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The Plank Spilleth Over

It's been a very busy day on The Plank, and if you haven't been reading our coverage--or if you've just lost track--here's what's been going on:

  • Michael Crowley worried that Obama's epochal speech on race (text and video) was too complex for modern politics, then appeared on Hardball.

  • Jon Chait explained the politics behind the speech and thought it was enabled by Obama's blackness.

  • Eve Fairbanks thought Obama doubled down on race, in a good way; but she thought he showed a flash of arrogance.

  • Noam Scheiber noted how Obama's speech borrows from the neocons.

  • Jon Cohn interpreted the speech as a challenge to everyone, left and right.

  • Josh Patashnik said Obama highlighted the tension between his liberalism and his conservative instincts.

  • We also reached out to friends of the magazine for their thoughts on the speech. Read opinions from Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet, Columbia professor Todd Gitlin, Manhattan Institute senior fellow John McWhorter, and Boston College professor Alan Wolfe.

  • Also today, guest blogger Clay Risen explained how economists think Bush is handling the financial crisis, and recounted his visit to a John Birch Society dinner.

--Barron YoungSmith