Wright Before That Speech
We will start with some commentary from Paul Mirengoff:
Wright has been Obama's pastor for 20 years. He married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope. Obama says he was not at the church on the day Wright blamed America for 9/11. "It sounds like he was trying to be provocative," is the best Obama can offer on this one.
Wright isn't just someone with whom Obama is friendly. To criticize Obama for having friends with controversial, or even abhorrent, views would constitute guilt by association. But Wright is Obama's spiritual leader. To be sure, no thinking person always agrees with his minister, priest, or rabbi on political and social issues. But it's unusual for a thinking person to retain an affiliation with a church whose leader attacks his country unless, at a minimum, that person considers those attacks not "particularly controversial."
Obama should explain why he retained his apparently close affiliation with Wright and his church in more persuasive terms than he has to date. Otherwise, I think it's reasonable to draw adverse inferences based on that affiliation, including the inference that Obama doesn't quite measure up as a "post-racial" figure.
After reacting to Obama's lame defense of the pastor, Paul goes on to conclude that:
In sum, Barack Obama's close and longstanding affiliation with Wright and his church probably does tell us something important about the man. It doesn't tell us that he agrees with Wright's most extreme ravings, but it suggests that Obama is enough of a leftist to be attracted to, and comfortable at, a place where Wright's most extreme views, though controversial and provocative, are not outrageous.
And perhaps readers who might consider supporting Obama in the general would do well to consider the contents of the first sermon Obama heard from Wright that compelled the title of Obama's memoir. And it should come a shock to no one that the mainstreamed press did its utmost to flatten reaction to Wright, even before Obama's speech. What went on behind the scenes in the media is quite eye-catching!