Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Tightrope of Promising a Genuine Transformation

A nice article about Cory Booker, who I thought would be our first black President until I met Obama (I now think Cory will be the second):
it’s hardly an accident that the language, vision and policies of Newark’s mayor, Cory A. Booker, mirror the man he’s supporting: Mr. Obama.

So when Mr. Booker gave his annual address to the city on Thursday, after 19 months in office, it was a reminder of many things.

It was a reminder that Mr. Obama, for all the extraordinary elements of his campaign, is hardly a solitary figure in American politics, but one representative of a new generation of young black politicians that includes Mr. Booker, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, Representative Artur Davis of Alabama and former Representative Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee. It reflected the way race hasn’t been transcended, it has just been transformed. While Mr. Obama has to prove to voters nationwide that he’s not “too black,” Mr. Booker has had to convince voters in Newark he’s black enough. The multi-ethnic America of today is not the black and white world of the past.


The Tightrope of Promising a Genuine Transformation

Published: February 10, 2008


The language was soaring, the racial elements muted, the mood upbeat even though the road ahead remained unclear.

But the end of the speech was all about the political power of belief — belief that the cynics would not triumph, that dreams can come true, that the human spirit is indomitable. Through war, he said, they believed. Through depression and segregation, they believed. And today, with a new day in sight, we must believe, too.


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