But if the president’s inability to cement his legacy in the form of Hillary Clinton proved the limits of his optimism, it also revealed the exceptional nature of his presidential victories. For eight years Barack Obama walked on ice and never fell. Nothing in that time suggested that straight talk on the facts of racism in American life would have given him surer footing.
This is a long piece—it’ll take you an hour and change to read it—but it is worth it. It’s a historical document, something that high school and college students will be assigned to read by their teachers in 50 years. It’s going to be an amazing event to watch President Obama and his legacy transform as the lens of history comes more into focus, and the day-to-day news cycle coverage fades away.