Sunday, November 9, 2008


People are understandably focusing on Obama's victory speech in Grant Park. And they should. It was quite a speech. And it was quite a night. 

But it is well worth looking back to Obama's so-called "race speech," also known as "A More Perfect Union." Delivered on March 18th, 2008, the speech offers an early window into the overwhelming inspirational power of Barack Obama. 

For Obama, it was a moment of personal and political struggle. His campaign was ailing due to the incessant airtime given to Reverend Wright's outrageous and polarizing pulpit ranting. Obama's character and judgment were called into question. Old racial and cultural divisions and fault-lines were heating up. The personal, the political, the spiritual and the religious all boiled in a caldron of uncertainty for Obama and his campaign. The moment demanded a response.

And respond he did.

The INKSPOT•PROJECT believes the "race speech" is the most important speech Barack Obama has ever given and, perhaps, will ever give in his political career. No doubt, there will be many important speeches to follow as he assumes the Oval Office. 

But it is this speech that uniquely offers an early glimpse into how Obama will lead this nation through the challenging issues and moments of testing. It is this speech that allows Obama to show how he turns perceived weaknesses into strengths. It is this speech that demonstrates Obama's temperament by ameliorating and moving past the Wright controversy and going on to win the primary and general elections.

Obama's true gifts are his willingness to address complicated and impassioned matters head-on, his desire to bridge the seemingly unbridgeable, and his relentless hope and optimism for America's future. 

The speech offers profound insight into the man, the leader, our next President.

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