29 April 2008

Wright Fallout

Yesterday we wrote, "The Obama campaign might want to do a little investigative work to see if Rev. Wright is on the Clinton campaign payroll." Hmmm.

Today, per Drudge, these are the headlines:

Is Jeremiah Wright a colossal disaster for Barack Obama or a press trick?
Press Club president responds: Reynolds pitched Rev. Wright two years ago
Gingrich: Wright May Be Deliberately Trying to Hurt Obama

The implication of the first two is that the Clinton camp had something to do with Wright's appearance before the National Press club--something we joked about yesterday. The last article, by Newt Gingrich, speculates about Wright's motives, something we also wondered at.

Regardless of where you stand (non-issue, important issue), our overriding point from yesterday stands: Rev. Wright's insistence on publicly defending himself thrusts the issue Wright back into the news-cycle and does damage to the Obama campaign. Formally denounced or not, anytime anyone who is vaguely familiar with Rev. Wright hears his name uttered on the news or sees it in the newspaper, they will automatically associate it with Barack Obama.

And really, there's no blaming Republicans generally or the McCain campaign specifically for this one. All of this is a product of the long, drawn out Democratic campaign and the Clinton attack machine.

A couple of weeks ago we listened in on an off-the-record conference call with the the McCain communications people. There was of interesting stuff, but the one we keep thinking about was the rumor out of the Clinton camp: somebody attached to Team Clinton told a friend in Team McCain that they had 2 more bombs to drop on Obama. We don't know if arranging a press conference for Jeremiah Wright was one of the two, but judging from the fallout, bravo, if it were.

Nice to see the old lady hasn't lost her touch.

*UPDATE 30 April 6:19pm MST: James Taranto on one Obama supporter's attempt to use Romney and Mormonism to obfuscate the Wright thing.

Uh, Melissa Harris-Lacewell*? Please do not try again.

*the name of the aforementioned Obama supporter.

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RD said...

Again, good analysis.

The most interesting thing to me is that over the past week, Wright hasn't really said anything new. We haven't been surprised by any of his comments, because we've already seen the footage of him saying the same things before. But, before, Obama didn't feel he needed to denounce Wright. In his race speech, Obama was very careful not to condemn Wright.

But today, Obama spoke in no uncertain terms, denouncing Wright. But Wright hasn't said anything new! Why the change in Obama's rhetoric? Politics. He saw the public anger over Wright, and so he knew he needed to change. In his speech today, Obama acts as if Wright's comments during the past week surprised him. Hogwash. There was nothing new, only Obama's rhetoric. Political posturing, indeed. Again, can someone tell me why this guy is different from other politicians?

Morgan said...

the daily show referred to this as the reverending story. made me chuckle.