This speech will be talked about for decades to come. It will be taught in universities. It will be remembered as a pivotal moment in a country's history. I hope it is remembered as a road taken, not an opportunity missed. The transcript is here, and an extract is below:
"We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.
"We can do that. But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change. That is one option.
"Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, 'Not this time.'"
Take the road less traveled this time, America, because here is the astonishing news: "At 11:00 on a Tuesday, a prominent politician spoke to Americans about race . . . as though they were adults" (Jon Stewart).
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
From "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.