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When I told Obama that I thought Trump’s candidacy was an explicit reaction to the fact of a black president, he said he could see that, but then enumerated other explanations.
It is said that Obama speaks “professorially,” a fact that understates the quickness and agility of his mind.
These were not like press conferences—the president would speak in depth and with great familiarity about a range of subjects. He talked about the brilliance of Le Bron James and Stephen Curry—not as basketball talents but as grounded individuals.
When assessing Trump’s chances, he was direct: He couldn’t win. The speech that launched his rise, the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, emerged right from this logic.
This assessment was born out of the president’s innate optimism and unwavering faith in the ultimate wisdom of the American people—the same traits that had propelled his unlikely five-year ascent from assemblyman in the Illinois state legislature to U. He addressed himself to his “fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents,” all of whom, he insisted, were more united than they had been led to believe.
Inner-city black families, no matter their perils, understood “that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn …