Michelle's speech was the only non-cable network speech covered in full. Keep that in mind. We have to keep reminding ourselves here that the effect that counts is on the folks who have not tuned in before, who are not political junkies.
And Michelle's speech was one for the ages. Hard to imagine a single phrase that could have been changed. Delivery was as masterful as the construction.
There's no going back; this 24/7 uncontextual 'gotcha' type of politics is here to stay. What does happen though, is that any the response by the candidate, or others in the media, quickly establishes, within a day or two, the validity of the story. Here, there is none at all, and aside from viewing it as a specimen of the day's catch, it fades away.
Best I can make of it he is saying: there was either no response, therefore no validity, and therefore it will fade quickly; or that the response that did come (from Obama?) established that the story was invalid. So, he is predicting this will fade quickly.
But, as per the intro, this is an unfortunate feature of status quo journalism. I thought it would be fortunate if this faded quickly and if invalid stuff disappeared fast.
Kerry knew at the time of the interview last year that McCain was running for the GOP nomination. Kerry also could have thought, as most anyone did at the time, that McCain would be the one of the strongest GOP nominees the Dems might face and that it would hurt McCain's chances if word was spread that McCain was a traitor to his party.
That said, evidence of the McCain camp's motives to lie/distort this is also strong.
I only comment to temper your statement that, "Kerry had nothing to gain by lying . . . ."
Assuming arguendo that Kerry's personal goals are tied to the success of the Democratic party, he might well have had something to gain.
1) Upon hearing the excerpts and seeing the graphs I discovered that before anything at all incendiary or "offensive" was said, the graphs of the black folks went to positive and the rest dove down. The primary thing this shows is that whites have a negative reaction to old, black, loud preachers.
2) I looked under the hood at the further data the study gathered and found that the pre-test and psot-test of support for Obama was within 1%. That means that "make you less likely to support" did not translate into change of support.
3) Also looking under the hood, the tested group was a strange one: 52/36 favored Clinton/Obama in the sample before viewing the video.
4) Interesting idea for experiment: show identical video to two similar groups, one with "offensive" ideas and the other just with innocuous ideas, but both with Rev. Wright's speaking style.
Two simple points:
1) Even if there is no one precise and definitive count, there are reasonable estimates. Using those, and giving generous odds to Clinton in all remaining contests, Obama would still have the votes at the credential committee to control how Florida and Michigan delegations are apportioned.
2) The MSM wants this to end because their feet are tired? The MSM loves a good drama and the longer it lasts, the higher their ratings and readership. Andrea Mitchell, David Broder, et al., ride in limos -- if and when their feet hurt they put a nice massage on their expense accounts.