President Obama’s speech in Cairo sounded a lot like President Bush’s 2006 speech to Muslims—yet Obama’s manages to carry far more weight, writes Michael Crowley in the New Republic. Both spoke of respect for “the history and traditions of the Muslim world”; both suggested governmental systems can’t be “imposed.” But Bush’s speech was “forgotten,” while Obama’s “seems to offer the potential of making millions of Muslims reconsider their view of America,” Crowley writes.
“There is no novel way to restate the obvious reason for this,” Crowley writes: “Obama is not Bush.” Obama doesn’t have Iraq to answer for, he’s got a “reputation for honesty," and he's just plain smarter. “Above all, he is a black man with Muslim heritage,” which he discussed. “To see him unfold his biography,” Crowley observes, “is to appreciate how much America will benefit from presenting this new face to the world.”