Democratic Presidential candidate and man who Americans recently realized might be black Barack Obama had to deliver a speech today about his blackness, because the media discovered that his favorite preacher occasionally says controversial things. Obama, who is probably the best writer to run for president of the last century at least, gave a very good speech that was also far too long for cable news people to actually digest, but they are all trying, and it really impressed Candy Crowley and Joe Scarborough. Pat Buchanan, not so much.
It wasn't a rousing affair—it was a largely low-key and intellectual and kinda literary exploration of the entire race situation in America, with only one heart-warming story, at the end, but the most impressive thing about it is that it has briefly allowed the carnival barkers on TV to talk about race in a vaguely reasonable way (except for Pat Buchanan). Some of these people are actually intelligent, so it's nice that Obama gave them permission to briefly stop bullshitting.
The thesis of the speech: many black people are resentful of America, with good fucking reason. Lots of white people are also resentful of America, also with very good reason. And sometimes they blame the wrong people for what's wrong! These shockingly obvious ideas are generally left unspoken on the TV, so it's nice to have them clearly explicated and taken seriously. Now we get to wait and see how the pundits will twist a thoughtful and lengthy speech into a couple platitudes.
(Wolf Blitzer has already found a GOTCHA moment, because Barack Obama CONDEMNED Reverend Wright's controversial remarks but then said he didn't condemn Reverend Wright himself, or something. Jesus.)