Obama's Trayvon Comment May Be 'Watershed Moment'

He handled it perfectly: Major Garrett
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2012 11:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama's poignant line yesterday about Trayvon Martin—"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"—may end up being a "watershed moment for his presidency," writes Major Garrett at the National Journal. Obama has generally avoided addressing "distinctly racial issues," much to the chagrin of black leaders who think he's giving the African-American community short shrift, writes Garrett. (The unfortunate "beer summit" was the culmination of one early misfire.) But Obama's handling of the Trayvon matter may change things.

"Never before have the issues of race, justice, and Obama’s ability to speak to the larger issue ... converged as they have in the Trayvon Martin case," writes Garrett. Obama made clear to African-Americans that he is very much attuned to the case and simultaneously emphasized the importance of the ongoing federal and state investigations. "His manner, words, and tone may mark a turning point in his presidency when it comes to matters of race and justice and how he is perceived on these issues by African-Americans." (Click to read about Newt Gingrich's very different take.)

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