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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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February 19, 2008 6:36 PM

Battling speeches

Posted by David Postman

CNN and Fox dumped Clinton's speech just now to go to Obama's victory speech. CNN kept Clinton up a bit longer, but dumped her, too, when Obama got down to business.

Isn't there some sort of protocol where the winner waits for the loser to finish talking? Of course, in the part I heard, Clinton didn't mention her loss in Wisconsin. She's in Ohio and looking forward to that March contest. I wouldn't blame her if she just wanted to ignore all of February. Lord knows I've had months like that.

MORE: Obama used one of his favorite phrases in his speech tonight, Citing Martin Luther King, he talked about the “fierce urgency of now.”

That’s a line from King’s speech about the Vietnam War. You can read the whole thing here.

And here’s the key paragraph.

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood-it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on."

Speaking of protocols, are the cable news channels committed to showing Obama's entire speech? Again? It is not a victory speech. It is the launch of a concerted Texas campaign. But I am sure that CNN, MSNBC and Fox would not stay with the speech if Obama hadn't been delivering ratings.

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