Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Wright story is not going away
There is a great deal to like about Sen. Barack Obama. For my part, I believe him to be a good and honest man. My political beliefs are different than his, but he has had a favorable impact on me overall.

But Obama is digging himself a hole in the story about Jeremiah Wright, the pastor at Obama's church who went off on a bizarre rant in December.

Obama did respond to the tape of Wright yesterday, but I fear it may end up doing more harm than good. First of all, a man running as a uniter should not make his statement on Huffington Post, a blog that is the namesake of conservative-turned nutjob-running-for-California-Governor-then-campaigning-against-the-recall Arianna Huffington.

If Obama is reaching out to people concerned about his standing with moderate Americans, this is not the place to start. It's the equivalent of John McCain responding to a situation on Rush Limbaugh's show (Yes, I know those two are at odds, but I'd like to think Obama and Huffington are at odds on main points too).

Obama's response was almost vague. He made what was a clever remark, when he wrote that:

All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn.

Notice how he doesn't say which statements offended him directly. He doesn't condemn the whole rant, just the parts that caused contoversy. But different parts offended different people.

The semi-blanket denouncement doesn't work for this reason. Basically, by being vague, Obama is hurting himself, because there are people who want to see him come out strong against the statements.

The carefully-worded response comes across, to me at least, as not strong enough.

Obama should have talked to the people directly in a press conference, instead of posting on a blog with left-leanings that most aren't even aware of.



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