Last night, on the eve of the first and perhaps most important debate between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, the Daily Caller released the first “October surprise” of the 2012 election in the form of an unedited 2007 video of Obama speaking at Hampton University. Dubbed by the Drudge Report and the Daily Caller as “Obama’s Other Race Speech,” the video promised to show the President describing America, in the Daily Caller’s words, “as a racist, zero-sum society, in which the white majority profits by exploiting black America.” Indeed, the raw footage of Obama exposes odious racial hatred and demagoguery more befitting Rev. Jeremiah Wright than a mainstream political candidate. Moreover, far from conforming to the persona the President has marketed to the public over the last several years, the ideology put forth in the video more closely parallels what we know of Obama’s radical pre-presidential life.
Prior to the video’s release, many media outlets speculated that the speech in question was the one delivered by Obama in 2007 at Hampton University, a historically black college located in Virginia. Furthermore, some media sources decided that the speech had already been shown in full, that there was nothing controversial about it, or that a rebroadcast of it could be construed as “race-baiting” by a conservative news outlet.
While the speech in question was the one delivered at Hampton University, as Daily Caller editor-in-chief explained to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who broadcast some of the video, some of the most revealing aspects of the speech had not been heard before, and the media had reported on what was in the transcript of the speech, despite the fact that the president ad-libbed the most incendiary remarks (at length).
One of the initially striking aspects of the video was not the speech itself, but Obama’s delivery. Obama affected a phony minstrel-esque accent to condescend to the black audience, which African Americans ought to find insulting. It was in this manner that Obama unleashed a torrent of lies regarding the response to Hurricane Katrina, accusing the Bush administration and the federal government of being racist. He went so far as to imply to the audience that the hurricane victims were not viewed as a part of the “American family” because New Orleans is a “black-majority” city, which the government didn’t “care about as much.”
“Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt twenty months later,” he began, “there’s a law, federal law–when you get reconstruction money from the federal government–called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you gotta give a ten percent match. The local government’s gotta come up with ten percent. Every ten dollars the federal government comes up with, local government’s gotta give a dollar.”
“Now here’s the thing,” Obama continues, “when 9-11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act–said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you gotta put in. Well, here’s ten dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not gonna wait for you to scratch it together–because you’re part of the American family. That’s not,” Obama says, “what is happening in majority-black New Orleans. What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense! Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much!”
One thing that is not new here is the president’s penchant for lying whenever it suits his purposes. As both Fox and the Daily Caller point out, six months before this speech, the federal government had already sent approximately $110 billion to areas damaged by Katrina. Furthermore, the federal government did waive the Stafford Act on several occasions during its reconstruction efforts. And the Bush administration also sent an additional $6.9 billion to Katrina-effected areas–with no strings attached. Senator Obama undoubtedly knew about all of it, yet he apparently wasn’t going to let the truth get in the way of a good speech.