The Corner

Was It Effective Or Not?

So those who were not bowled over by the Obama speech are either fearful, racist, or both? Wow, that’s a broad and baseless assertion. I am neither. My going-in proposition was that this speech was engineered to deflect the potentially damaging issue of the candidate being associated with the extremist views of his spiritual godfather. That is the only legitimate framework for an analyst to use in judging it. “Was it effective or not?” is the only question worth considering. I expected Obama to try to triangulate his way out of a problem. In that respect he did a great job — you can read whatever you want into that speech. And judging from the hyperventilation in some quarters it looks like it had an impact. But to me the speech was nothing more than another move in the chess match. Try to remain calm, we have a long way to go.

James S. Robbins — James S. Robbins is a political commentator for National Review and USA Today and is senior fellow for national security affairs on the American Foreign Policy Council. He is a ...

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