From NBC's Mark Murray and Katelin Schartz
Here's the take from the Atlantic's Jeffery Goldberg, a well-respected observer of the Middle East. "An African-American President with Muslim roots stands before the Muslim world and defends the right of Jews to a nation of their own in their ancestral homeland, and then denounces in vociferous terms the evil of Holocaust denial, and right-wing Israelis go forth and complain that the President is unsympathetic to the housing needs of settlers. Incredible, just incredible."
MJ Rosenberg writing on Talking Points Memo: "Mission accomplished. For the first time in memory, an American President spoke to Muslims and Arabs not as antagonists who need to take certain actions before achieving US acceptance but as equals... Arab leaders who were listening to this speech might want to consider a similar speech of their own to their people. That is not going to happen. But they have to realize that this speech will significantly raise expectations among their own people. This is the kind of speech they have never heard before, and they will expect something like it, but from their own potentates next time."
Al Rodgers from the liberal DailyKos site: Less than six months ago, Arabs threw shoes at George Bush. Today, in a address bound to go down in history, President Obama was unexpectedly greeted by a standing ovation in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world. In a towering speech before 4,000 Egyptians in the Grand Hall of Cairo University, and to another 1.4 billion Muslims world-wide, the President was interrupted 30 times by applause and people shouting, 'we love you.'"
The conservative Hugh Hewitt: "The world is the worse for this speech because it was not honest about the situation in the Middle East, not honest about the threat from Iran, not honest about Israel's deep desire to be allowed to live in peace, and not honest about the determination of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to destroy Israel and to gain the weapons necessary to do so in an instant. No speech so deeply dishonest in its omissions or so rhetorically misleading its assumptions and arguments can do anything other than communicate extraordinary weakness on the part of the United States. It will indeed be a famous speech, for all the wrong reasons."
Erick Erickson of RedState: This is perhaps one of the most disturbing parts of Barack Obama's speech to the muslim world. While insisting on the reality of the holocaust, something many muslims deny, Barack Obama puts the genocide of 6 million Jews in the same category of what has happened to the Palestinians — something largely inflicted on themselves through their suicide bombings, calls for the destruction of Israel, etc. He treats them as morally equivalent."
Rich Lowry of National Review Online: "I have to go back and read it carefully, so I reserve the right to extend and revise my remarks. But on the whole I thought it was pretty good and I basically agree with Max Boot's take here. Yes, there were many things about which to cavil, there were missed opportunities, and he betrayed the disturbing weakness of his policy in certain key areas, Iran foremost among them. But the speech was an act of diplomacy and as such, it inevitably was going to skate over some inconvenient truths and tilt its presentation in a way to try to make it more persuasive to its target audience. Fundamentally, Obama's goal was to tell the Muslim world, "We respect and value you, your religion and your civilization, and only ask that you don't hate us and murder us in return." Bush tried to deliver the same message over and over again. The difference with Obama is that people might actually be willing to listen."