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No Cliché Left Behind

February 17, 2010
Joseph Sobran

For some years now, the American media have marveled at what they called the eloquence and sheer oratorical genius of Barack Obama. He first won national attention with his speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention, which marked him as a rising star of the party; four years later, after the November 2008 election, he became the first candidate of African blood to gain the White House.

His most impressive performance, it is widely agreed, was his March 18, 2008, speech on race. It disarmed the critical faculties even of such a normally caustic pundit as Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, who hailed it for what she deemed its depth and brilliance. This surprised me, for I’d heard part of it on radio, and it had struck me at the time as trite and incoherent. To this day, he has never produced a single memorable apothegm.

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