Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hope and Cringe

I defy you to watch the video of Barack Obama’s 2007 speech to Hampton University without cringing. In the worst fake accent since Madonna decided she was British, Obama preaches the gospel of grievance to his mostly black audience, claiming that racial bigotry was behind the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina, while heaping praise on his dyspeptic pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Like Obama’s presidency itself, it is an embarrassing display.

In releasing the full, 40-minute video of the 2007 speech – rather than the 9-minute portion that was made available at the time, which informs Obama supporters’ outrageous assertion that this is somehow old news – the Daily Caller and Fox News have performed a tremendous public service. While other media outlets have, predictably, demurred at playing the tape, making the speech available in its totality allows Americans to peek behind the curtain of Obama’s hopey-changey routine. And that could make all the difference.

It is ironic that as this administration is plagued by trillion-dollar deficits, unprecedented debt levels, unemployment above 8 percent, anemic economic growth, a murdered ambassador and subsequent cover-up, the Salafist flag of al Qaeda flying over US embassies, the Fast and Furious scandal, and a deeply unpopular health care law, this little video could be what jars the electorate out of its stupor when it comes to Obama. That’s because America is faster to forgive a failure than a phony.

And Barack Obama is a phony baloney of the first order. It’s not just the Tropic Thunder accent he puts on in the Hampton address – it’s the race-baiting message. Remember, this speech was given three years after Obama’s “no red states, no blue states, but the United States of America” effusion at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that launched his career.

But that was always and obviously rhubarb, to those who cared to see. Now, all Americans are a click away from viewing the other Obama, the race-hustling hack who referred to his own grandmother as “a typical white person,” urged Latino voters to “punish their enemies” and caricatured rural Pennsylvanians as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”

The contrast between Obama’s cultivated image and the Hampton version is akin to the incongruity of a political career that began in domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’ living room and ended in the Oval Office. This was ever Obama’s way: one side for consumption by an incurious public, another for his radical base.

Lest anyone imagine it is merely Obama’s style that rankles in the Hampton speech, including his “shout out” to Wright (“Where’s he at?”), his disgraceful claims also warrant scrutiny. Playing on the fashionable leftist narrative that the Bush administration dragged its feet after Katrina because many of the victims were black, Obama charged, “The people down in New Orleans, they don’t care about as much!”

As Dick Morris has reported, more money was directed toward Katrina relief than for Hurricane Andrew and 9/11 combined. As for Obama’s insistence that the feds refused to waive the requirement that local government contribute ten percent of disaster relief funds (“Where’s your Stafford Act munn-ah?”), not only did the administration do so after Katrina, but it gave the state of Louisiana 30 years to repay its small portion of rebuilding costs.

Americans are tired of being divided by race and, if they wanted a leader who specializes in doing so, they would have elected President Jesse Jackson or President Al Sharpton. With the help of a complicit media, Obama was able to confine his race-mongering to receptive audiences. Now, with the release of this video, there is no more excuse.

For those of us who believe that in 2012, it is time to treat people, simply, as people, and that we all ought to be judged on the content of our character, rather than the color of our skin, this performance confirms that America is ready for its first black ex-president.

Theo Caldwell, an international investor and broadcaster, has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Kansas City Board of Trade. He can be reached at