Race-Speech Obama Is MIA

Prez's actions failing to match his clear rhetoric of past
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2009 2:13 AM CST
Race-Speech Obama Is MIA
The Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama applauds the crowd before delivering a campaign speech inn Denver, Colo., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.    (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The moral clarity that Barack Obama revealed in his groundbreaking Philadelphia speech on race has been nowhere to be seen recently, writes Richard Cohen. The Obama who made that speech wouldn't have let the Chinese stage-manage his appearances, or allowed the civilian trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed go forward without setting out some clear legal principles for the decision, Cohen writes in the Washington Post.

Governing is, of course, harder than campaigning, Cohen notes, but the president needs to rediscover the morality behind his rhetoric. Obama has tried so hard to avoid President Bush's black-and-white moralism that his policies are starting to seem like a moral gray area. "Human rights in general has been treated as if it's a Republican idea," Cohen writes. "Obama should reread his Philadelphia speech. He'll find a good man there." (More Barack Obama stories.)

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