Was Obama’s speech one for the ages?

Speeches are now declared “great” in an instant, not only by the usual pundits but by a chorus of … well … everyone. Video

Speeches are now declared “great” in an instant, not only by the usual pundits but by a chorus of … well … everyone

When was the last time a speech was instantly declared “great” in this country?

When I say “declared,” I don’t mean that it was praised by a few commentators on a sleepy Sunday morning talk show. That happens frequently and predictably.

What rarely happens is what occurred last week in the wake of Sen. Barack Obama’s speech on race: namely, a widespread acknowledgment by friend and foe alike, by newspaper columnists and television anchors, literary figures, historians, anthropologists, soccer moms, priests and—well, sometimes it seemed like everyone—that hugely significant political oratory had just been made.

And when you factor in the speed from delivery to declaration of greatness, the event becomes nearly unprecedented.

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