James: If you think Andrew Sullivan may not have his finger on the pulse of average voters, perhaps Ed Koch provides better insight into how the Reverend Wright controversy is being received. Koch explains what he thinks voters expected of Barck Obama:
What is it that I and others expected Obama to do? A great leader with conscience and courage would have stood up and faced down anyone who engages in such conduct. I expect a President of the United States to have the strength of character to denounce and disown enemies of America – foreign and domestic — and yes, even his friends and confidants when they get seriously out of line.
What if a minister in a church attended primarily by white congregants or a rabbi in a synagogue attended primarily by Jews made comparable statements that were hostile to African-Americans? I have no doubt that the congregants would have immediately stood up and openly denounced the offending cleric. Others would have criticized that cleric in private. Some would surely have ended their relationships with their congregation. Obama didn’t do any of these things. His recent condemnations of Wright’s hate-filled speech are, in my opinion, a case of too little, too late.
Koch is also troubled by Michelle Obama’s lack of pride in America pre-Obama-mania, noting: “This is a woman who has had a good life, with opportunities few whites or blacks have been given.”
So we are left to ponder: Are the liberal pundits or Koch more in tune with the sentiments of working class Democrats, who largely will decide the remaining primary contests? The voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Indiana (all places pundits rarely visit) will tell us.