have shot his pastor" won't be satisfied with anything Obama has to say. They are set against him are will use this Wright flap to justify that. Regardless of how he responds.

Andy says he knows many Catholics and Jews who have left their congregations when they disagreed with it. So do I. But I also know many, many more who stayed. Why? Because they take the totality of their faith and the message, not just bits of it.

There will never be any situation or group in which you agree 100%. NEVER. I was tempted to leave the Democratic party when a lot of members voted for this war but I stayed because I believe is most of what this party represents but certainly not all of it.

Obama will never win with those who are determined not to support him. He doesn't have to. Fair people will give him a fair hearing and won't go on guilt by association.

Posted by: Free_Ride2300 | March 18, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

As is typical for Obama, he delivered a good speech, but one thing particularly concerned me. He spent the weekend insisting he had never heard Wright make these types of statements yet today Obama admitted he had heard them; so he was aware of Wright's extreme racist attitude but continued to not only go to church there but also tout him as his mentor, etc. Today Obama attempted to explain away why he continued to go to church there and support Wright because "none us would quit attending just because we don't agree with what our pastor or rabbi said". Yes we would! I have, several times. When I attended a church that spoke against gays, even though I am not gay, I never went back. It is precisely how you find a church, you go and if you don't like their views or values you don't go back. You certainly do not join and you certainly do not treat the pastor as a mentor, have him marry you or baptize your children. Bottom line: Obama cannot have disagreed very strongly with Wright's vile racist attitude or he would have stopped attending the church.

Posted by: SusanL | March 18, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Could we be on the verge of having another Teflon President? Maybe... One things for sure, all the arguments and angles of this issue have been aired and discussed. Whether it sells in Peoria, we'll find out soon enough.

Posted by: jimstrom | March 18, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama did right in bringing race relations to the forefront. He has integrity, strength and wisdom. What a fine president he will make.

Posted by: slavin2 | March 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

To all you Obama opponents who keep harping on his Rev. Wright affiliation- Hillary has been married to Bill over 32 years. And as much as we loved him - we know Bill Clinton was a lying, philandering, cheat. To hell with sitting in a pew for 20 years - she slept in the same bed with him (when he wasn't in someone else's). Should we consider her a lying, philandering, cheat as well because of THAT affiliation? C'mon people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: robert_samuel | March 18, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It was an inspiratinal speech.

Posted by: omolll | March 18, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Dear Hillary Clinton:

In reference to your application for a position as the next Commander in Chief we have decided to give the position to another Candidate.

Below are the reasons why we unable to qualify you as viable.
When requested you failed to provide the following critical information:

1. Provide Americans with your resume detailing specifically your 35 years of experience.

2. Provide Americans with your list of corporate lobbyist contributing funds to your campaign.

3. Provide Americans with your list of lobbyist that contributed (over $800k) to healthcare plan in 1993-1993.

4. Provide Americans with White Water information which would clarify the Clintons involvement.

5. Provide Americans with full campaign funding contributions made by Tony Renzko to Bill Clinton.

6. Provide Americans with detailed descriptions of how you contributed to Ireland's peace agreement.

7. Provide Americans with detailed specifics of your foreign policy experience. (Sinbad said it was just a song and dance routine for soldiers.)

8. Provide Americans with your earmarks disclosures.

9. Provide Americans with an explanation of your relationship with Muslim Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
10. Provide America with full detailed disclosure of how you were able to loan your campaign 5 million dollars. We are assuming the donations of the last month paid her back with interest of course. Which means you (Hillary) probably netted a $8-10 million profit from her own campaign treasure chest (tax payers $$).
That being said Mrs. Clinton you have failed to past the most important part of being honest to your public and are therefore not electable.

America will keep your application in our files for future openings in your areas of non-expertise.

Thank you,
Democratic Constituent

Posted by: ymaxoneil | March 18, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to throw a Molotov Cocktail here: Why is slavery still being discussed in 2008? These were terrible deeds 130 years ago- but what living individual among us claims to have been harmed, and how? Were you interred in a Japanese Work Camp during WWII? Are you a living, former Japanese "comfort girl"? Are you an African who escaped your own people in your homeland? Even my people, the Icelanders, were slaves as well- at least the women who populated the country, brought there unwillingly to work and die from Ireland, England and Scotland. So how am I "guilty" of the sins of someone else's great great grandfather? What is it you think I owe you...and why are we even discussing this? Obama says race is not the issue? My left foot!!! I'm sick of it. William O Douglas proposed a "colorblind society." Anything else is just another form of racism.

Posted by: MarineWife | March 18, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

It was inevitable that Obama's campaign was going to encounter a crisis related to race and that he was going to have to confront and overcome this kind of a crisis if he was serious about becoming the first black President. With this speech, he's proven that he's up to the task. It was really quite an exceptionally good speech that revealed the strength of Obama's character. I'd also like to point out that he wrote it himself.

Posted by: skrut003 | March 18, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama needed to a home run today. Instead he wound up with an infield single despite the considerable spinning done by his supporters at MSNBC.

He did little to attract white voters and will likely lose quite a bit of those sitting on the fence. This looks real good for Hillary Clinton if she can capture the popular vote in Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina.

Obama started strong and is finishing weak. One wonders how things would have turned out had the media done its job and presented the racist Wright to the public during the Iowa caucus!

We can now watch the polls in PA and North Carolina to see whether Obama is even given an infield single today or an error!

I have seen enough and will be voting for a proven winner, Hillary Clinton!

Posted by: FredCDobbs | March 18, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

>>AndyfromVA,

With all due respect, and I mean that sincerely, I think that a great number of people go to church who disagree with a great number of things their spiritual leaders say. How many catholics do you know on birth control? How many Jewish people do you know who don't keep kosher? There are other reasons for going to church besides perfect agreement.>>

Not true. I know many former Catholics who quit the church and many Jews who no longer go to temple because they could not abide the positions taken by their religious institutions. Obama could have done the same thing if he truly found Wright's views distasteful, as he claims he does. Remember, Wright did not make one or two obnoxious sermons but many. Wright's racist sermons were central to his church. Obama can duck and parry all he wants, but he can't escape the truth.

Posted by: AndyfromVA | March 18, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Only the fiercest critics will see nothing good with Obama. Even in the face of adversity, he was able to rise above petty politics and see a bigger and better American picture. I think it's important the mainstream media see the same picture and not pick holes in the speech just to increase their ratings with sensational headlines!

Posted by: skiobiora | March 18, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

What I heard in that speech and have heard many times before from Obama was a man who was capable of hearing many things from many people - including the outrageous. A capability of sifting through the words to extract the "right" things while having a tolerance to sit through the outrageous words in order to seek out the basis for where they are coming from. Unlike many, he clearly sees both the good and the bad in Rev Wright and understands how Rev Wright arrived at the place he did.

Whether the president is hearing Republicans vs Democrats, Jews vs Muslims, white vs black, etc, Obama, with his candidacy on the line, seems to be unafraid of looking deeper beyond the anger and the rhetoric to try to understand the whole of a man - good & bad and/or his issue and not outright ignore or shun him because he doesn't feel exactly the same way. And at the end of that, Obama stayed true to his honest judgement of what is good, ideal and "right" regardless of what others like the conservative right might think. Obama seems to indicate each side of an issue will get fair consideration while no side will get excluded because they're not perfect. I've seen this long before the Rev Wright problem. It's just a little more obvious with Rev. Wright.

Can you imagine a president without those qualities? We've had some. I think Barack proved once again today that he is especially blessed in this quality. It was a remarkable speech.

Posted by: cwatson1 | March 18, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

It was a wonderful speech. It dealt with the issue that the most segregated hour in America is the hour of the church service on Sunday. Around where I live the black churches go on all day on Sunday, and they dance, jump up, praise, holler, get angry, get emotional...this is all so foreign to most white churches. It's scary to many white people I think. White churches like mine usually work to keep the status quo and not to rile us up about social injustice or anything much at all.

I related to Obama's speech in that I would be attracted to a more expressive church that he described. I respect that he's honest about his pastor. Also like Obama, I cringe at the racist expressions that my grandmother said.

I really hope this man is our next President. He's blessed with intelligence and incredible honesty. If we don't elect him, it will be a huge loss.

Posted by: Vaughan1 | March 18, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

WHY NOT START HEALING THIS NATION WITH HIS TWO DAUGHTERS? Here what Senator Obama will never be able to explain. He has two daughters. He accepted being present when Wright's hate speeches were given--did he exposed both his two daughters to these hate speeches? If he purports to be the seaway between the future and the past, then, why exposed his two daughters to this rhetoric? There is a difference between words and actions and here a clear example.

Posted by: Kelvin1 | March 18, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I feel Barack Obama did answer the questions so many had been coerced to ask partly by the Clinton campaign and some parts of the media.

Barack Obama did not need a script writer today or a script, Hilary would at every turn.

When is the media going to ask the serious questions that need to be asked of Hilary Rodham Clinton, her tax returns etc

The only loser with this continued fight is the Democratic Party, Hilary is not going to close the Delegate Count and the Popular Vote, she is not going to get the rules she agreed to changed in Florida and Michigan, as a Party we need to Unite to beat John McCain, Hilary stop this campaign of personal attacks now and seriously consider what is best to keep your personal respect, not those advisers who have advised you badly.

Posted by: jaybs1 | March 18, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I can't say whether or not Obama will be able to move his agenda forward once in Washington, the politics there are awful, but he is truely an inspirational leader. While the rest of the field is trying their best to slander one another Obama is trying to pull this country together. Will he actually be able to pull America together as president, who can say. There are powers that be that like the racial divide. They use fear as a means to sell protection from the fear of another color, or religion or lifestyle.

Believe it or not I think the next best choice for pulling America together could have been McCain, but since he began planning this presidential race he has started pandering to the religious right and pro war interests. There is no question that any of the remaining candidates are so much better than Bush that there is no way that we won't be way ahead with our new president. I think that Obama will be the best choice for the long term good of our country.

Posted by: bjuhasz | March 18, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama created this issue that wasnt there 6 months ago. Obamas quest to solidify a monolithic African American base vote in the South has come back to sting him and America.
The man is dumber than Bush.
No he's goign to lecture the country about stuff we already know so that he somehow look above what he stoop low to in the first place.
Obama is dumber than Bush.

Posted by: hhkeller | March 18, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

AndyfromVA,

With all due respect, and I mean that sincerely, I think that a great number of people go to church who disagree with a great number of things their spiritual leaders say. How many catholics do you know on birth control? How many Jewish people do you know who don't keep kosher? There are other reasons for going to church besides perfect agreement.

Posted by: JaniceT1 | March 18, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is the real deal.

It's so easy to go negative on someone speaking the truth to America... that we are all saddled with weaknesses but bound by greater strengths - that we are an imperfect union of far from perfect souls but that we can take all these truths together, for what they are worth, and begin to let go of the divisions that hold us back collectively and march on toward something better for our posterity - for our children - Mine and yours.

Barack Obama for President of the UNITED States of America.

Posted by: PulSamsara | March 18, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This man is simply amazing. His speech demonstrates that his actions match his rhetoric. He is telling us, not what we wanted to hear, but what we needed to hear. I have heard him say he would do this and now understand what he meant.

What he said was what we as a country needed to hear about race and racism. It definitely displays his judgement and ability to do what is right for our country.

Posted by: mbshults | March 18, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a great lawyer, an excellent speaker, and a master at obfuscation. He did not address the central question posed by the Wright controversy, which is how can we trust Obama to tell the truth when he is not honest about why he chose to be a committed member of a church with an extremist and a racist as its pastor. I know what Obama's explanation is, but it's obvious to any of us who are members of a religious organization that you do not become a longtime committed member unless you believe strongly in the message of the pastor/leader. The obvious conclusion from this matter is that Obama agrees with Wright most of the time and all of Obama's claims that he is for inclusion is just campaign talk to get himself elected.

Posted by: AndyfromVA | March 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The anger of blacks finds "voice in the barbershop or the beauty shop or around the kitchen table." The anger of whites finds voice around the kitchen table ... and on school boards, and in corporate boardrooms, and in the editorial pages of the countries largest papers, and on TV, and ...

Which is not to say that "white anger" isn't understandable, and even sometimes justified, but "black anger" is oh-so-shocking to whites at least partly because they don't hear it. (Unless it's carefully framed within white anger, like it has been this past week.)

Posted by: bearpaw01 | March 18, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A thoughtful, honest, solemnly paced speech. The Philadelphia Speech may well go down in history as the point at which America engaged in a real and frank discussion of race and racism in our country and where we go from here. Whether or not it helps Obama's election bid, in my mind it has already helped America start moving forward.

Posted by: john16 | March 18, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I watched Obama's speech this morning. We are independent, secular conservatives and had been completely polarized by the Reverend Wright's rants . If our reactions are any indication, Obama has more than repaired the damage. We both had watery eyes when he finished. My wife called her sister to compare notes She's a fundamentalist Republican. Even she had gotten emotional. She related it to her childhood experience in Eastern Oklahoma where she was treated as white trash with Indian blood.

This man is phenomenal. Afterward, we watched the press commentaries for only a few minutes and turned the set off. Nothing they were saying seemed to matter when compared to what we had just heard.

Jerry Brown, Huntington, NY

Posted by: jerrybrown11743 | March 18, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I found his words amazing in how he is able to see both sides of the racial issue in America.

Obama is truely uniquely qualified for the job of POTUS in '08.

We need him now more than ever : http://www.jabberwonk.com/flinker.cfm?cliid=1lxipd

Posted by: rust1d | March 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

whatdoesthismean-LOL! :-D

Ohhhh, that Sacred Founding Fathers, and that had to be Amended many times Constitution, that does not include what is written on the Declaration of Independence!

Those SLAVE OWNING WASP Founding Fathers! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | March 18, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Good speech on a touch topic- now, will that help him stay close to Hillary in PA or not?

Pennsylvania Primary- Hillary vs. Barack:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=57

Posted by: davidmwe | March 18, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I begrudgingly admit it was an excellent speech. It spoke to what we as a nation aspire to be even though we all care our own baggage. It played perfectly into the themes of his candidicy and will get good play for the next couple of days if not the reminder of the week.

Posted by: dvebner | March 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Both whites and blacks, he said, must recognize "what ails" the other -- and embrace the idea, as he said Rev. Wright has not, the idea that American can change. "This union may never be perfect," he said. "But generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected."

Neither Obama nor his advisers can know at this point where the Wright controversy will lead. It is not likely that one speech, however well-crafted, can put it to rest. But the test of leadership is to turn adversity into opportunity and on Tuesday Obama took it. Now he must await the judgment of the voters.

Enough Said!

Posted by: jrev7620042000 | March 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The amazing thing about Obama is that despite his expertise in constitution law and his realization that the constitution was designed with racism embedded in it, he still respects and honors the forefathers who wrote it. He realizes that the spirit of the constitution is to give all citizens freedoms and rights.

Posted by: whatdoesthismean | March 18, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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