These are the number of hits achieved by Senator Barack Obama’s Philadelphia speech on YouTube. Growing exponentially throughout the day, the clip has reached more than 200,000 hits in less than six hours.
Obama’s speech, which served to focus both on his relationship to former Pastor Jeremiah Wright and to highlight race relations in the United States, has been cited as the most important in his campaign to this point. His relationship with Reverend Wright has been a point of contention since ABC’s Good Morning America revealed controversial statements the Reverend had made during Senator Obama’s time as a member of the church.
In the speech, Obama both distances himself from the Reverend Wright and further clarifies that Wright’s comments were not just “controversial,” but also born from a “distorted” view of the United States that is “simply wrong.” Nevertheless, some critics have stated that Obama did not do enough to distance himself from his former Pastor’s views.
The YouTube explosion serves as further evidence of just how important this speech may be in Barack Obama’s race for the Presidency. The 37-minute speech, too long to be replayed with any regularity on cable news networks, has quickly become a focal point for Senator Obama’s campaign, and the public’s reaction to his strong speech will likely play a role in the fate of his candidacy.