Saturday, March 15, 2008

Unfortunately, Obama’s Candidacy Is Over

I say “unfortunately” because, not being an Obama supporter, I have been enjoying the chaos as the Democrats try to choose a candidate, and neither candidate can put together a majority of delegates, and as the Florida and Michigan primary fiascos grow worse and worse, while the two candidates slime each other.

In a year that has looked like a Democratic lock on the presidency, I am sure that Howard Dean and the rest of the Democratic Leadership Council are working the phones feverishly trying to set up a scenario involving super-delegates and even pledged delegates wherein either Clinton or a third person will be given the nomination as the embarrassing Obama is edged out.

The reason for all of this, of course is the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr., and the question Bill O’Reilly posed last night: “I wouldn’t sit in a church where a pastor said that. Would you? Why does Senator Obama? That’s a simple question.” “That” being charges uttered by Wright that white America invented aids to kill off the black population; that 9/11 was a government conspiracy; that white America feeds drugs to black males to put them all in prison; and many other lunatic charges.

Americans can now put together Obama’s defense of and 20 year association with the Reverend Wright with his (Obama’s) refusal to honor our flag and our anthem and with his wife, Michelle’s, formerly mysterious comments that suggested an anti-American bias. We don’t need and won’t have people who hate us running our country.

The story behind the story: Obama's pastor
By: Mike Allen
March 15, 2008 The Politico

Politicians know a troublesome story has “broken through” the Eastern media echo chamber when Jay Leno is laughing at them.

In the case of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., retiring pastor and outgoing spiritual adviser to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), it took less than 48 hours.

The fracas started Thursday morning, when ABC’s “Good Morning America” ran a Brian Ross expose on Wright that included old video of him saying: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God bless America’? No, no, no. Not God bless America. God [expletive] America.”

On Friday night, there was Leno on NBC’s “Tonight Show” joshing: “McCain was running so fast from President Bush, he ran into Barack Obama, who was running from his minister.”

The story had burst onto the radar screen of average Americans with as much velocity as any other story during the 2008 campaign.

Political reporters and editors were inundated with e-mails from red-state friends and relatives wanting to know why the brouhaha wasn’t getting more instant and constant coverage from every news outlet.

To reporters who had followed the campaign, it was an old, oft-written story. But this time it had video of Wright saying things like “U.S. of K.K.K.A.,” available on YouTube and played endlessly by cable news channels.

A key part of Obama’s case is electability – the notion that he can heal the nation’s red-blue divide by appealing to Republicans, or “Obamacans,” as he gleefully calls these crossover supporters.

The coverage of Wright's comments bolstered the effort by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to raise vague doubts about the judgment of her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And it revived conservative chatter about Obama’s patriotism that have been fueled by rumors he does not put his hand on his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance (false) and stopped wearing a flag lapel pin (true). See Note Below

Wright has been the minister to Obama for more than 20 years and gave him the title of his second bestseller, “The Audacity of Hope.” Wright married Obama and his wife, Michelle, and baptized their two daughters.

Wright is pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, which on its website calls itself “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian,” and lists “a non-negotiable commitment to Africa” among its “10-point Vision.”

The minister’s controversial history has been written about countless times throughout the campaign. Wright has ties to the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the black supremacist leader of the Nation of Islam – a fact that has been noted in more than 100 news stories just in the past few months, according to the Nexis database of news coverage.

Opponents of Obama have constantly pushed reporters to write about the minister, which these critics have considered a ticking time bomb for his campaign.

On Feb. 20, after a fiery guest sermon by Wright in Little Rock, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran an article that said: “On Tuesday, Wright criticized the U.S. invasion of Iraq and likened the insurgents to the Israelites under Babylonian rule.”

At 9:20 that morning, Obama opponents were already trying to get Politico to link to the story.

That’s why many news outlets – including Politico — did not initially pile on with rehashes after Brian Ross’s story on “Good Morning America.”

But that was a reminder that it’s possible for regulars on the trail to be too familiar with the material. With the video widely available in the heat of the race, readers and viewers were thirsty for coverage.

On “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly said Friday night: “I wouldn’t sit in a church where a pastor said that. Would you? Why does Senator Obama? That’s a simple question.”

O’Reilly went on: “On the press front, the corrupt left-wing media hates this story. The Chicago Sun-Times ignored it completely. The New York Times barely mentioned it. CBS and NBC news didn’t report it last night on their nightly programs.”

By Saturday, The New York Times had a 900-word article, “Obama Denounces His Pastor’s Statements,” on page A13.

Obama says he was unaware of the more extreme statements until he began his presidential campaign, and initially tried to brush them off. On the trail in Ohio, he referred to Wright as “an old uncle who sometimes will say things that I don't agree with.”

On Friday afternoon, recognizing a real crisis, the campaign went further. Obama released a blog post in his own name to Huffington Post:

“The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. … All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.”

On Friday evening, the campaign announced that Wright was no longer serving on Obama’s “African American Religious Leadership Committee.”

Also on Friday night, Obama sat between an American flag and one of his “Change We Can Believe In” campaign posters as he gave lengthy damage-control interviews to MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News’s Major Garrett.

“I would -- do not repudiate the man,” Obama told Olbermann. “[T]his is somebody who I have known for 17 years. He helped bring me to Jesus and helped bring me to church. … But I have to say that the comments that have been played are ones that are contrary to what I believe, what I think of this country, the love that I have for this country and, you know, are ones that anger and distress me.”

Later, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren: “In terms of Senator Obama, I think he has a credibility question.”

Gingrich continued: Does he honestly expect the nation to believe that for 20 years, longer than 20 years, according to his own testimony, … he didn't notice the anti-American rhetoric? I mean, does somebody seriously believe that in over 800 potential Sunday visits, it never once came up, no one ever mentioned it to him? I think that strains credibility.”

Except for an interruption to talk about a severe storm that had shattered windows at CNN Center in Atlanta (talk about a story breaking through), Anderson Cooper devoted his entire hour to the Wright story on Friday night, and the show repeated for the full hour after that.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, told Cooper: “What we hear preached, what we hear taught, whether it's, you know, a year, two years or 20 years, has an influence upon our public policy.”

For Obama, such stories are like a leak under the basement. The damage is slow, and it’s not readily apparent. But it can be real.

Note: Unfortunately it appears that this author is incorrect and that Senator Obama does not honor the Pledge of Allegiance.


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At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your article is very thoughtful and unbias. Thank you for the article.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole thing with Obama would not have come out through the main stream media (left wing, Democrat leaning, liberals). Fortunately, we have millions of people in this country (myself included)who listen to talk radio. That is who drove this story. This was not going away, and now the rest of the country knows the real Obama story, expressed by his wife a few weeks ago (for the first time in my life, I am proud to be an American). We now know how she, and many others really feel about America. Would they however, like to go back to the place their ancestors came from? I think not.

But, as politics goes, it is by its very nature, a dirty business to get into. Many of our best, brightess, most qualified citizens will not ever get into politics. So we are stuck with the smucks that do run and once in, they stay there for numerous terms. America is a great country- not because of politicians, but despite them.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Muslims Against Sharia call on Senators McCain and Obama to cut all ties with their racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic supporters.


At 6:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Obama needed to come down off his high horse. All his Liberal softball media hacks were feeding into his rock star image, and giving him a feeling of security. In the final analysis, they all get run through that inevitable wringer of scrutiny. If this whole fiasco didn't come up, then somebody out there would have started asking Barrak some serious questions about policy. All this rhetoric about bringing "Change", and "Hope" is OK for the dim whits who want to believe in him, but sooner or later the important questions would have to be answered. I'm not sure that he could fair too well being a Liberal with no experience, and this would bring people to the only conclusion about Senator Obama which is; "Where's the beef!!! They were real nice to John McCain until the "heavies" got knocked out of the race, then they turned on him as we all knew they would. This was inevitable. They turned on Hillary because she was acting like a "blue dog Democrat" in her support for a war that her Liberal ilk are dead against. In a way, I'm glad that Obama may be toast because of the good Ole' reverend. If this didn't come about, I don't know if McCain could have beat him in the general election. I think that he can beat Hillary though. It was fun watching those two tear themselves to shreds and maybe it will be better for the Democratic Party in the long run, as much as I'd like to see a blood bath in that Party after the super Delegates had chosen Hillary. So hopefully, obama will be "Swift Boated" thanks to the "good Ole Rev", who is like an uncle to him. All I have to say is; "Thanks Rev!" I always thought that Jeremiah was a bullfrog, but as it turned out, he was the good fairy!


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