Saturday, March 15, 2008

Will Glib Be Good Enough?

Sooner rather than later (see below), Barack Obama has had to confront his twin albatrosses, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the decidedly secular Tony Rezko. In his rounds of the cable news shows last night, Obama was articulate, as always, but for the first time, glib bordering on shifty.

On Countdown with a deferential Keith Olbermann, he distanced himself from Wright's racist rants but asked voters to believe that, in 17 years of churchgoing, he did not hear any of the venom or he would have condemned it.

Even more tenuous was Obama's attempt to paint Wright as a spiritual leader caught up in the anger of his generation at racial injustice, a pissed-off Martin Luther King, if you will. That won't wash with those who remember how King stressed rejection of such attitudes at a time when Black Power advocates were promoting them. Senator, Wright is no Martin Luther King. Not even close.

In his attempt to "disgorge" Rezko, along with his campaign contributions, Obama stressed that he has not been accused of any wrongdoing or connected to any of the issues involved in the current federal corruption trial, but his opponents won't be deterred from harping on their long, close association, including the buying of the Obamas' Chicago home.

Obama's most fervent admirers will be tempted to pass off these iffy relationships as part of a misguided search for substitute fathers by a man who lost his own at an early age, and there may be truth in that. But Obama is now attempting to become the national father figure, and just asking him to show better judgment than George W. Bush would be setting the bar very low.


AmPowerBlog said...

Obama needs to cut all ties to the church, and he needs to plan a national television address - even more pumped up than anything Romney staged - to unequivocally condemn not only Wright, but also the anti-patriotic statments he and his wife have made.

American Power

Anonymous said...

Should Obama distance himself from Wright? Sure. And McCain should distance himself from Hegge.

Sould Obama distance himself from Rezco? He has. What exactly is Obama being accused of?

What exactly did McCain do for Vicki Izeman?

What did Clinton do for Hsu? What did Bill Clinton do for Ron Burkle? What did he do for Sandy Berger after Sandy "fell on his sword?"

Big Media is in the process of taking Obama down. Obama's campaign has proven that a politician can run a well financed campaign from the bottom up, with small contributions. That should scare the hell out of the big donors and top-down campaigns like Hillary's, and it has.

Amicus said...

Wright is going to be turned into a right-wing caricature (anti-American, ignorant, and a classic "uppity nigger" who dared to use the Bible to condemn or question certain American actions, etc.)

Whatever distancing needs to happen, we all need to keep it real.

The best way to square the circle, in my view, is for Obama to re-articulate his message of hope, of how his message of Hope heals both the divisions (and lingering animosities) in the black community that we cannot heal by "rejecting and denouncing" and the divisions and indifference in the white community along the lines of social justice, but not limited to them, most certainly.

Liza said...

I'd say they are digging pretty deep to find dirt on Obama. What's next? His dry cleaner? His grocer? His dentist?

I'm sick of this campaign.

Chuck Butcher said...

These are issues Obama will have to address. Regarding Wright, contrasting Christ's words with US actions doesn't bring to mind "bless." While that may be true, it won't fly.

I think there is a smart and true was to deal with this, but it would be a narrow thing.