Friday, April 25, 2008

On The Other Hand

There's this insane example of terrible timing from former Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright, who decided now would be a good time for an interview. When I heard that he was going onto Bill Moyers' show, I thought little of it other than he'd have a chance to defend himself in friendly venue. Instead, he throws Obama under the bus with a passage that is so utterly undermining of Obama—so ridiculously stupid—that it just about makes my head explode:
"He's a politician and I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician and I say what I have to say as a pastor, those are two different worlds. I do what I do, he does what politicians do so what happened in Philadelphia, where he had to respond to the sound bites, he responded as a politician."
Translation: Obama's just like any other politician who'll say whatever he thinks he needs to—but not waht he really believes—to get by.

This completely undercuts Obama's core message and leaves me wondering what Wright was thinking. Does he really believe that? Is he trying to hurt Obama? Does he feel so slighted by Obama, even though Obama stopped short of throwing him under the bus (as they say) last month, that he feels the need to damage him now? Was it more a latent, unconscious type of sabotage? What?!?

I agree with David Gergen and Todd Beeton from MyDD who says:
Obama didn't throw Wright under the bus during his Philadelphia speech but I agree with Gergen on this point, Wright very much did so to Barack Obama in this interview. What was Wright thinking and more to the point what is the Obama camp thinking not keeping this guy on a shorter leash? Have they learned nothing from the loose lips of their clumsy surrogates and advisors over the past couple of months? If this is the sort of message discipline the Obama campaign is going to insist on holding their friends to, i.e. none, then this is going to be a long general election campaign if he's the nominee.
How damaging this will be remains to be seen. Probably not much. But you never know what's going to be a fatal blow (well, until you do know, and then it's often too late). It's still early in the year, so hopefully this will just blow over and be forgotten by November. 

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