Some intellectually honest liberals are starting to realize that the Reverend Wright problem is a significant one for Barack Obama. From The New Republic:
It’s also clear that the question of whether Obama was present for those particular sermons now in the news isn’t really the issue. Wright’s oft-iterated political worldview, which apparently includes the belief that the US created AIDS to keep the Third World in poverty, should be quite apparent to anyone who knows him as well as Obama does. . .This is really bad news for Obama, both in the primary and if he makes it to the general. He’s worked successfully to escape the image of the “angry black man,” and here he is linked to that image in the most emotionally searing way.
From Gerald Posner at Huffington Post(h/t Instapundit):
If the parishioners of Trinity United Church were not buzzing about Reverend Wright’s post 9/11 comments, then it could only seem to be because those comments were not out of character with what he preached from the pulpit many times before. In that case, I have to wonder if it is really possible for the Obamas to have been parishioners there – by 9/11 they were there more than a decade – and not to have known very clearly how radical Wright’s views were. If, on the other hand, parishioners were shocked by Wright’s vitriol only days after more than 3,000 Americans had been killed by terrorists, they would have talked about it incessantly. Barack – a sitting Illinois State Senator – would have been one of the first to hear about it. . . .
But Barack now claims he never heard about any of this until after he began his run for the presidency, in February, 20007.And even if Barack is correct – and I desperately want to believe him – then it still does not explain why, when he learned in 2007 of Wright’s fringe comments about 9/11 and other subjects, the campaign did not then disassociate itself from the Reverend. Wright was not removed from the campaign’s Spiritual Advisory Committee until two days ago, and it appears likely that nothing would have been done had this story not broken nationally.
Well, where does this leave the Democrats now? Had this happened in January the party would have different and better options. But here we are in March with a 100 plus delegate lead for Obama.
Possible but not likely: This all blows over in a day or so, none of this impacts Obama’s appeal among white voters, he sails to the nomination, and this is a non-issue in the general election since most voters don’t see that there’s much of anything wrong with what Reverend Wright said. Yeah, right. (This scenario becomes more likely only if the writers go back on strike for the rest of the year, and SNL and the late night talk shows shut down.)
Possible but more likely: Obama hangs on to his lead, but a revived Hillary Clinton (now emboldened that the Democratic establishment will abandon Obama) takes her fight to the bitter end. Obama eventually wins the nomination after a bloody fight. The 527’s run hundreds of ads in the general election with Obama’s picture and the text of Wright’s sermons.
Also possible: Obama’s poll numbers begin to tank, Clinton wins all the remaining primaries except North Carolina, the superdelegates throw in their lot with her and a lot of really angry Obama supporters make a very big stink about racial politics.
Everyone can choose their favorite scenario, but you can bet the damage is significant when even the Clinton camp figures it’s better to leave well enough alone.