What emerges from watching the endless YouTubing of Jeremiah Wright is not the picture of a religious or political fanatic but a world-class attention-seeker. In those operatic video clips, there is a dashiki-dressed performer playing to the crowd, a soulmate, not of Louis Farrakhan, but of Bill Maher, whose imprudent comments on 9/11 cost him his network gig.
Now Obama's pastor is back on stage, coming out of his recent retirement, with Bill Moyers on PBS tonight and at the National Press Club in Washington next Monday, flamboyantly defending himself to the possible political detriment of his former congregant:
"I think they wanted to communicate that I am unpatriotic, that I am un-American, that I am filled with hate speech, that I have a cult at Trinity United Church of Christ. And by the way, guess who goes to his church, hint, hint, hint?"
If Hillary Clinton's campaign were paying him, the Rev. Wright couldn't being doing more for them than to keep Obama's embarrassment front and center in the days leading up to the final critical primaries.
But we may be underestimating him. By continuing to call attention to himself, Wright may be deviously trying to show that Obama is not under the Svengali-like influence of a dangerous man, just bedeviled by the antics of a showoff.
If so, that would be too subtle for most voters. All that may register with them is Obama's unfortunate choice in a spiritual adviser.