How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually Hit Obama?

This is rather interesting. The common wisdom is (or at least was a week or two ago) that Barack Obama may have taken a serious long-term hit as a result of the controversy surrounding comments made in the past by his former preacher, Jeremiah Wright. On the basis of such a theory, one might have assumed that fewer Americans would indicate that they believe Obama shares their values. However a new poll from CBS News and The New York Times indicates that the opposite is the case. Here's Ben Smith:

This, from a CBS/NYT poll of 1368 registered voters (.pdf) out this evening, cuts across quite a bit of conventional wisdom, and seems to suggest that attacks which really centered on Obama's values and patriotism haven't, yet, cut.

Do you think [candidate] shares the values most Americans try to live by, or doesn't (s)he?

Obama 70%
McCain 66%
Clinton 60%

Their writeup:

The biggest gap between Obama and Clinton on this comes from Republicans. Most Republicans, 52%, think Obama shares America's values but far fewer, only 27%, think Clinton does. Independents and Democrats think they both do, but Obama fares better here, too, by 13 points. Republicans and Independents both think McCain shares America's values, and half of Democrats do.

Perhaps the Wright controversy has not yet seeped into the way Americans think of Obama or his values. However, this doesn't seem particularly likely, especially given the amount of coverage devoted to both Wright's comments and Obama's response, as well as the weeks of time Americans have had to ruminate on the coverage.

No, it seems that the American public has digested the Wright controversy and still come to the conclusion that Obama shares their values, despite the strident words used by some to excoriate him publicly, for the words of his preacher and for his own words in response. In short, the evidence to this point strongly suggest that Obama successfully weathered the storm that was the Wright controversy.

I think it's still well to early to assume that the story is completely behind him, that he handled it well enough last month that he will not be forced to handle it again in the future. Nevertheless, Obama did show an ability to take a punch -- and a hard one, at that -- yet stay on his feet and endure in his purpose. And if that's not the kind of quality one would like to see in the Democratic nominee, I'm not sure what would be.

Tags: Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright (all tags)

Comments

157 Comments

The key, IMO

Is for Obama to do whatever it takes to make these numbers stick, until the general election. Once we have a nominee (probably Obama), the Wright issue will come back in full force as the GOP tries to bring it back into the public consciousness.

by highgrade 2008-04-03 07:01PM | 0 recs
Absolutely

The media only let the speech be the end of it because Clinton's still in it.  If Obama secures the nomination, you can bet Wright, and others we probably haven't heard of, will be back in a flash so the media can return to their true love, John McCain.  Obama hasn't come close to surviving Wright, he's only delayed it.

by BDB 2008-04-03 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely

The Wright will kill Obama's chances argument is getting more and more complex, isn't it.

The fact is, all things being equal, the simplest solution is probably the correct one, and it seems that your argument is based, more and more, not on empirical considerations but on untestable ad hoc claims.

by shef 2008-04-03 10:02PM | 0 recs
Wright not a big deal.

Wright was quoted out of context and the body of his sermon was actually pretty reasonable and uncontroversial.  Check it out for yourself if you are skeptical.

Perhaps the public understands that Wright isn't a big deal and that this is just election season hype.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:15PM | 0 recs
My crystal ball says something

different.  

It's telling me that most people are like the people I know who don't give a flip about some fire and brimstone preacher's sermon.  Most think it's much ado about nothing.  If it hasn't diminished his support the first go round, it's unlikely to do so when dusted off in the fall.

by GFORD 2008-04-03 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely

Evidently people aren't reading the news. There's been several articles concerning Rev. Wright and the entire context of his sermons over these 30 years and not only that, about him being a patriotic American who did, in fact, serve our country in the military while many of these political notables received deferements or had strings pulled to stay away from battle.

Here's a quote from the Chicago Tribune yesterday to put into context:

For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation.

What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.

Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opini on/chi-oped0404wrightapr03,0,225570.stor y

And there have been others as well. So this so called 'political firestorm' that people seem to want to happen to Obama, may not, in fact, happen and if it does, then there's a growing understanding just how political operatives can take things out of context to build a phony story to oust there opposition, we call it now 'swift boating' and the press, country has learned how to handle it.

Rev. Wright served our country proudly, he quit college to do so, served more than one term, put his life on hold when many of those now condemning him took the softer easier route.

Swift boaters beware, the country is far smarter this time around to buy iton these sad, little political tactics and those engaing in them will be the ones going down, and they should.

by Wary 2008-04-04 02:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Absolutely

But I thought those networks were in the tank for Obama? Quick, tell Ed Rendell!

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The key, IMO

No doubt it'll come back. So far, Obama's been content to just let it fade away. But I think that as soon as it comes back, he'll be ready for it. In fact, I think he's gonna enjoy what he'll then be able to do.

He'll make sure that people have to listen to a lot more than just the little 30-second clips, putting it all in context.

He'll make sure we learn about all the GOOD things Wright and his church has done over the years ... in detail.

He'll make sure we hear from all the many, many other preachers who are standing by to proclaim what a good man Jeremiah Wright is. This includes the pastor at Clinton's former church, and many other... even Mike Huckabee.

And, if necessary, he'll force everyone to examine what the RIGHTWING's preachers of choice have had to say over the years.  Stuff that is FAR worse than anything Rev. Wright ever said.

by ratmach 2008-04-03 11:35PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I am hoping all the huffing and puffing over Wright will diminish the chances of McCain using against him in any substantial way. And given McCain's ties to his own brand of crazy religious folk, I don't think he is likely to go there. His surrogates, well , that's another matter.

by jwolf 2008-04-03 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

The whole wrigth thing is going to be a problem for Obama  in the general election ,especially in states like Ohio , Pennsylvania , Florida and Missouri .

He might yet overcome it in the general but I think the story line been weaved around him by the GOP would stop him in a general election.

Thats just my gut feeling.

There is a discrepancy in the poll , he has such high favorables compared to Mccain and Hillary Clinton yet he still can't pull away from Mccain , he is basically running on the same margins against Mccain as Hillary .

How do you explain that ?

If Hillary clinton / John Mccain had a Klansman as their spiritual adviser for 20 years ,do you think they would not have trouble being president.

They are going to go after his patriotism and it would be damaging to him in my opinion.

One poll doesn't tell the story.

If you look at the quinnipiac polls in oh , fl , pa head II head , the wright thing seems to be having an impact

by lori 2008-04-03 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

If anyone had a Klansman as their advisor, I hope they would not even be in the running. But that's FAR from an apt analogy.

by animated 2008-04-03 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Ohio is going to be tough for us regardless of who we nominate.  I bet McCain just parks his butt there and campaigns all fall.  Florida is probably a lost cause if Obama is the nominee but I am not worried about PA.  Both candidates have states they do better in than the other but you have to remember we are in the middle of a super heated primary campaign and I wouldn't put a ton of weight into GE polls atm.  If the polls start showing an overwhelming advantage for one or the other then we should start talking about this.  In the absence of that we are ignoring the months of outside events, campaigning, debates, and random luck that will have a massive impact on those numbers come November.

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

We can also dismiss this poll in that vein.

We can always speculate that by the time the republicans get done spinning and weaving the storyline they want the country would not think he shared their values.

Ohio would be much easier with Hillary Clinton.

She would win it in the general , Florida is also doable for her too.

by lori 2008-04-03 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

We can sit here all night and pick which states each candidate does better in, but in the end they both can win the necessary electoral votes.  I agree with the premise of this diary that the Wright stuff really didn't hurt Obama, but I agree with you about the GE polls posted in at as well.  Also, none of us know how things are going to change when we unite and start realizing how scary McCain is.

The Republicans will tar and feather whoever we put up, and I am not going to sit here and claim that my candidate Obama is 100% guaranteed to win, but neither is Clinton.  One thing I can predict, is that if we do not unite and fight back against the Republican smear machine either one of them will probably lose.  We are terrorist loving, socialist, baby killers remember?

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I forgot to add that I thought you were right about Florida.  Hillary is probably stronger there because she is viewed as their champion right now and the demographics match up well for her.  See, not all Obama supporters are so stubborn they won't admit that Hillary does better in some states than our candidate.

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Florida is VERY doable for Hillary.  Obama, I'm not so sure.
Those folks may see Hillary more palatable than Obama.

Hillary can beat McCain in the states that we need to win.
Obama, if really vetted by the Republicans, will be crushed.

by stefystef 2008-04-03 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

You start with a logical analysis of Florida and then you get all fortune teller on us with the rest.  Obama OR Hillary can beat McCain and probably will.  Why can't we just get to point where we admit both are good and then debate who is better on certain issues.  Or better yet, lets just let PA, Indiana, and NC make their decision and get this show on the road against McCain.

by Xris 2008-04-03 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Hillary needs to win Florida in the general. That much is true. Obama can afford to lose Florida because he will make up the electoral votes in states that Hillary can't.

They have different electoral maps.

by tessellated 2008-04-03 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I don't mean to be contentious, but I'd like to see those maps.  I want to see what states we gain to make up for the loss of Florida and perhaps Ohio.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-04-04 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Yeah, Proud Progressive Democrat, I was thinking the same thing, with over 14 million people in Florida, what states could Obama win that would make up a loss in Florida???  Montana?

I think that's wishful thinking on Obama followers part.  Ignore Florida now and they will ignore the DNC in November.  Florida is VERY important to the Democrats for getting back the White House.

by stefystef 2008-04-04 03:34AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

A) It's the EVs that are winner take all, not the popular vote

B) There is plenty of analysis out there showing that Obama's strength in VA, CO and other non-traditional purple states negates whatever problems he'd have in FL and OH.

C) John McCain is truly the worst candidate the GOP could have fielded this year, maybe with the exception of Fred Thompson. Bush won in 2004 through an amazing GOTV drive that negated a record-setting Dem GOTV. McCain won't get anything near that enthusiasm.

D) Only 18% of America is happy with the way things are going. McCain can have those. Few others will vote for more of the McSame.

E) McCain, one on one, is great. McCain, in front of a crowd, is as charismatic as a weeping blister.

F) For all the concern that Obama will be attacked with Wright -- have you noticed this primary that not a single real accusation left over from the Clinton era has resurfaced. No travelgate, whitewater, purjury, and all those other BS investigations? They're BS, just like the Wright stuff, but if you think because it hasn't come up yet, that it won't, you're enjoying the fine dining and hotel rooms of Cloud Cookoo Land.

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:11AM | 0 recs
I wish...

F) For all the concern that Obama will be attacked with Wright -- have you noticed this primary that not a single real accusation left over from the Clinton era has resurfaced. No travelgate, whitewater, purjury, and all those other BS investigations? They're BS, just like the Wright stuff, but if you think because it hasn't come up yet, that it won't, you're enjoying the fine dining and hotel rooms of Cloud Cookoo Land.

... I could recommend this.

by kraant 2008-04-04 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Hey, nothing contentious about asking, grassrootsorganizer. :)

MSNBC just the other day had a nice analysis on this. Basically, Obama makes up for FL by putting states like VA and CO in play.

Obama vs. McCain
Base Obama: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, NY, RI, VT, WA (168 electoral votes)
Lean Obama:  NJ, MN, OR, WI (42)
Toss-up: CO, IA, MI, MO, NV, NM, NH, OH, PA, VA (112)
Lean McCain: AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, MT, NC (81)
Base McCain: AL, AK, AZ, ID, IN, KS, KY, NE, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY (135)

Clinton vs. McCain
Base Clinton: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, RI, VT (172)
Lean Clinton: AR, MN, OR, WA, WI (44)
Toss-up: FL, IA, MI, NM, NH, OH, PA (101)
Lean McCain: CO, LA, MO, NV, VA (47)
Base McCain: AL, AK, AZ, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, MS, MT, NE, NC, ND, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV, WY (174)

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2 008/04/03/854183.aspx

by tessellated 2008-04-04 05:26AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Here's how he could do it:

Base Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico (which means he just needs to slightly out-perform Kerry in both).

A.  Win Virginia or Colorado and it's all over.

B.  Win Nevada and another small red state and it's likewise all over.  I'd give Obama a decent shot of winning Montana or any of the plains states.  I don't think a particular state needs to be named.  Obama could actually win with Kerry plus Nevada plus getting one of Nebraska's electoral votes.  

by telephasic 2008-04-04 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

How very wrong you are and continue to be.  But thanks for trying.

by yitbos96bb 2008-04-03 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Polls in April telling us who will win in November are nothing more than exercises in mental gymnastics.

There will be plenty of things between when Obama secures the nomination and the actual election that will drive this campaign more than Reverend Wright.  I see this tsk tsking as just the last gasp of Hillary supporters trying to flog a nearly dead horse.

by swarty 2008-04-04 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

This is too much.  Wright is a Klansman.  When you see Wright burning crosses in front of people yards or lynching white people let me know.  Geez.  

Do you realize that people are threatening to bomb this church and kill Wright?  

By the way, Billy Graham, Falwell, and Robertson have said similar crazy things and they've been invited to the WH on many occasions.  Somehow IOKIYAW b/c no one threatened their life or sends bomb threats to their church.  

by Hope08 2008-04-03 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Wright is a Klansman

- i didn't say that .

It might not be a full analogous situation , but this guy is clearly some form of separatist , I don't know how you can spew so much hatred in a church .

by lori 2008-04-03 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

From where I sit a lot of church leaders some crazy stuff.  But then again I do not go to church so I probably should not comment on such things.

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I advise you to read about Black separatism and read Wright's sermons and see if they are analogous.  I submit to you they are not.  If Wright was a separatist it would make no sense at all for him to be a pastor in a majority White denomination.  That's cognitive dissonance on the highest order.  

I found some things he said downright offensive and just wrong.  But I also found many things he's said and done inspiring and true.   I wonder if most Americans could say that about their religious leaders???  Building a ministry to educate the young, feed the hungry and take care of those sick with HIV/AIDS which is devastating the community in Chicago, I wish more clergymen got that involved.

by Hope08 2008-04-03 07:45PM | 0 recs
lori isn't interested in relinquishing

her talking points. Reading up on this stuff and listening to the sermons in their entirety would require her to reexamine her rhetoric if she were honest. I think it's safe to say she'll never do it.

by Bee 2008-04-03 07:51PM | 0 recs
i strongly disagree

lori and i dont agree on much, but i have repeatedly seen her (i think its a her) amend her views based on new information and be infinately reasonable.

she is no areyouready.....

by omar little 2008-04-03 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: i strongly disagree

From my short time here she/he seems pretty open to conversation.  I don't agree with his/her most of the time, but I actually look for her/his posts to hear what she/he has to say.

by Xris 2008-04-03 08:19PM | 0 recs
lori love party..

word.

by omar little 2008-04-03 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: lori isn't interested in relinquishing

Understand that any time that a commenter uses "spew" and "Wright" in the same post, it's probably time to stop reading and move on.

by zadura 2008-04-03 08:18PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

"If Wright was a separatist it would make no sense at all for him to be a pastor in a majority White denomination."

People are going to call Wright a separatist because he's black, he has a predominantly black church, and he's pro-black self-empowerment.  That's too many things "blacks" for simple minds to process.  They can't possibly analyze what Wright was really saying and what the United Church of Christ is really about.  As Wolf Blitzer said about the Hurricane Katrina victims, Wright's "so very black."

by happycozy 2008-04-03 11:15PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H
I think you underestimate people. Maybe there's some subtle policy nuances that not all people really get, but bluster ain't one of them. When we see preachers come out of the woodwork (respected ones) to defend their fellow pastor against a continuous avalanche of attacks, people will get that.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Have you ever listened to a whole sermon by him? Or are you just basing your opinion on a few lines out of 20 years of preaching? Obviously, the guy was controversial and said some things I don't agree with, but he was definitely not "preaching hate" in Obama's church for 20 years.

by animated 2008-04-03 07:46PM | 0 recs
You clearly haven't been to any

  Southern Baptist churches lately, lori. I've heard  worse than this at sunday school.

by Kordo 2008-04-04 12:38AM | 0 recs
Re: You clearly haven't been to any

I am a black woman born and raised in the north yesterday I was speaking with an aquaintance,a white woman born and raised in the south. While she would more than likely would be described as a "latte drinking liberal" she was amused at what she was the reaction of people she assumed had to be (white)northerners because Wright sounded like every preacher black and white in tone if not completely in content that she heard growing up in Mississippi.

by Ida B 2008-04-04 01:08AM | 0 recs
NC White Baptitst Church Last Year

We heard some craaaaazy nasty stuff.

This nonsense makes Hillary sound like an elitist Ivy League carpetbagger

by bernardpliers 2008-04-04 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Yeah, a separatist Vietnam volunteer who works in his community. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if these posts are written by some kind of "accusation randomizer" that takes scary dog whistles and mushes them together for easy comments postings.

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:13AM | 0 recs
It does't matter if Wright is or isnt

a black 'klansman' what matters is that some people think he is much in the same way it doesn't matter if he is a Muslim if he is thought to be. For some people Wright may have changed who they will support in the GE. And IMHO for some it is a ticket out...now they have a good reason to not support BHO if indeed he is the nominee.

by Ida B 2008-04-03 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: It does't matter if Wright is or isnt

Your point?

by recusancy 2008-04-03 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: It does't matter if Wright is or isnt

Point is that I believe that there are people who can't articulate a reason for being unwilling to vote for BHO this gives them one. I dont believe many people pick who they will vote based only on the issues. IMHO it would be easier to cop to "I just dont like him" in an election with two white men,no accusations of sexism or racism.

by Ida B 2008-04-04 01:22AM | 0 recs
Re: It does't matter if Wright is or isnt

People who think that way were unlikely to support Obama to begin with. Why should we reward voters like that?

by tessellated 2008-04-03 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: It does't matter if Wright is or isnt

Some people think Hillary killed Vince Foster. When the media attacked her and Bill, we all stepped up. When the NYT attacked McCain (justifiably) all the righties stepped up. When the media attacks a patriot like Wright and tries to smear a noble man like Obama (no matter your opinion of his policies, he's a good person), 1/2 the democrats did their part to spread it.

The only thing about the Wright debacle that concerns me is the increased desire of folks here to exploit it. Regardless of the veracity of the accusations.

Shamefull, really.

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:16AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Yeah... but you're making sense. This is all about finally finding something to hang around Obama's neck. It plays into white paranoia and his opponents are using it with glee. It's all under the guise of concern for how the Republicans will use it, but it's really about taking the Golden Boy down a notch. He screwed everything up and now he has to pay.  How maddening it must be that it's not working.

by mikeinsf 2008-04-03 10:06PM | 0 recs
Wingnut preachers don't get threatened.

That's because all the knuckle draggers are on their side.  

by GFORD 2008-04-03 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H
I have read your posts before, you seem intelligent and well-spoken.  Riddle me this - how can you call Wright a closet racist after seeing sound bites of 4 sermons he gave over the course of 30 years?  How?   Your talking thousands of speeches ... and you make an assumption on 4 snippets of sermons he gives.  Man - if my friends judged me on all the stupid shit I have said over the years - I would be one lonely cat.   I think we all would.  
I just think people are looking to tear Obama down, and they will not rest until he is looked like a marginal, racist AA, when instead - we should celebrate HIM as a great American success story, regardless of your candidate preference.  
by stryan 2008-04-03 09:13PM | 0 recs
I guess you are talking about the bible belt.

They hate liberals there, they think Democrats are socialists and baby killers.  How could one loud-mouthed preacher hurt our chances with those people?

by GFORD 2008-04-03 10:28PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Wright is the equivalent of a klansman?  Oh please, that is absurd.

If you are going to spout such things, why don't you back them up.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:16PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Reverend Wright is nothing like a Klansman. That's ridiculous.

by vadasz 2008-04-04 12:07AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Lori, if you are reading this, I hope that you find this thread instructive.

Clearly I don't think you equate Reverend Wright with the KKK.

But you wrote something very poorly and people are now hammering you for it, and rightfully so.  Seems like (in a small way)  what happened to Reverend Wright.  

It's not too fun having a lifetime of your posting ignored because you wrote something stupid.

Time to drop the Wright stuff and move on. The country seems to have.

by swarty 2008-04-04 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Other polls have suggested that this is mainly due to people perceiving Obama Obama as inexperienced.  Swing voters like him, and like his character, but aren't yet fully sold he has the chops to be president vis a vis McCain.  

Obama's strategy therefore is twofold.

1.  Show why he does have the experience to be president (which he has been convincing a plurality of in the primaries.

2.  Drive up McCain's negatives (which should be easy, as he actually isn't a very likable person, also has no executive experience, and has nothing worthwhile to say on economic issues).  

by telephasic 2008-04-04 05:24AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

The gap between this question and how people would vote between McCain and Obama is likely related to other issues- most notably experience and national security.

My gut tells me that the economy will be issue #1 and Obama will win hands down on that. On National Security we are going to bombard McCain with his flippant comments about Iraq, and Iran... and that is going to be the end of him on National Security.

Once you kill him on those two issues his experience argument will ring hollow and Obama will be able to pull away.

by JDF 2008-04-04 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I wonder what the effect would be if Democratic 527s just matched the Repub ads 2 for 1 with clips of Haggee, Parsley and other right-wing crazies preaching their hate. In the MSM, there seems to be a reluctance to go after McCain on his religious associations, but in terms of ads, the sky's the limit.

by animated 2008-04-03 07:15PM | 0 recs
IMO

I'm realizing that Americans are pretty stubborn.  They believe what they want to believe for good and for bad.    They want to believe his story because his story is a good one about America's potential.  Obama is always going to be the inexperienced uniter.  His hurdle is proving he's up to the job.  He'll always have to look on top of things b/c if he doesn't it'll kill him.  When Hillary made the mistake about the Russian president's name, no one cared b/c we think Hillary knows these things.  When she lied about sniper fire, it hurt her b/c of we think we can't trust her.

We'll never be able to take away McCain's hero status or his experience.  We have to hit him on being apart of the past (too old) and Bush III (100 year war).

by Hope08 2008-04-03 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: IMO

I don't think "God Damn America" is as taboo as it might have been decades ago.  We, as a country, are finally facing up to some of our collective demons.   Being able to admit we were wrong is a positve.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:19PM | 0 recs
Re: IMO
I don't know about that, but I think I agree with your major point, that Obama can turn this into a dialogue about the influence of America on the world (especially the Middle East) and beat McCain's foreign policy stance pretty handily.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:04AM | 0 recs
Obama hasn't taken any "punches"...

...the CW is that the MSM has been treating him with kid gloves since day one. And, I'd definitely agree with that.

Your diary is very much in line with this sense put forth by the MSM to its broader audience, as well.

In fact, as long as you don't take into account the $200 million the Rethugs will spend between Labor Day and Election Day (and you do not take this into account at all) making certain the Wright matter is top-of-mind for every voter, housepet, and National Enquirer reader (housepets are too intelligent to read the Enquirer) in the U.S., your diary makes total sense.

But, to put forth the notion that this won't be front and center during the GE is sheer denial.

Does that mean Hillary, if she somehow miraculously were to obtain the nomination, wouldn't face a similar plight? Of course not. It'd probably be just as bad, if not worse. But, she's been there. She's done that. She's taken tons of punches. (If any folks state that HRC has had an easy time with the media, they know they're in the minority.)

But knowing that Hillary would be victimized by an even worse assault if she's our nominee does not validate your comments here, at all.

IMHO, this diary is wishful thinking. Very wishful thinking. In the real world, in U.S. presidential politics, this simply ain't gonna' happen--people aren't just going to miraculously "forget" about Wright if Obama's the nominee. The GOP will make certain that I'm right.

It's regrettable. And, I'll be voting for Obama if he does get the nomination. But, 527 money and Republican contributions dictate that your diary is way off the mark.

by bobswern 2008-04-03 07:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama hasn't taken any "punches"...

Last I checked the Rethugs are having financial probs and having trouble raising money.

McCain's fundraising thus far has paled in comparison to Hillary as well as Obama.

by mikelewis68 2008-04-03 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama hasn't taken any "punches"...

You can't SERIOUSLY say with a straight face that Obama hasn't taken any punches.  I'll grant you that this will return, but he took some HUGE punches and handled it nicely.  And he has shown he can handle a swiftboat attack and won't just sit there and take it like Kerry did.  

by yitbos96bb 2008-04-03 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama hasn't taken any "punches"...

Yet again, you are equating political analysis with your own misty-eyed daydreams of Obama imploding so Hillary can get the nod.

If wishes were horses, beggers would ride. But I think those riding beggers would still look at the Wright thing and go "ho hum."

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

It's already out there.  Any attempt to bring it back up will be a rehash and less likely to have a real impact.

by lockewasright 2008-04-03 07:18PM | 0 recs
CBS and Rasmussen

Rasmussen's tracking poll would indicate the Wright affair was a turning point.  My take after a quick read of this poll (CBS/NYT usually is the most favorable to Democrats) is:

1.  The economy is keeping Clinton alive for both the nomination and the general election.

2.  While Obama may have recovered from the Wright affair, there may still be some nagging doubts about him.

I would think BHO's lead in a CBS poll would be about 10% over McCain.  It isn't.

by mikelow1885 2008-04-03 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: CBS and Rasmussen

His lead isn't big enough? Hmm.. That's one way to spin it. So is Hillary's lead big enough?

by brimur 2008-04-03 07:34PM | 0 recs
I think Obama's speech on race

quelled the potential storm.

I know it did with my ultra conservative step-grandfather, who, before he saw (and later read) the speech, said that Obama didn't deserve to be the Democratic nominee of any office because Wright was his pastor.

After seeing and reading the speech, he changed his rhetoric dramatically.  He now says he can't support Obama because, even though he's a great orator, he doesn't have any breadth (whatever that means).

Also, he no longer believes Obama is a Muslim.

Now, there's no way in hell he'd ever vote for a Democrat.  But, for him to change his views about Obama so dramatically in such a short period of time....

Speaks volumes for Obama's ability to communicate to the public.

by LawStudent 2008-04-03 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Obama's speech on race
Seems like there's a divide here between people who have loved ones who they love and respect despite their misguided beliefs and people who don't. Maybe I'm just imagining it.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I will say it again . . . McCain is NOT Ghandi.

MoveOn.org is going to destroy him, and Obama will stay clean . . . and WIN!!

by Veteran75 2008-04-03 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

The Republicans are ready for MoveOn.org...and they aren't as powerful as their hype would like you to believe.

by stefystef 2008-04-03 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Moveon isnt the only one out there...  The 527s are going to get nasty.  I am getting the urge to make my own McCain video and I would encourage everyone to do one and post on Youtube.... I was thinking a montage to War Pigs myself... With McCains words filling in the instrumental.  Whatever the 527s do, every dem one needs to end with "Four more years?"  and a picture of the Bush and McCain hug.

by yitbos96bb 2008-04-03 07:59PM | 0 recs
Not Hard At All

The only ones offended were the jingonistic Far Right, and they don't vote Democratic (except when HeadRush gives them marching orders to vote for Hillary).

by Lefty Coaster 2008-04-03 07:25PM | 0 recs
So far there has not been...

... a serious attempt to hurt Obama by going after his relationship with Reverend Wright. The news media has reported on it but they are by and large friendly to Obama. Senator Clinton has said very little about Wright.

This will all change if Obama gets the nomination. The Republicans will come after him and come after him hard. Reverend Wright's statements, and Obama's 20 year relationship with Wright, will be used to call into question Obama's patriotism. This will happen.

In response to the Reverend Wright flap, Obama gave a speech about racism. He should have given a speech about patriotism.

by sinjin777 2008-04-03 07:30PM | 0 recs
Re: So far there has not been...

I enjoy how you say what Obama "should have" done, when what HE ACTUALLY DID seemed to work fine.

by sorrodos 2008-04-03 07:51PM | 0 recs
Reread my comment

If you still don't get it, reread it again until you do.

by sinjin777 2008-04-03 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Reread my comment

No, I get it.  Its just a stupid point.

You're saying, he should have done something else to respond to the Wright flap.

I'm saying that apparently he didn't need to because he's still fine.

If he had just thrown Wright under the bus and focused on the patriotism issue instead of the race issue, he would have lost support among his strongest constituency.  I can see why you would have preferred him to respond otherwise now though, since I have looked through our previous comments and see you are a Clinton supporter.

by sorrodos 2008-04-03 10:42PM | 0 recs
Apparently I have to help...

... you out.

Obama's problem with Wright isn't racism, it is patriotism. Racists are never going to vote for Obama. The vulnerability that Obama has with what Wright said is that it was anti-American. If Obama comes across as a lukewarm patriot he is done. That might be acceptable as an ordinary citizen but it is not acceptable in a President.

by sinjin777 2008-04-04 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Apparently I have to help...

No, you don't have to help me, I get what you have been saying all along.  I just disagree w/ your concern trolling.

Additionally, way to be condescending, I hope it makes you feel intelligent.

The words of Wright are out there already.  The public has heard them.  Yeah, the Republicans may bring it up again, but most of the damage is done.  People have heard the sound bites from 2 lines of Wrights 20 years of sermons, and Obama hasn't suffered much as a result.  

But hey, if you want to keep up w/ your concern troll role, go for it... thats your choice.

by sorrodos 2008-04-04 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: So far there has not been...

Yep, because the playbook says the way you respond to right-wing accusations of patriotism is by wrapping yourself in a flag and singing the national anthem. And the way you respond to criticism that you are associated with a black pastor with controversial views is to throw him under a bus and dismiss any suggestion that there is a race problem in this country.

And when they question your commitment to religion, you support some abstinence-only education. And when they question your support of the military then you sign them a blank check. And, of course, if they argue that you're soft on terrorism, then it's time to pick a country at random and start bombing some brown people.

Basically, the playbook says that in order to beat Republicans you have to become one.

And that is the playbook which, without fail, can win 46% of the vote in any presidential election.

Hey, just spitballin' here, but maybe we should try a different playbook?

by Brannon 2008-04-03 08:13PM | 0 recs
Lots of Strawmen in that comment

And if you recall, the Democrat actually got the most votes in 3 out of the last 4 Presidential elections.

by sinjin777 2008-04-03 08:35PM | 0 recs
That pretty much sums up the DLC

strategy for losing elections in a nutshell.

Howard Dean has my gratitude for showing us there is a better way.  And Obama for show us how it works.

by GFORD 2008-04-03 10:39PM | 0 recs
Too Early For A Patriotism Speech
That comes later. Are you kidding? You don't shove that out there now. That is the kind of thing that is the centerpiece of a campaign. Time it well, and it will weather any/all damage from this kind of thing.
by vcalzone 2008-04-03 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: So far there has not been...

See, I read this and hear:

"Instead of Obama confronting the issue head-on, and acknowledging the real issues behind the sermon quotes and the reactions to them (and thus treating the American public like adults) he should have tossed out some "America! Fuck Yeah!" bromides, thrown a good man under the bus for the purpose of political expediancy, and treated the voters like immature morons.

After decades of the latter, I'm ready to see what America does with the former.

And frankly, it does make sense that Clinton supporters would rather see political triangulation than any sort of political discourse. It is what has worked for the Clintons. And the Bushes.

But has it worked for America? I'd say no, and welcome the chance for something new.

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:22AM | 0 recs
It seems to me...

... you are welcoming the chance to lose another election to the Republicans.

by sinjin777 2008-04-04 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: It seems to me...

Because triangulating has been so effective for the Democrats in the last decade!  We need to keep following the advice of the DLC!

by sorrodos 2008-04-04 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: It seems to me...

True nuff.

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 07:54AM | 0 recs
The hit hasn't come yet

Obama gave a brilliantly crafted speech, and the media openly stated that it would end Hillary's campaign if she let out a peep.  The left wing of our party had a group hug, and it was all cool.

But you haven't yet seen what this will be like when someone actually tries to hit him with it.  His pillow-fight primary with Hillary, which he has complained about being too hard and too long, is a love-tap compared to what's coming.

I happen to give him better odds than most Clinton supporters do.  I'm on record saying both are viable candidates.  But I'm also saying this: lull yourself into a sense of false security at your own peril.  GOP does not play nice, and they aren't fettered by the same restrictions that a Democratic opponent is during the primary.

by bobbank 2008-04-03 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The hit hasn't come yet

And we'll be ready this time. None of us are going to let swift boat happen again. It'll help that we'll have more than 4 times the money they will.

by brimur 2008-04-03 07:36PM | 0 recs
Re: The hit hasn't come yet

"It'll help that we'll have more than 4 times the money they will."

A fair response.

by bobbank 2008-04-03 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The hit hasn't come yet

Something else to consider, Bob. Democrats were unprepared for the swift boating of John Kerry. I think it caught people off guard. Attacks on his military career were completely counter to the logic of his nomination: his military credentials were supposed to be iron clad.

Now we know to expect attacks against a candidate's strength. Not only that we know exactly what form those attacks are going to take. And not only do engaged Democrats know, but so do many more less politically engaged Americans. That means two things: 1) our counter punches are ready and waiting and 2) the public is somewhat inoculated because the "surprise" "breaking news" spin of the story has already been spent.

by tessellated 2008-04-03 08:19PM | 0 recs
I agree

We have JedReport and if we can form a 527 against McCain we can blow him out of the water.

by regina1983 2008-04-03 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The hit hasn't come yet

I think you should consider that the new tone HRC supporters like to mock so much, really makes a difference in these situations.  Obama acts to quell  an attack, and the manner in which he does it really matters.  Journalists are easy on him becausee his interactions with them are calm, thoughtful and reasonable.  He's a past master at taking the heat out of a situation, and is only going to get better at it.  Contrast that with the Tuzla fiasco ...

by interestedbystander 2008-04-03 11:45PM | 0 recs
this poll

I have a tough time believing this poll.

It could be the "bradley effect" here...but every 2nd person I talk to is turned off by Obama specially after the Wright episode.

Well, let's wait and see.. what happens at the polls.

by loser 2008-04-03 07:41PM | 0 recs
Re: this poll

About people being turned off by Obama because of Rev Wright, I have to say the same thing.  Many of my colleagues and friends were not only disturbed by Wright's rants, but they were concerned about seeing the "real" Obama.

by stefystef 2008-04-03 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: this poll

All of the polls have proven otherwise. This isn't the first poll post Rev. Wright. Yes, there are people turned off but it's not a huge number.

by regina1983 2008-04-03 08:21PM | 0 recs
GE Polls in early April mean nothing.

Absolutely nothing. Truly.

As Bill Clinton reminded everyone just a few days ago, in 1992 he was in third place in all of the polls at this point in the calendar, in a three-way race with Perot and George Bush, Sr.

We have 7 months until the GE...a veritable eternity as far as political races are concerned.

by bobswern 2008-04-03 08:17PM | 0 recs
NYTimes sees things a little different...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/04/us/pol itics/04campaign.html?ex=1364961600& en=b121e08ffdcfbb54&ei=5124&part ner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Perhaps Obama's Magical Mystery Tour is losing steam... You can't stay on top forever.  That's why Obama and his cronies have spent time trying to get the little girl (or whore according to Randi Rhodes) to drop out.

But she's got too much support out there to just give up.  Hillary is the kind of fighter, the kind of leader, the kind of President we need in American NOW!

Hillary '08

by stefystef 2008-04-03 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: NYTimes sees things a little different...

or we could step back from our cheering sections and just agree to support whoever wins.  Its getting too late in the game to still be kicking each other in the face over every little thing that goes on in the campaign.

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: NYTimes sees things a little different...

Of those respondents who said they had heard about the controversy involving Mr. Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., 36 percent of the general electorate said it made them look less favorably on Mr. Obama. Sixty-two percent said it made no difference. And 77 percent of Democrats said the episode had not affected their view of Mr. Obama.

That survey reinforces what this diary says!

by vcalzone 2008-04-03 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

The poll also said that his support is softening. Last month in this same poll it was 54/38. He has lost some male voters and some white voters according to NY Times.

by LadyEagle 2008-04-03 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Well, McCain's support comes from somewhere. Obama hasn't regained his old lead, but that lead was quite formidable. McCain clinched the nomination, Obama&Clinton are still slogging it out, so people are moving towards McCain. Ya surprised?

by vcalzone 2008-04-03 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Not really. And as long as each sides supporters keep ratcheting up the rhetoric and the disrespect the better McCain will do in the fall. Some wounds will be extremely hard to heal.

by LadyEagle 2008-04-04 05:29AM | 0 recs
Wishing...

... doesn't make it so.

The Republicans haven't had their chance to pound this over and over again. While it did get a huge amount of coverage, it was generally done in the context of a news media that is generally favorable to Obama and which swooned and fawned over his speech. Also, neither Clinton nor McCain pressed the issue.

It will be treated much, much differently by the Republicans in the summer and fall. Lee Atwater and Karl Rove would be ashamed if they didn't.

by OrangeFur 2008-04-03 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Wishing...

Maybe. Given that McCain's evangelical surrogate literally called the Catholic Church "the Great Whore," I think the Republicans probably don't want to get into much of a pissing match over whose preachers are more offensive than whose. If Catholics were to get angry and break towards Obama this election would be SO over.

Maybe we should make a YouTube of that with Spanish translation subtitles and pass it around the Latino community. I bet it would go over real well with them.

by tjekanefir 2008-04-03 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Wishing...

 Right back at you.  As much as you wish the scandal had hurt Obama, it did not turn out badly.  

Anyway:

HUFF PUFF!  SNIPERGATE!  HUFF PUFF!  UNELECTABLE!  

by cilerder86 2008-04-03 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Wishing...

So let me get this straight... in the last couple weeks, the Wright story is at the top of the headlines in the media.  Coincidentally, the battle for PA really gets going about the same time.

The story supposedly "hits him hard", because obviously this one poll is just plain wrong... yet somehow he pushes the state to a statistical tie and then once again takes the lead in national polling for the Democratic nomination.

If this is a "bad thing" for Obama, I will eagerly await the "good things" that will happen.

by sorrodos 2008-04-03 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Wishing...

The more context you give the Wright quotes, the more reasonable they become.  The jist of the sermon is that racism is still a problem in this country, no matter how hard we pat ourselves on the back.  I think few would disagree with the parts of that sermon not shown on TV.

By focusing on Wright, the pubs risk making him a sympathetic and influential character, because his message is actually pretty on the money.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Wishing...
And the more they do it, the more likely it is that they will turn off and anger the pastors that are their bread & butter. Dobson is pissed off at McCain already, you think he's going to stand for them pounding on a fellow preacher over and over as well?
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:11AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Unlike the 20 directs lies, flip-flops, and misstatements McCain has personally made, Obama has never said anything resembling what Wright said. So bring it on - this is a new age. YouTube and 2,000,000 diehard Obama supporters will make McCain hurt.

McNice versus McBush

McNice: Open to fair resolution to Immigration problem.
McBush: Sounds more hawkish on immigration than ever

McNice: Fought against Bush tax cuts - especially during War time.
McBush: Now Bush tax cuts are the lynchpin of his "economic" plan.

McNice: Fought against torture because it led to fake confessions like it did in his case in Vietnam.
McBush: Changed his stance on torture to allow the CIA to torture.

Other Favorite Hits (there are videos on all of these)

"Bomb, bomb, bomb...bomb, bomb --- Iran.."

The man has War in his DNA.

"100 Years War"

Let's keep our army everywhere we go. Like we have quadrillions of dollars to spend. I bet those bases look great...like the billion dollar embassy we are building in Iraq.

"Al-Qaeda is training in Iran and going back into Iraq."

Out top foreign candidate thinks that Shia and Sunni are working together? I am so glad a Democrat (?), Lieberman, was there to correct him.

"We shouldn't bomb Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda."

McCain made fun of Obama in a 2007 debate and then Bush did the exact same thing Obama suggested we do. We flew drone led missions into Pakistan and killed several top Al-Qaeda operatives because Pakistan was too busy with internal strife to care about our little "war on terror."

And my favorite of all time...

"I don't know much about the economy..."

Should be fun!

Let's unite...let's get this started now so we have time to turn the tide against Wright-based attacks.

Obama + Clinton Supporters = Unstoppable!

by comingawakening 2008-04-03 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I am all for taking the fight to McCain.  I welcome the millions of energized and passionate Clinton supporters on my side in the fight.  Unfortunately everyone will start agreeing on here and I will have to find a conservative blog so I can piss them off:)

by Xris 2008-04-03 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy

Add 81% of the country thinks were on the wrong track!!!  If the Dems can pull this one out, we really need to think things over.

by chewie5656 2008-04-04 05:14AM | 0 recs
This question tells you nothing about Wright

"On the basis of such a theory, one might have assumed that fewer Americans would indicate that they believe Obama shares their values. However a new poll from CBS News and The New York Times indicates that the opposite is the case." Here's Ben Smith:

This, from a CBS/NYT poll of 1368 registered voters (.pdf) out this evening, cuts across quite a bit of conventional wisdom, and seems to suggest that attacks which really centered on Obama's values and patriotism haven't, yet, cut.

Do you think [candidate] shares the values most Americans try to live by, or doesn't (s)he?

Obama 70%
McCain 66%
Clinton 60%

Their writeup:

The biggest gap between Obama and Clinton on this comes from Republicans. Most Republicans, 52%, think Obama shares America's values but far fewer, only 27%, think Clinton does. Independents and Democrats think they both do, but Obama fares better here, too, by 13 points. Republicans and Independents both think McCain shares America's values, and half of Democrats do."

I am not even going to do an analysis....This is frail reed.  There is nothing in this question that would inherently bear on Wright.

This is a silly assumption....that this question has to do with Wright.

Simple   really.....

You want to know about Wright..ask about Wright or race or patriotism.....

by debcoop 2008-04-03 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: This question tells you nothing about Wright
And yet, if Obama did badly on the subject, it would be directly attributed to Wright. You don't have to bother denying it, I already know you do.
by vcalzone 2008-04-03 08:19PM | 0 recs
Reiterate the question proves nothing about Wright

by debcoop 2008-04-04 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

I have long (as in long before the Wright hoopla) thought that America was just about sick and tired of being manipulated on the basis of race, and that Obama may be one of those classic "man for his time" chaps.

Yeah, he's a man, and a chap, and that totally sucks for women's equality. In the absence of Obama, it would clearly have been Hillary's time, and it would have been a profoundly good thing for America to have chosen a woman for President. She would be a good President.

Thing is, I thought Obama was the Right Person at the Right Time before race became a central issue. I guess it was inevitable that it would become one, and he has confronted it well so far, but these issues of sex and race, important as they are, have been subsumed by the greater issue of what kind of people we intend to be as a nation. Like it or not, we've defined ourselves as Bush people. I don't think we're proud of that, and I think we want to turn it around.

I don't think that anyone doubts that Hillary Clinton would be a scrappier counterpoint to the horrendous right-wing attack machine that has come to dominate American politics. She can take a punch, and give as good as she gets. However, it seems to me that what resonates most about Obama's message is the notion that an escalating tit-for-tat is a poor way to seek victory, much less greatness, much less happiness.

Obama has been nothing if not consistent in his argument in favor of honoring points of view with which he does not agree. This explains the seeming paradox of his "liberal" voting record, contrasted with his apparent willingness to accept conservative issue frames. It explains his acceptance of Dr Wright's impolitic language, and it explains his favorability among moderate Republicans and Independents. On the down side, it also explains his weakness among strongly partisan Democrats. I'll admit that I, for one, would enjoy a satisfying tat or two delivered to the noggins of a few (no, many) Republican tits. However, Obama speaks to something better in me, and, apparently, to many others as well.

by Ddeele 2008-04-03 07:58PM | 0 recs
I remember

Another guy who ran as "a uniter not a divider" and actually made it seem that way through a lot of the campaign.

That other guy turned out not to be a  uniter at all.  As for this guy--well, the jury's still out, that I'll admit, but so far if he is more of a uniter than that other guy, I'm not really picking it up.  I mean, Bill and Hillary Clinton have survived plenty of contested Democratic primaries over the years without fracturing the Party, or the Arkansas version of the Party while Bill was winning five governorships.  The new fella is seeing it happen the very first contested primary of his political career.

Coincidence?  

Coincidence that his opponent's negatives are higher than they were when Ken Starr was spending millions to investigate her and a cottage industry of Clinton-hating cable TV personalities was helping to boost the economy?

Yes, there's something better in you that his words evoke.  But that thing the words evoke--is that really what Obama is bringing?  

What do the results tell you?  Is there really any evidence at all that Obama unites?   Who did he unite before he got into this fractious primary?

I don't feel all that reached out to, personally.  I feel kind of brutalized, something I've never felt in the many primary campaigns I've followed.  Why am I feeling this feeling I haven't felt before?  Is it that better thing that made me feel this way?

by Trickster 2008-04-03 09:43PM | 0 recs
Re: I remember

Well, I'm not a good judge of your comparison between Bush and Obama. I'm a Texas Democrat, so I never bought that "uniter-not-a-divider" schtick. I hated Bush when hating Bush wasn't cool.

As for fracturing the party, I'm not sure I follow you. Of course he has fought hard for the nomination. So has Hillary. If you're referring to FL and MI, the decision to freeze out those delegations was made when Hillary was still the presumptive favorite. It's true that he hasn't done anything to encourage revotes (that might disadvantage him), but he has not had to contest them, either. Those two states have managed their own self-defeating paralysis without his help.

Hillary's negatives also seem to be thriving without a huge effort on his part. If you're saying that Obama has been able to drive HC's negatives higher than Ken Starr (and the media) did in the nineties, without leaving any fingerprints, I'd say dang!

Seriously, I'm not aware of anything that either one of them has said that goes beyond what could be expected in a hot primary fight. If you disagree, I'm not immune to persuasion, if you can make a legitimate case.

The results so far tell me that Obama is leading in every legitimate metric by which a primary can be judged, except for Superdelegates, and he is catching up there.

Who did he unite? I find it interesting that the overwhelming majority of Obama's current popular vote lead came from his home base of Cook County. If he's not to be trusted, you'd think those folks would know.

It is genuinely distressing to me that you feel brutalized. I'm keenly aware that some people on my side of this argument have said unconscionable things. I don't excuse them. By the same light, I don't blame Clinton for the excesses of her supporters. If she finds a way to win this thing, I'll put a sign in my yard, and drag my friends to the polls to vote for her.

I don't think that will happen, and I'll be happier if it doesn't, but whatever happens, I hope we'll be on the same side in November.

by Ddeele 2008-04-03 10:38PM | 0 recs
Re: I remember

trickster:  Sorry but you are full of it. You need to work on your "reverser psychology" tactic. It's a little too obvious.

Maybe there is no coincidence at all. Maybe people - like me for instance - are tired of the holier than thou attitude of the Clintons. Maybe they now know they are liars and will do anything to win at any costs.

There are no coincidences in politics. The Clintons and their "Kitchen Sink" have been exposed for what they truly are...Randi Rhodes was right - the poor martyr.

by comingawakening 2008-04-03 11:25PM | 0 recs
Re: I remember

A key difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush labeled himself a 'Uniter' without empirical evidence to back it up, whereas the public has labled Obama as a uniter, based on his words and actions.

Don't tell me you can't see the difference.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:40PM | 0 recs
Re: I remember
If her negatives are higher, a big part of that has to be that people aren't looking at her as Bill's wife, they're looking at her as an independent, serious candidate. I don't think Obama is responsible for dividing the Democratic party. I know I certainly haven't seen people that suddenly changed their minds about Hillary.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I remember

Can we please stop comparing Obama to Bush?  Really?  Is there absolutely anything that Obama has done or said that makes you believe that he is anything in comparison to Bush?

Gimme a break.

by chewie5656 2008-04-04 05:18AM | 0 recs
How Hard Did the Wright

This notion is a based on nothing but anecdotal evidence.
That being said I wouldn't underestimate the importance of his not giving up his friend and minister. I think for some people that  it was a positive that he distanced himself from Wright's words not from Wright.

Being a stand-up guy is very important,not dumping Wright over the side even though it would have been expedient not "acting like a politician" may have resonated with people.

by Ida B 2008-04-03 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright
You are 100% right. People dislike Democrats by nature because so many of them *cough*DLC*cough* vacillate and try to pander. "Flip-flopper" had nothing to do with the issues and everything to do with Kerry's character. Americans like strength and courage. Why do you think Karl Rove's winning strategy for Bush involved never backing down or admitting when he was wrong? Admittedly, Bush's policies eventually got the better of him, but if they hadn't, he'd still have great likability ratings.
by vcalzone 2008-04-03 08:23PM | 0 recs
What gets me, though

Is that Obama has actually dumped him and dumped on him pretty much every way possible while still hanging on to a slender little thread of "I'm not renouncing him personally."  Is there a more generous interpretation than to interpret his statement or statements to that effect as something he said precisely so he would get credit for "standing by" Wright?

But how has he stood by him really?  He's had all kinds of nasty adjectives for Wright's pronouncements--without ever using any formulation more specific than "the controversial ones," or something like that, to describe which ones he's talking about.  He's denied ever reading the church bulletins Wright put out.  He's said that he would've quit the church when he started running for President unless Wright either quit or renounced his statements.  He hasn't gone back to that church or said that he ever will, and I haven't heard anything about his family having attended recently, either, which I have a slight inclination to think would be mentioned in the news if it happened.  I mean, what is there other than the statement "I'm not renouncing him" that differentiates Obama's position from the position of someone who left the church and cut Wright off stone cold, at least publicly?

by Trickster 2008-04-03 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: What gets me, though
If he had gone back to that church right after this, he would have been defiant, and nobody likes someone who thumbs their nose at them. But Obama has clearly said that he loves Rev Wright, that he loves his church, and that he has no intention of not defending them.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:19AM | 0 recs
A lot of Republican voters are fundies, remember

They'd probably be more likely to frown at Obama for drop-kicking his pastor than for standing by him.

I think the Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot with this one. Their "Obama is a Muslim!" whisper campaign was doing some damage, and this noisy hullaballoo about "The pastor at Obama's church sometimes says controversial things while he's preaching and OMG Obama sat in the church every Sunday and listened to him!" has completely undermined it. Even low-information voters can't help but know the guy's a regular churchgoer now.

by tjekanefir 2008-04-03 08:10PM | 0 recs
Interesting.

Anyone catch the story on CNN tonight about the Trinity United Church of Christ?  Or the AP article today?  

Both indicate that the painting of the church as a "hate mongering separatist snake pit" are wildly inaccurate.

Sadly, I'm still seeing lots of people around here parroting the same very right wing style attacks.  

by fogiv 2008-04-03 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Interesting.

Great point.  Since when have Democrats begun regurgitating the media rather than coming to their own conclusions?

A starting point for Wright haters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMbeVQj6 Lw

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:45PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Dean Scream Redux didn't work the second time around.

The Wright Distraction is dead.

by Liberal Avenger 2008-04-03 08:54PM | 0 recs
Obama has never regained his

'significant' lead over Hillary that peaked at 50-42 on March 3, 2008.

The funny thing, though, is going to Gallup and watching them track the spread which has been basically 3-4% for two straight months (with the occasional exception, as on March 3).  Gallup tries hard to make it exciting, though, with descriptions like: "nip and tuck", "front-runner", "slim advantage", "slight edge", "opening up an advantage", "lead has dwindled", "reversed momentum", "closely matched", "virtually tied".

I hate to tell Gallup, but there's not very much there there.  

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 09:07PM | 0 recs
Huh?

Are you talking about the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll? Obama was ahead 42-52 as of March 29. As of April 2, the margin was down to 3 points (46-49).

How is that incompatible with such terms as "nip and tuck", "front-runner", "slim advantage", "slight edge", "opening up an advantage", "lead has dwindled", "reversed momentum", "closely matched", "virtually tied"?

Of course, those fluctuating Gallup polls count for nothing. Obama has never been behind in the poll that actually means something - the delegate count - since voting began.

by Ddeele 2008-04-03 09:25PM | 0 recs
Right, missed the 3/29 spread.

But then it closed up again.  I think you got my point about the bouncy nature of these numbers.  The humorous thing -- maybe you didn't get that part? -- is gallup's attempt to make it sound more interesting than it is.

Jeez, this is tiring.

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-03 10:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Right, missed the 3/29 spread.

I'm all in favor of pointing and laughing at Gallup.

If you find it tiring to have inaccuracies pointed out, maybe you shouldn't make a big deal about them.

[That was harsh. I've made plenty of mistakes myself. I'll withhold a particularly pithy insult that I really want to strike you with right now if you'll forgive me for that comment.]

by Ddeele 2008-04-03 10:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Right, missed the 3/29 spread.

No that wasn't harsh.  You kidding?  I did miss that one.   However I might offer the fact that in late Feb it was looking like a trend whereas now it's bouncing all over the place.    Gallup's sample sizes aren't big enough.

by mnicholson0220 2008-04-04 06:31AM | 0 recs
poll

I think it's hard to look at a poll and try to see in it the impact of the comments of Obama's retired pastor.  The Republicans will use Rev. Wright's comments if they are effective.  Otherwise they won't.  They will go with whatever moves numbers.

It is equally difficult to look at the poll and try to see the impact of Senator Clinton's lies about her trip to Bosnia.  Will the Republicans use the fact that she repeatedly lied, that she tried to defend her lies even after it was clear what had happened or that she tried to use lame excuses like sleep deprevation?  Again, they will go with whatever moves numbers.

by smoker1 2008-04-03 09:59PM | 0 recs
more importantly

they will use what works WHERE it works.  

A few points-

  1. national polls tell us little about potential electoral results.  Those polled in California and NY could have swamped negative opinions in smaller need to win states.
  2. I worry about a potential gap between what a white voter will say to a pollster and what they will do in the secrecy of a voting booth
  3.  The MSM (besides FOX) has been consciencious about how they framed the story and handled it with velvet gloves.  The 527s won't.  

I'm not claiming Clinton would do any better.  I'm suggesting this poll tells us little about the potential impact of the story.  It's far from over.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-04-04 03:34AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Could you post a more desperate diary? Conventional wisdom shifted a week ago after the first polls on this came out with no noticeable change. I know there are those of you who go to bed praying that the Wright non-issue gets some traction, but it ain't gonna happen. At most he'll face some minor blip in the future, and that's only assuming the AP and other news orgs don't continue to interview members of Wright's church (of various races) who are willing to go on the record in defense of their pastor and church.

Instead of wishing that your candidate could luck into the nomination by hoping harm on her opponent, why not channel some of that energy into actually doing something positive?

by bookish 2008-04-03 10:09PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Barack Obama's negatives have nowhere to go but up.

When the Republican noise machine gears up for the fall, and really starts running the heat against our nominee, there's going to be a fight to be fought--I'm not convinced Barack Obama is ready to handle that fight.

The Wright controversy is a tumor on the Obama campaign.  You can expect the Republicans to feed it like Hell as we get closer to November.

by hornplayer 2008-04-03 10:41PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

As we begin to learn more about Wright, it's becoming clear that he and his church are actually  pretty reasonable and righteous.  This is not an argument McCain is likely to win.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:50PM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

This kind of argument betrays a basic pessimism about the American people.

The counterargument that Obama makes against this sort of thing is not that it's racism, or double-reverse secret racism, or false patriotism, or Hillary-anything.

It's that it's complete bullshit.

What kind of Democratic Party cowers in fear of the Republicans driving Nationalist fever and trumped-up charges of reverse racism?

A weak and corrupt one. A losing one.

Stand up for what's right, and tell the assholes to wake the f*** up to what it means to be American.

by Ddeele 2008-04-04 12:12AM | 0 recs
I fully expect

there to be a huge push from republican 527's to go after Obama's patriotism in the most extreme and vile ways possible, including Wright and whatever they wish to dream up - true or not.

I expect the same if Hillary is the nominee (obviously not using Wright) - and even possibly more vicious.

The fact of the matter is, no matter our candidate, the republican 527's are going to be well funded, vile, vicious, unrelenting and every other possible nasty thing they can be.

I think the crazy conservatives see the 527's as their only way to win this time.  They pretty much dont like McCain, but hes the best they have so they will do whatever it takes.

So am I concerned about what the republican 527's do?  From a human standpoint, of course.  I hate what the republicans have become and detest that wing of that party with every fiber of my being.  But am I concerned from an election standpoint?  Not really.

First, I cant make my dem decision based on who the republicans will attack harder or how hateful the republicans will be.  I just assume its a given that whomever our nominee is they will be painted like Hitler, Stalin and Osama Bin Laden all wrapped up into one.

Second, I think this election cycle, extreme hate will backfire.  As Bill famously said in 92 'its the economy stupid'.  All the wrapping up of hate in the american flags the republicans try and muster will fall on deaf ears.  Sure it will be music to the converteds ears, but it will turn off the majority of the middle electorate.

Espeically, I believe, if our nominee is Obama.  When times are tough, people want to believe in inspiration and positive change, which is the core of Obama's pitch.  Whether Obama is actually that or can deliver on that is validly up for scrutiny.  But its easy to see how much that message is resonating right now.  He has the right message at the right time.

Most people are sick to death of all the hate going around and its compounded when times are tough.  Life is bad enough right now without everyone hating on each other.

So I think as long as Obama keeps the same theme and doesnt implode, he can easily withstand the hate filled attack.

Will he take hits, of course.  Thats going to happen no matter what.

So I dont lose sleep at night worrying how extreme the right wing will be.  Its who they are and what they do.  I just believe the landscape as it is is not in favor of such vitriol and either of our candidates could easily overcome those obstacles.

by pattonbt 2008-04-03 10:42PM | 0 recs
Not values but character & judgment
This is complicated to express. I'm a voter for Barack Obama (CA primary) and plan to campaign for him. However, for me his handling of the Wright affair was disappointing in terms of his character as opposed to "values." Even if he was not present in the pews at the most virulent of the Wright diatribes and does not share or promote the "values" that Wright was expressing (although some things Wright said in the videos I've seen were technically true), it's hard to believe that Obama did not know of Wright's rhetoric second-hand from friends or transcripts or videos. I believe he must have been aware of content and tone of Wright's most extreme sermons, yet he still did not act via his close friendship with Rev Wright to express to him whatever concern or disapproval of what was "controversial" that he only recently expressed in his speech on race. This has left me with an overall sense of less confidence in his honesty, character and judgment.

I believe Sen. Obama gave a great speech about race but his speech was really sort of a separate issue. Within that speech, beyond denouncing what was "controversial" in Wright's sermons, he focused on his grandmother's "racial slurs that made him cringe," yet so far as we know he never sat down with his grandmother and tried to talk to her about that "cringe" on the principle of the 1947 film "Gentleman's Agreement" that the best way to fight racism (or reverse racism in Wright's case) is to be intolerant of intolerance, even amongst friends. The next day he reversed himself and denied his grandmother was intolerant, so he lost a bit of credibility there (what were the racial slurs if not intolerance?) and the media gave him a free ride on that particular thread, focusing mostly on his speech overall which was a masterful piece of writing.

With Rev. Wright, I would have expected Obama to have approached his good friend as a personal matter to express his concerns. So far as we know that never happened and he let Wright float out there as a loose cannon, not only in the context of Obama's personal political career but in the cultural evolution of relations between the races. Personally, as one who worked in the civil rights movement in the South in the 1960s, who attended Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" and who believes in non-violent change and non-violent and non-hateful rhetoric, to be saddled with Rev Wright is about as far away from MLK as we can get and extremely disappointing in the context of our effort to regain the White House with an African-American candidate. It might not be showing up in polls at this stage but saying the Wright affair has no impact on this election is wishful thinking.

That said, I'm not been knocked off my choice of Sen. Obama for president because I do realize he is a politician and I do realize he is not perfect and I do realize, among the three candidates, the other two are not choices I can accept.

by purr 2008-04-03 11:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Not values but character & judgment

The sum and total of the 'rhetoric' was mere seconds of information.  This is not nearly enough information to base your opinion on.  

Wright isn't racist OR anti-American.  That is all media spin.  Why don't you check him out in context and see if it doesn't change your mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMbeVQj6 Lw

Also, you might want to kill your TV.  It's easy enough to believe a lie if you've heard it repeated enough times, and although we like to think of our selves as being immune to that kind of influence, we aren't.

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-04-03 11:57PM | 0 recs
Wright Video - extended excerpt

Thank you for posting the link to the Wright video.  I had wondered (and still wonder), if what Obama claimed was true about Wright, why no one had posted links to his sermons with the "conservative" (Obama's word) part of the message based on self-reliance and hard work.  That would do a lot of good for Wright and for Obama's argument.

However, I had expected to see links of different sermons in which he appeared more sympathetic.  I had not expected what this link provides - a six-minute excerpt leading up to the infamous "God damn America!" statement that, presented in context, does not seem nearly as fanatical as the sound bite does.

In fact, his message that "governments change" and then his education of the congregation of how the US government had changed during the administrations of Lincoln, Truman, Johnson, and Clinton is what many of his critics had called him to preach.  And the context of "governments fail" message was that "all human governments fail - ancient Hebrew governments failed, the British failed, the Russian, Japanese, and other governments fail. Ours failed, but God doesn't fail." Not exactly a strange message from a minister.

by concordian 2008-04-04 04:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Not values but character & judgment
I'm sure he must have spoken to Wright. There's no way he would have just tossed him off his campaign without one word. Beyond that, I think Wright has pretty much wanted to crawl into a hole for the last couple of months. This wasn't exactly a mediahound we're talking about.
by vcalzone 2008-04-04 04:32AM | 0 recs
A new rule

We need a rule that Obama fans enforce on themselves, including the mainstream media national polls which mean nothing with their subjective "feel good about yourself" polling.

Drill down to the likely voters, and look at those results, and see how they've changed the GE match-up nationally; look at the state polling.

Come back and tell me when its changed since March 13th.

by Jerome Armstrong 2008-04-04 01:16AM | 0 recs
from your fingers to God's ears

all that matters is the electoral college breakdown

elections are not fair; the right guy doesn't always win

not all voters are reasonable or fully informed

liberals are a small minority

people lie to pollsters but always speak their truth in the privacy of a polling booth

this isn't a debate, it's an election

repeat until it sinks in.

by grassrootsorganizer 2008-04-04 03:44AM | 0 recs
Re: A new rule

Given how often Clinton-favorable tracking polls make the main page, and how seldom the reverse, I think the wishful thinking is, at best, a two way street.

Seriously, it seems often that the desire to find proof of Wrights damage is wishful thinking on the part of Clinton supporters.

For either candidate's supporters, you too Jerome, it says something special about America if people are willing to be adults who look at Wright as a whole, not just at the Fox News noise machine.

We've played by the Fox News rules for how long -- and with what success? Why not try going over the Fox News weasles for a change. Bush went over the "elite media" throughout the 2000 election, and it worked. Why not try to go over the "weasel media" and see if that works, too.

Drilling down in polls is a way to find out hidden truths. It's also a way to hunt for a specific outcome favorable to your beliefs. Can you honestly say which you're encouraging?

by Lettuce 2008-04-04 04:28AM | 0 recs
Reverend Wright versus Tuzla

By many reasonable objective assessments the Wright affair should have been far more damaging to Senator Obama than the Tuzla incident  should have been to Senator Clinton.

Yet the contemporary tracking polls seem to indicate that Clinton took the bigger/longer hit.

Perhaps the  difference is that Obama responded better than Clinton.

Clinton has often claimed that she is / would be better at withstanding the Republican attack machine than Obama. Perhaps she is wrong.

by My Ob 2008-04-04 01:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Reverend Wright versus Tuzla

I disagree with your assessment of whether or not Obama has passed the Rev Wright debacle.

I talk to alot of people and they are still disturbed by Obama's association with Wright, but I don't hear much about Hillary and the Tuzla event.

Hillary will WIN BIG IN PA!  The folks in PA aren't that impressed with slick=talking, Chicago politicians.  Obama took a bus around, pressed some flesh and is the flavor of the week.  After 3 weeks of looking at his face over and over, folks will get tired of him.

Hillary wins +12 in PA.

Go Hillary!!!

by stefystef 2008-04-04 03:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Reverend Wright versus Tuzla

Hillary was going to win big in PA before the Wright affair, so her winning in PA will not be much of an indication of how much damage  Wright has done to  Obama.

But if somebody gave me a free bet I would bet that by the time of the PA vote enough time will have passed for both the Wright and Tuzla affairs to play very little part in voting preferences.

As for the people you talk to, I reckon the important thing to remember is that people who spend much time talking about politics, posting about politics on the Internet, may not be representative of the voting population as a whole.

And the people who you talk to and tell you what you want to hear may not even be representative of the people who talk about politics.

That is why the posted poll is interesting, most of the people responding to it are not political 'junkies' such as we are.

by My Ob 2008-04-04 03:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Reverend Wright versus Tuzla

I agree.  I believe that neither story will affect the PA primary.  But if I would pick on that might stay in people's mind, it's Rev. Wright story.

by stefystef 2008-04-04 06:43AM | 0 recs
Great AP article on Wright

And his church:

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hYL_I CCVB3g8UAtMxocStkw0uwOgD8VQEMF80

Jerry Kellman, who hired Obama as a community organizer and is now a lay minister for Chicago's Catholic archdiocese, said Trinity offered a kind of home for Obama, particularly after he got engaged and was planning a family. Its members ranged from the wealthy and well-educated to families just scraping by, he said.

"When Barack joined the church, he wasn't giving his allegiance to Wright. He was joining a community," Kellman said.

Trinity, like other United Church of Christ churches, relies heavily on the membership to make decisions through boards and committees, he added. Even as senior pastor, Wright did not single-handedly control Trinity's direction.

Trinity was an early leader in ministering to people with HIV and AIDS. It offers housing and employment programs to people in need. It has scholarship programs and services for cancer patients, domestic abuse victims, drug addicts and more.

Members are expected to volunteer for one or more of these ministries. They usually announce their choice on the same day they're baptized, said Jane Fisler Hoffman, a United Church of Christ minister who joined Trinity.

"There's this kind of constant encouragement to live your faith, learn your faith," she said.

The church proclaims itself "unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian." It supports charity work in Africa, gives some of its ministries Swahili names, uses Africa-themed decorations.

People familiar with Trinity compare its emphasis on African culture to the way some Catholic churches play up Irish or Italian roots. And they emphatically reject the accusations in widely circulated e-mails that the church is separatist or turns away white members.

"That's such a bunch of hooey," said Hoffman, who is white.

She tells the story of a group of young Germans visiting the church. Wright met with them before the service and prayed with them in German, she said. Later, he delivered part of his sermon in German and the choir sang in German.

"To me, it's a testimony that this is not a church that rejects people of other cultures and races," she said.

by NeciVelez 2008-04-04 03:05AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

White evangelical preachers are damning America every Sunday usually over the sin of abortion. One of the most influential of Evangelical ministers compared abortion to the holocaust and America to Nazi Germany and he put it in writing in a book which has been very influential in Religious right circles. White ministers who regularly damn America are esteemed advisor's and confidants of Republican presidents.

No wonder that Mike Huckabee came to Obama's defense on this issue. I bet he has some incendiary language in some of his past sermons. The right will continue to hammer away on this (as will Clinton's surrogates and occaisionally Clinton herself) but the way Obama has been handling it, and from the results of polls thus far it may blow up in their faces. Attacking a church and it's congregation for the fire and brimstone rhetoric of it's preacher can be dangerous, it certainly has not worked for Democrats against white evangelicals.

by hankg 2008-04-04 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

Just when you think Obama should be down in the polls, miraculously his polls are up and a new reality emerges, renewing my hope for another Teflon presidency. Curious relationship...polls and Obama.

by lowdowndog 2008-04-04 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: How Hard Did the Wright Controversy Actually H

This is not the first post you've written about how the Wright controversy is not going to hurt Obama in the long run. I disagree completely. I think this controversy alone makes him unelectable. The Republicans will have a field day with Rev. Wright and they will not be intimidated by charges of racism and dirty politics. Too, I doubt very much that people who respond to pollsters are going to give the full, honest picture about how this incident has affected their view of him.

I think ultimately the Rev. Wright matter will destroy Obama in the GE, alongside the argument that he lacks experience.

I'm sorry, but a mere six years after the attacks on America, and the subsequent surge in patriotism, you truly believe that most Americans are not appalled that Obama listened to that material for 20 years? Mark my words, the Republicans will remind them of how appalled they are, if nothing else.

Thinking this won't hurt him is naive. Your polls are "whistling past the graveyard." I expect that if Obama is the nominee he will go down in a landslide defeat of McGovern proportions. No, this does not make me happy. But I think you young idealists are about to learn a very hard lesson. Unfortunately, you are going to take the rest of us in the party down with you, and we will have 4 more years of the same thing.

by cc 2008-04-04 08:06AM | 0 recs

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