The Corner

Obama and “Making History”

Also from that AP story mentioned immediately below:

During an interview with ABC’s “Nightline” for broadcast Tuesday night, Obama said he always expected he’d have to give the race speech, but that he didn’t anticipate the subject would come up in the way that it did.

“This is a big leap for the country,” he said. “Even me being the nominee is a big leap and then, obviously, actually being the president is a big leap. … What I want to do is to make sure that we understand that my campaign is not premised on that, it’s not premised on making history, but that, whoever is president, this is always going to be an ongoing issue that we have to struggle with and that, perhaps, I can lend some special insight into.” [Emphasis Added]

Barack Obama’s campaign is not premised on making history? Could have fooled me. Let’s go to the tape.

Barack Obama, Sept. 28, 2007:

“It is because of these victories that a black man named Barack Obama can stand before you today as a candidate for President of the United States of America. But I am not just running to make history. I’m running because I believe that together, we can change history’s course.

Barack Obama on Jan. 7, the day before the NH primary:

“I hope all of you are not only going to the polls yourselves tomorrow,” he said, “but also that you’re going to be grabbing some people and telling them we are about to make history here and you want to be a part of it.”

Barack Obama, Jan. 31:

We have the opportunity to make history because I think one of us two will end up being the next president of the United States of America,” Obama said, sitting next to the former first lady.”

Etc, etc. — I could go on. In fact, there’s only 563 mentions of the phrase “make history” on barackobama.com and another 1,750 mentions of “making history” on the candidate’s website alone. How on earth could anyone have gotten the idea that Barack Obama was suggesting that a spectrographic analysis of his skin color proves that his mere election as president would be a positive historical event? In fact, one might say that “making history” was a successful campaign theme for Obama precisely because it used race to his advantage, making the subtle suggestion that electing a black man would make Americans feel better about the state of race relations. And isn’t this exactly what Geraldine Ferraro was eviscerated for pointing out?

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