Originally Obama supporters defended Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons, correctly in my mind, as taken out of context, but it seems like Wright has found fame and decided to enjoy all of his 15 minutes, even if it costs Barack Obama the presidency.
Today Rev. Wright gave a speech at the National Press Club. During the Q &A he was asked about his comment that Obama was only saying what politicians had to say. He replied, “What I mean is what several of my white friends and several of my white, Jewish friends have written me and said to me. They’ve said, “You’re a Christian. You understand forgiveness. We both know that, if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected. Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors. They have a different person to whom they’re accountable.”
This is a direct blow to the idea that Obama is a different kind of politician practicing a new kind of politics. When the man’s former pastor says don’t worry about it he is only being a politician, it doesn’t look good.
As if he hadn’t done enough damage to Obama, he later said, “And I said to Barack Obama, last year, “If you get elected, November the 5th, I’m coming after you, because you’ll be representing a government whose policies grind under people.” All right? It’s about policy, not the American people.”
What he is saying is that in his mind, Obama won’t be different than any other president. I guess this is the thanks Obama gets for trying to explain Wright’s views, and not abandoning him during his speech on race. Obama has been extremely compassionate towards his former pastor, but if he doesn’t take a stronger course of action, this issue could cost him the White House.
Rev. Wright is a private citizen who is free to say whatever he wants, but when he starts to damage the very theme that Obama’s entire presidential campaign is built on, then Obama must more forcefully distance himself from Wright.
The Rev. is out there fully enjoying his fifteen minutes, and hoping to extend it with a new book deal, but it is becoming clear that he doesn’t care about Obama or politics. He just wants to stay famous.
Full National Press Club Transcript: