The conservative idea of a candidate who’s “transformational” on race is someone who sounds like Bill Cosby and works with Ward Connerly, and that just isn’t what Obama’s doing; hence the Right’s disappointment, which in many cases is curdling into dismissiveness and outright dislike.
That’s true, but then what that means that when conservatives say they want someone who is “transformational” on race, they want a black public figure agreeing with conservatives on policy and personal behaviour. That’s fair enough, since that would be a kind of change, but it is almost a mirror image of parts of Obama’s speech: race relations will improve for the better if everyone unites to support the right (i.e., my) policy proposals. Again, that’s not surprising, but that raises the question of why anyone held out much hope that Obama would be such a “transformational” figure. He is pretty far to the left, and his nods to the right are essentially head-fakes. The disappointment that some on the right seem to be feeling comes from having mistaken this effort at distraction as a form of acknowledgement and respect.