The Washington Post‘s Eugene Robinson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in commentary “for his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.”
Today, he shares with us this observation:
I used to fear that President Obama was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.
The rest of the column is dry recap of the speech Obama delivered last Thursday, without any examples of how the speech produced tangible benefits beyond the fact that somebody in the audience shouted to Obama, “We love you!” and that, “The Associated Press reported Sunday that the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based guerrilla group Hezbollah, an influential radical Saudi cleric and the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood all warned followers not to be taken in by Obama’s seductive words — which suggests a fear that Obama had been dangerously effective. A Web site that often reflects the thinking of al-Qaeda referred to the president after the speech as a “wise enemy.”
But this was enough for Robinson to conclude:
The fact that many Muslims now see a sympathetic figure in the White House creates new possibilities. It turns out that being Obama matters more than I thought.
In case you’re wondering, Robinson doesn’t inform us what those “new possibilities” are, but that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying his marble prose.