2008 The Last of the Wright Story?
posted by April 29 at 13:35 PMon
Don’t bet on it—even with Obama’s strong denouncement today of Wright’s spotlight-grabbing silliness at the National Press Club in D.C. on Monday.
First of all, Wright has yet to respond to Obama’s denouncements. Maybe he won’t, and the story will stop here, but it’s not in the nature of the vindictive narcissist—which Wright has proven himself to be over the last few days—to go quietly.
Second, there was no way for Obama to break with Wright without opening up several uncomfortable lines of questioning. That may be why Obama waited so long to, as Dan likes to put it, DTMFA, but now that Obama has finally D’d the MFA… well, now those lines of questioning will be opened up:
Why did Obama maintain a 20 year relationship with such a person? What does it say about his judgment? Why didn’t Obama sever ties with Wright sooner? Why do we all now have to sit through the uncomfortable drama of watching him break up with this guy?
Obama wants to be seen as the candidate of superior judgment, the candidate with reflexes quick and tough enough to take on the Republicans, the candidate who will stop the drama that’s associated with the Clintons and bring the Democrats back into the White House via a new politics that rises above old divisions and debates.
In publicly ending his relationship with Wright, Obama somewhat burnished those new politics credentials. “The reason our campaign has been so successful is because we had moved beyond these old arguments,” he said. “What we saw yesterday out of Reverend Wright was a resurfacing and, I believe, an exploitation of those old divisions.”
But he also tarnished them by having to resort to the old-style political tactic of calling a big press conference to smack down a former associate who had gotten out of hand and, perhaps more damagingly, he opened the door to those questions about his judgment, quickness, and drama factor.
That last one, the increased drama factor, is going to be hard to put back in the bottle. Dramatic story-lines soon to come: The reaction from Wright, the reaction from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and the reaction from Clinton and McCain.