Late Night: Under Pressure

Queen at Wembley, 1986, Under Pressure

Related: Under pressure, Obama plans speech on race:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama plans a major speech Tuesday morning in Philadelphia about race, and addressing his relationship with Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright, according to The New York Times.

“I am going to be talking about not just Reverend Wright, but just the larger issue of race in this campaign, which has ramped up over the last couple of weeks,” Obama said. According to aides, he was up until 3 a.m. Monday working on his remarks.

New York Times: On Defensive, Obama Plans Talk About Race

Mr. Wright’s statements, said strategists, threaten his greatest strength, his reputation as a unifying, uplifting figure, capable of moving the country past old labels and divisions.

“The problem is the complete contradiction between the message of the Obama campaign and the message of the minister who’s been his close friend and confidant for 20 years,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant unaffiliated with any campaign.

Open thread, please keep it civil.

Update: Comments closed here, a new thread is up.

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    My parents will be watching. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:49:24 AM EST
    If Obama can't put the questions about his association with Wright to bed, people like my (Democratic) parents won't be enthused for the general election.  

    At this point, since Obama's the odds-on for the nomination, I hope he pulls it off.  I hate the sound of "President McCain."

    What should Obama say to (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:59:47 AM EST
    address your parents' concerns?

    What should Obama say? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by myiq2xu on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:43:36 AM EST
    The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    If that doesn't do it, then he shouldn't be President.


    And yet (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by facta non verba on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:02:50 AM EST
    the truth is likely to be fatal. He's boxed himself. Quite the quandary. If I read him well, I think he will lie or use some sort of emotional appeal. That's who he is.

    I think (none / 0) (#175)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:21:26 AM EST
    that maybe some people are stuck in the dynamics of the past. Maybe Rev. Wright and some parents of bloggers here can't give it up. I think that a lot of old thinkers can't shake their fear of a black man and this latest eruption (along with the Ferraro thing) is more effective than the blatant "Muslim lie" in scaring white folk.

    The irony is that if you deconstruct Wright's comments on the Iraq war most people here have voiced similar, if not more extreme, positions.

    It's really silly. Are all Catholics somehow complicit in child molestation because there are priests who have committed it and church officials who covered it up? You could make a stronger argument for that than for Obama's connection with Wright.

    The pressure isn't what some would like to imagine. The one thing that Clinton supporters should dread is giving Obama a chance to speak on anything if front of an audience.

    I think it's almost time that people at this site start imagining that Obama is going to be the Democratic Presidential candidate. People keep telling you it's over. This weekend Pelosi told you. Get over the hate. Clinton can't win.


    The analogy to Catholic priests (5.00 / 1) (#209)
    by litigatormom on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:46:21 AM EST
    is not apt. Catholic priests did not give stirring emotional sermons justifying the practice of abusing children -- the abuse, by definition, was committeed in secret.  A parishioner who'd had a close relationship with a priest later unmasked as an abuser could not possibly be accused, on the basis of having attended that priest's church, of having supported or condoned child abuse.

    On the other hand, I don't think that anything that Wright has said is immoral in the way that child abuse is.  The problem with what Wright has said is that it is politically inconsistent with Obama's persona as a post-racial uniter. It will be interesting to see how Obama handles this.  I've been waiting for half hour for the speech to come on, anyone know what the delay is about?


    And another problem is Obama said (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:00:35 AM EST
    he is a regular churchgoer (in reply to the stupid claims that he is a Muslim).

    Now he says he didn't hear his minister say such things in 20 years of regular churchgoing.

    So maybe Obama lied?  Or he is just lousy at listening?  And that recommends him as president?

    So along with the larger problem outlined in this diary of this countering his image as post-racial, there are these problems of just plain lies or ?

    Bottom line: once again, we don't know What Obama Really Meant.  This would be wearying for 4 or more years. . . .


    At the beginning of the campaign (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:21:52 AM EST
    I put together a "Hillary for Prez" playlist on my ipod.

    "Under Pressure" is the first song on it.

    More often than not people reference the song in the context of say a relief pitcher entering the game with the bases loaded.

    Maybe cause it's not Dylan singing the lyrics over a sparse acoustic guitar arrangement and the tune is just so damn poppy, and catchy that people forget to hear the lyrics.

    'Cause love's such an old fashioned word
    And love dares you to care for
    The people on the edge of the night
    And loves dares you to change our way of
    Caring about ourselves

    This is the original video:


    I don't have high hopes ... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:33:11 AM EST
    for the speech.  Because he really needs to step back from some of his statements on Friday in order to appear credible.

    No one believes he wasn't aware of Wright's views.  Nor that he didn't hear similar statements in public or private.

    But contradicting a statement he made only a few days ago is very problematic politically.

    This is one time where I think words cannot save him. In all likelihood, this speech will only give more ammunition to his detractors.

    But frankly I'm rather sick of political careers coming down to speeches like this.  Since Nixon's "Checkers Speech" (long before I was born), we've been forced to sit through this type of maudlin political theater.

    Obama Has Been Getting A Whole Lot Of (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:45:38 AM EST
    grief from black ministers for not standing up for Rev. Wright. My bet is that he is somehow going to try straddle a very fine line of distancing himself from Wright's statements and at the same time honoring the man.

    After that he may try to blame some of this whole affair on some people (guess who) employing racism to stop his presidential campaign.

    My fear is that he may be able to calm things down just long enough to win the nomination and then the whole thing will blow up big time in the GE.  


    From the Rasmussen poll, looks like (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:53:57 AM EST
    Obama can diss Wright with impunity and still have the AA vote.  Obama is already saying (NPR) Wright's statements are idiotic.  My theory:  Obama joined Wright's church in anticipation of running for public office.  Now what.

    I Think He Has A Lock On The AA Vote (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:09:54 AM EST
    no matter what he does. OTOH, he probably doesn't want to tick the pastors off and have them critizing him at their churches either.

    Rasmussen poll was pretty bad. 66% of those polled have seen Rev. Wright.


    so he used the reverend also? irony! (none / 0) (#42)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:22:32 AM EST
    I think (none / 0) (#45)
    by Rainsong on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:40:22 AM EST
    .. Obama will pull a rabbit out of the hat and bounce back with a knock-out blow on Hillary. It will all blow over by the end of the week, and the speech will go down in history as the one that won him the nomination.

    I started grieving for Hillary last week, nobody can compete with all that is lined up against her.

    But I hope she goes down fighting with courage, pride and strength, right to the very end and doesn't drop out. The rules say there is no winner until you reach the "magic number", and that means she is entitled to stay in the race.  If that doesn't suit the Party, tough.


    I've grieved for her a couple of times too... (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:07:46 AM EST
    ... but she's still there.

    Good thing for her and for me that she's much stronger than I am.


    Not sure ... (none / 0) (#57)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:16:11 AM EST
    Obama could pull it off ala Nixon and Checkers.  And once again we'll be told that the only to win in politics is give some sanctimonious and largely disingenuous speech.  

    Or ...

    This may be, to play off an old movie title, A Speech Too Far.

    I tend to favor the latter.  Because Obama always struck me as a sprinter rather than a long distance guy.  And, with Wright, Obama may have just hit the wall.

    And here's a case where the press' attitude toward the speech doesn't really matter.  They may herald it as the former.

    But we'll need to wait a few days to see how the public reacts.


    Most of the (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:46:15 AM EST
    public will react as they are programmed to react by the media. They will not get the whole truth, they will be flim-flammed about the facts, and he will emerge as the great hope once again.

    His speech will undoubtedly give Tweety's leg a tingle and Olbermann will probably give a special comment about the "wonder" of the speech.

    I try not to grieve before Hillary's campaign is really, truly dead but logic tells me it is so. She's good, but who can fight the media and the leadership of her own party?

    I heard a bunch of pundidiots on CNN talking about how once Obama has been anointed, er nominated the party will somehow magically all come together once again. Either I'm a fool or they are. In my experience human nature is not that reasonable.


    Maybe ... (none / 0) (#61)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:36:29 AM EST
    but I think this is one of those times when the public will have their own opinion.

    This happens a lot actually.  It almost always happened with Bill Clinton.  Not just over the Lewinsky scandal, but after almost all of his state of the union speeches.

    The pundits would hate them.  The public loved them.


    Robot (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:06:12 AM EST
    You raise a very good point.  I think when folks see the G-D America line, they have a visceral reaction.  Maybe we have seen too many propaganda tapes coming from our enemies to feel otherwise.  And to have this come right after 9-11, when people bodies still being pulled from the rubble, is even more troubling.

    My point is that you cannot watch that clip, and then cut to someone like Olberman saying, "Well, that doesn't matter," and accept what he says as fact.  (I mean, if you're a normal person rather than a blog obsessed goober like a lot of us here.)

    I think that whoever planned this speech is crazy.  The potential gains are much smaller than the potential negatives, because every single line he utters is going to be scrutinized, fact checked and rolled over again and again as compared to earlier comments.

    Did I hear right that one of the founding members of MoveOn stopped supporting Obama over this?  Or was that just a wishful rumor?


    I "hope" you're right Kathy (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:46:31 AM EST
    Cause I was talking to a bunch of Seniors, like myself, at the Senior Center yesterday and ALL of them, even three that were pretty strong for Obama have now decided that if Obama is the nominee they will vote for McCain.

    They are angry with the administration, the government and the Democratic Leadership but they don't couple those transient things with their "country". Thus when someone says "God **mn America" you are looking for a fight with these people. And when you sit there in church while someone says it you've lost them completely.

    Maybe I'm just cynical because it seems to me that Obama is truly teflon. Partly because the media gives him a pass on everything and partly because so many on the left find excuses for him that they would eviscerate anyone else for.

    (By the way, my friends that don't have a computer and wouldn't know how to use one if they did get to read many of the things that are on-line because I print things out pass them around in an effort to inform as many as possible about as much as possible.)


    When I first saw.... (none / 0) (#142)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:42:13 AM EST
    the "god damn America" clip, my reaction was....the guy has a point.

    If the christian god does in fact insist, and Jesus was in fact his only son....father and son must be mighty pissed at the USA right now.


    would like to admit something (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:54:16 AM EST
    I have been doomsaying about this for a long time and the fact that I agree with /or at least appreciate the anger and frustration behind / almost all of the things the pastor says, has been lost in the conversation.
    being a gay man who grew before there were celebrity  role models I have great sympathy for many of his rants.  even the one about aids possibly not being an entirely naturally occurring lifeform.
    that is quite separate from my feeling that this stuff was going to drop like a bomb on the electorate.

    Even after (none / 0) (#144)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:45:45 AM EST
    sending Katrina and the 9/11 hijackers?  Man, those guys must be SUPER pissed (or they're just A-holes).

    "A (none / 0) (#127)
    by tek on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:15:48 AM EST
    knock out blow on Hillary?"  I'm not sure how that would look.  What can he possibly do except accuse her of playing the race card, which at this point, I don't think will fly.  His minister has demonstrated racism and he's condoned it, so he gave away that power.  I think his hard core supporters--AAS and whites--will continue to support him no matter what, but this whole debacle may prevent him from attracting new recruits.

    condone? (none / 0) (#148)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:52:00 AM EST
    Where and when did Obama condone Wright's "racism?"

    staying a member of his flock (none / 0) (#151)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:55:46 AM EST
    and donating money frequently could be seen as condoning.

    Just like Clinton condoned it (none / 0) (#180)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:26:15 AM EST
    I guess.

    The presumption is that if you don't speak up you are condoning something. Like all Catholics here condone child molestation because they haven't mentioned it in this thread. It's a stupid argument done to keep the flame of Clinton's candidacy flickering.


    this argument is a little silly (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:35:11 AM EST
    the things that Wright is being criticized for are things he preached from the pulpit pretty regularly.
    I dont think most Catholics heard the promotion of child molestation with much regularity.
    the comparison doesnt really hold water.
    and Hillary is not a Catholic. btw.

    Obama paid his minister to say this (5.00 / 1) (#232)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:05:17 AM EST
    stuff, because Obama is a major donor to the church.    That's not just condoning it; that's contributing to it.

    Excuse me (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jgarza on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:10:23 AM EST
    you have heard tops 2 minutes of rev wrights sermons, are you suddenly an expert on his views?  You claim he must have known, but it seems like, since more tapes haven't popped up, these may be some isolated events.  

    What are the odds... (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Chisoxy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:13:04 AM EST
    That he will admit to having heard something before, but still insist he didnt know of the larger pattern. I mean it still sounds pretty ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as never having seen or heard anything before. I mean now is prettu much the only chance hed have in order to walk that lie back some before it were discovered.

    On a personal level Im not expecting much from him, but if he so much as blames the Clintons for anything ANYTHING, not only will I never vote for him, I will do whatever I can to support someone else. He is mistaken if he thinks 25% of Hillary supporters not voting for him is as high as it can get. He doesnt have to deliver much, but after the Ferraro incident, he best tread lightly in assigning any blame.

    Chisoxy (none / 0) (#186)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:32:36 AM EST
    Get jiggy with McCain or Nader then.

    I doubt that he even mentions Clinton tonight. That will be the worst part for Clinton supporters. She'll be dropped from the equation. She's lost. It is over. Start getting comfortable around the black man.


    I actually feel the most sympathy... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:17:06 AM EST
    ... for Jeremiah Wright. There's no question that much of what he said was too extreme. But much of what he says has a fair amount of truth to it, and the much larger context of his life's work is missing. Behind the man on the YouTube videos is a highly educated theologian with a record of building a community, remarkably liberal views on thorny issues such as gay marriage, and friends and admirers in the mainline Protestant United Church of Christ.

    People are rushing now to defend Obama not by defending Wright, but by throwing him under the bus. Obama is using increasing harsh terms himself ("strongly condemn", "appalling"), Chris Dodd says his words are "outrageous", etc. It shouldn't be like this.

    After days of furiously trying to run away from Wright as quickly as possible, I hope that Obama does try to rehabilitate his public image in his "major" address today. He really owes it to the old guy.

    Well said.... (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:02:29 AM EST
    If Obama had a pair he'd say something like "Wright is my friend, my spiritual advisor, and a free American entitled to his opinion.  Next question."

    But that takes courage.


    Which of Wright's positions are extreme (none / 0) (#190)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:34:23 AM EST
    for an African American in the U.S. today? And if his opinions are extreme, how come white people never noticed them until now?

    Plan C (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by facta non verba on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:59:01 AM EST
    Well that tells me Plan A, a blog on the Huffington Obama, did not work to curtail the damage. Plan B was media interviews on three venues, the friendly confines of Keith Olbamamann, the neutrality of Anderson Cooper and the not so friendly confines of Major Garrett on Fox. A 5 point drop in the national favorability polls will do that, so will a 4 point drop in Pennsylvania where his poll numbers are being to look like Bush's approval ratings. So now Plan C, a Romneyesque speech on race (and faith?) in America. Conveniently the Reverend Wright is in Africa. Perhaps he might share with them that he thinks HIV was a US government lab "creation."  I doubt it somehow. Plan C isn't likely to work. The Reverend Wright remains the topic of conversation in the media, on the blogs and on the Street. Chris Matthews is still broaching the subject. I can't bear to watch KO any longer so I don't know. Bill O'Reilly had Newt Gingrich on, followed a panel and his own special views. And all this still in light the story has not quite achieved full penetration. Only 2 in 3 voters is aware of who Reverend Wright is or his relationship to Obama. As that number grows, Obama's numbers are likely to further tank. The question is: is Obama better served by confronting or ignoring in hopes that Bear Stearns or whatever the crisis du jour is takes off some of the heat? I think he is damned if he does and damned if does not. The damage is done, the next question is: is it fatal?
    And of course there is still Plan D, the resort of always change the topic by attacking Clinton's ethics. More of the same from he who pretends that is "new and different" and "above it all." If he is as he once said in a race against cynics, then it appears that the cynics may have just pulled ahead.

    What pressure?? LONG POST (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:03:13 AM EST
    We've been told we are supposed to believe Obama is a shoe-in for this nomination...

    1.BTD is now telling us that it's over and Clinton is not winning this nomination.

    1. The entire Democratic establishment seems to be with Obama.

    2. Pelosi was just on a Sunday show making it practically impossible for Hillary to win under her criteria.

    3.  Florida is not re-voting.

    4. The media (excluding FOX) is still in the tank for the Barack.  The Obama supporters are still touting the impossible "Math" And on and on, and on it goes....

    Wait, so what pressure is there actually on Obama and his speech?  He is the nominee I am being told.  No possible way for this to end up different.

    But maybe much of what I've been hearing is "just words"  I suspect it is because when you start paying attention to the actions instead, they tell a different story.  The actions of the Obama campaign and its supporters are not those of a group that is convinced of victory.

    They continue to show a great deal of insecurity, arrogance, and panic in trying to end the race before the final lap.  "Drop out Hillary!" For the 1000th time...

    The behavior is far removed from that of a true frontrunner.

    If Clinton ends up with this nomination, half of the party and most of its establishment and "kool kid" bloggers are all going off a cliff and there's no turning back.  A new party might even emerge from all this.  It really might happen.

    Clinton is a brilliant politician (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:18:46 AM EST
    She knows when it's over, and everything she is doing says that it is not.  The way Obama is battling against her proves the point.  If it was really over, she'd be home now with her feet up.

    Am I the only one who is a little insulted that Obama and folks think that a speech will heal all wounds?

    Ten bucks says he attacks Clinton in the first five minutes.


    LOL I'll see your 10, and raise you 5! n/t (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by Rainsong on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:33:19 AM EST
    Also, I'll see your (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:34:05 AM EST
    $10 and raise you $25. I'm that sure Clinton will be attacked.

    $5 says Hillary already has a response ready (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:37:18 AM EST
    to fire his way if he does try to tie this to her.  Any takers???

    I'll see your (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:39:20 AM EST
    $5 and raise you $10. :-) Hillary will definitely have a response ready. I think they're prepared to be attacked on this. And she has been completely silent on the matter. Has not commented at all. This is all Obama. He will have to fight his way out of this one without the benefit of blaming Hillary for it.

    Do I smell action over here?... (none / 0) (#146)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:50:09 AM EST
    500 bucks says an American soldier dies in Iraq in 2012 no matter who wins out of the 3 stooges.  Payable as a donation to TL.

    Any takers on Team Hillary?  Team Obama?

    And another 100 says we still lead the league in prison population.


    Darn you (none / 0) (#150)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:55:16 AM EST
    putting policy concerns before gamesmanship.  You're no fun at all.

    This election is no fun.... (none / 0) (#205)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:43:54 AM EST
    if you love America and want it to be around in 100 years.  

    My husband and I were discussing this last (none / 0) (#75)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:29:23 AM EST
    night.  We were both insulted that he thought a little speech would make everything okay.  Do you know what time the speech is?  I have to work today so I'll need to set the recorder.  I don't want to miss a word of it.  And that is all it will be:  words written by someone else.  He will try to straddle the fence and give his unity speech.  I'm not sure it will work.  

    I don't think (none / 0) (#80)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:33:29 AM EST
    it's over either. And I don't agree with BTD that the nomination is now Obama's. If he does indeed get the nomination if Clinton wins PA and the majority of the upcoming states and is ahead in the popular vote, I don't see how that happens without major major problems going down.  

    Hmmmm..... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Rainsong on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:53:20 AM EST
    welll.. I saw Hillary on Fox last night with a few of her military endorsees, speaking to the press about her plan for Iraq withdrawal, which was positioned straight after McCain speaking, which I thought was an interesting side-by-side.

    By name or indirectly? (none / 0) (#81)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:33:58 AM EST
    My bets are on him invoking Ronald Reagan.

    We can't use money for bets here....I suppose we could.  Loser donates to the blog of the winner's choice?


    Unless (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:34:40 AM EST
    it's Dkos.  My paypal will immediately reject that site!

    Involking Ronald Reagan (none / 0) (#162)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:09:09 AM EST
    would just lose him the support of more of the Democratic base. Believe it not, the majority of Dem voters past a certain age do not have fond memories of Reagan.

    true enough (none / 0) (#112)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:05:43 AM EST
    Kathy, (none / 0) (#159)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:04:01 AM EST

    Ten bucks says he attacks Clinton in the first five minutes.

    If by attack you mean this whole debacle is somehow "his opponent's" fault, what makes you think it will take that long?


    Agreed, and WHY (none / 0) (#164)
    by AmyinSC on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:10:19 AM EST
    Does Obama get even MORE free air time???  This man has gotten WAY, WAY more free air time than Clinton.  Are they going to give her a chance to come back, uninterrupted on the whole race thing and how it has "gotten bad in the past couple of weeks" to bring up his camp's attacks on her and Bill, calling them racists and twisting everything they said - twisting FACTS - around to make it look so??

    Where the heck is the FCC?  Didn't there used to be rules on equal time???


    WNYC-public radio in NYC--carrying whole speech (none / 0) (#200)
    by jawbone on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:38:58 AM EST

    Discussion prior to the speech has one member of Wright's congregation and two black religion professors.

    The man speaking said it makes a difference that Wright's church is part of the largely white United Church of Christ, bcz that means he is not radical.

    Speech is now overdue 20 minutes--apparently taking long time to set up microphones (and teleprompter?) at Constitution Hall.


    8 American flags on the stage framing speaker (none / 0) (#215)
    by jawbone on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:49:22 AM EST
    Speech is about 30 minutes late--why? To increase pre-speech coverage time?

    Not Politics (none / 0) (#204)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:41:35 AM EST
    I'm guessing it is going to be considered more of a social issues speech than a political speech?  If he doesn't discuss issues, politics etc.  I have seen both Clinton's on Fox yesterday although WJC was mostly discussing his foundation work.

    Funny that (none / 0) (#69)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:11:08 AM EST
    you mention that a new party might come of this. My husband and me were actually discussing that.  That if there is anyone that could actually get a third party started it would be the Clintons. With the large base of support they still have, I could see it actually gaining traction.

    That being said, I didn't realize this race was over. Not until I started reading all the blogs telling me so.

    If Obama in any way tries to tie in Wright with Clinton and say anything negative about Hillary when she has not in any way commented on this Wright fiasco, he will guarantee that I will sit out the Presidential election and vote down-ticket only.


    Well, I think if he tries to tie this to the (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:26:09 AM EST
    Clintons, or specifically Hillary, there will be a huge backlash.  And I mean an immediate backlash.  It would be so disengenous to try to tie this to her.  Rev Wright has been saying this stuff for years and years, and BO has been his friend and in his congregation for over 20 years.  This stuff on Wright was out there for anyone to find.  No proof that it had anything to do with Hillary.  It could have come from his own campaign.  Maybe they wanted to get this out there now instead of during the GE.  Maybe the right wing got it out.  We just don't know.  But then I'm not sure it matters because this is a very serious issue for BO.  He is not what he says he is.  

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:29:56 AM EST
    that there will be an immediate backlash. But the way Axelrod runs the campaign, I do not put it past Obama. At all. I think he will immediately try and tie it to Hillary. And if he does that, he's at major risk, IMO. I am a lifelong Dem and have always supported the Dem nominee (including Kerry who was less-than-desirable as a candidate)...but honestly, if Obama ties this Wright/race thing to Clinton, I will be forever lost to him as a nominee and to the Party should they back him.  

    A third party? (none / 0) (#74)
    by zzyzx on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:27:40 AM EST
    Other than giving us President McCain and making the Clintons 100x as hated as Ralph Nader is, what would that accomplish?  

    The Clintons aren't hated worse than Nader now? (none / 0) (#93)
    by kenoshaMarge on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:50:02 AM EST
    LOL. I thought the same thing (none / 0) (#95)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:52:13 AM EST
    My only point in the third party idea is that the Clintons, unlike anyone else that came before them, and definitely unlike Nader have a huge base of support.  

    That makes things worse (none / 0) (#137)
    by zzyzx on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:30:58 AM EST
    All a Clinton candidacy  would do would be to split up the Obama and Clinton votes and let McCain walk into the White House.

    LOL. Don't worry so much. (none / 0) (#139)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:35:09 AM EST
    I don't think they'd ever do that. Just that they do have a large base of support should they want to. And I don't think anything will change for this GE. And I think part of Obama's campaigning in this race is what will let President McCain become a reality.

    Maybe a lot of people are thinking it (none / 0) (#115)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:07:43 AM EST
    Hillary Clinton could potentially win a general election running as an independent.  Pelosi better watch out, the unfairness being hoisted on Clinton may just go too far.

    and let me be clear (none / 0) (#119)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:09:06 AM EST
    this would assume that McCain and Obama and Nader (gawd!) split the vote in such a way that she can manage a plurality of say... 34%

    McCain would win such an election (none / 0) (#136)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:29:30 AM EST
    You think that the Republican candidate would not win in an election with Obama AND Clinton on the ticket?

    Yea probably (none / 0) (#183)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:28:58 AM EST
    Just saying it's within the realm of possibility at least for Clinton, especially if something happens to McCain.  (illness or Iraq situation turns worse, etc)

    Anyway we've basically activated mutually assured destruction in our party I think.  McCain is the odds on favorite to win under any scenario.


    I'd like the think the polarised (none / 0) (#187)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:33:08 AM EST
    hyper partisans on here who are talking about sitting on their hands,  and likewise the other way for those on Kos,  are not representative of the electorate as a whole.

    I just find it so hard to believe people seem to have forgotten the last 8 years, and think that another Republican in the White House is better than a President Obama or a President Clinton.



    IMO Clinton Would Never Go Third Party (none / 0) (#166)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:11:02 AM EST
    She is a loyal Democrat. She will support Obama if he is the nominee.

    The backstabbing may go too far (none / 0) (#185)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:31:25 AM EST
    Just saying... it's getting ugly out there.  I heard Pelosi on Sunday and it was bizarre.  Richardson also comes to mind.  It's amazing how the Clinton family can keep disciplined and not get angry.

    Having said that (none / 0) (#197)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:37:48 AM EST
    After Hillary won Texas and Ohio he has obviously sat on his hands as he did not come out with the endorsement that his statement seemed to suggest was inevitable.

    It's ugly on both sides,  but I do think they will both take a step back from the brink and it will end amicably . . . I hope.

    Neither Obama or Clinton want McCain in the Whitehouse and neither want to look back 2 years from now if the US is at war with Iran and regret not doing enough to ensure that a Democrat won in 08.


    I agree (none / 0) (#192)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:34:57 AM EST
    I cannot see it happening.

    The real worry (none / 0) (#99)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:54:26 AM EST
    amongst Obama supporters is that, knowing that the math makes it almost impossible for her to catch up in pledged delegates, that Clinton will try her darndest to tarnish Obama for the general election.  She is still young enough to run again in 2012 and could say "I told you he couldn't take down McCain.  He was too young/liberal/conservative/black/well-spoken/whatever.  I am even more experienced now." If Obama wins, she would be about 68 the next time she could reasonably run and that might be a little too old.  She might still have a chance then, but it would probably be more challenging and less likely.

    Knowing that the math is so challenging to Clinton and that the campaign has gotten so toxic of late, a lot of Obama supporters question her motives for staying in the race.  They think that the only way that she could plausibly win would be a total meltdown of the Obama campaign or enough mudslinging to tarnish Obama for '08.

    Now, a lot of folks have questioned why Obama is staying in the race after being closely tied to an angry black man.  They also had similar questions after plagiarism-gate, NAFTA-gate, gate-gate, and other similar gates.  Somehow (blame the media or luck) he's made it through relatively untarnished.  Maybe this will be the thing that finally sticks.  I don't know.  What we do know, is that tomorrow, he's going to go out and do what he does well--give a pretty speech.  It will not solve our energy crisis or solve world hunger, but it will (hopefully) go a ways towards addressing race in our country.  Hopefully, it will draw us together as Americans and start a postive dialog about race.


    Um, I'll make a wager it does no (none / 0) (#101)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:57:47 AM EST
    such thing. He is going to blame Clinton for injecting racism into the race, saying that's why people targeted Wright.

    What I find (none / 0) (#103)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:58:41 AM EST
    funny is that some Obama supporters actually think that HRC is so horribly evil that she will try and tarnish him for four years down the road. She has said time and again that she will unite behind the nominee if it's Obama. And she's proven to me that she will. She is almost always the one to reach out to him.  The fact that she is fighting for this nom does not make it a fact that she is in the business of tarnishing him for the GE.  

    And the math is behind her, yes. But the math has not in any way sealed the nomination for him. Not by a long shot.


    It didn't help (none / 0) (#107)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:02:04 AM EST
    when Hillary said that Obama was the only one of the 3 candidates left that hadn't crossed the commander-in-chief threshhold.  When you endorse the Republican candidate over your Dem rival, that's getting into Lieberman territory.

    Because of course... (5.00 / 1) (#177)
    by AmyinSC on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:23:19 AM EST
    She cannot highlight their differences or talk abt facts.  Her point was that she has VASTLY more experience dealing in international relations, AND has the support of a TON of flag officers who believe she WILL make a fine commander-in-chief.

    It is a FACT that McCain was a Navy officer, which AUTOMATICALLY gives him a major card to play in the C-i-C position.  And Obama has???

    So, yeah - shame on her for actually pointing out that he is not qualified for this position.


    Obama's Choices In Friends And Mentors (none / 0) (#131)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:20:12 AM EST
    are doing a durn good job of tarnishing him for the GE without any help from Clinton. Even if his speech calms things enough for him to win the nomination, do you honestly think that there are not more Wright tapes out there that will be used once he is the nominee. The Republicans have already built a narrative that they plan to use in the GE. It was even written about in that NYT article that Jeralyn linked to in her post.  

    A new party (none / 0) (#196)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:37:02 AM EST
    based on what?

    Based on the iconic status of Clinton? For what purpose? To continue the status quo? So that's what Clinton supporters now stand for? Beautiful.


    after waking up (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by TheRefugee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:06:30 AM EST
     and reading dKos and TalkLeft I'm in a decidedly dour mood.  


    Kos is even less substantial as a "political" analyst than I ever thought possible.  I skipped blogging except for a quick comment on TL yesterday but wish I'd read and participated in a couple of dKos exchanges.  Kos's "civil war" is a reality, I just happen to not believe in any of Kos's sanctimonious bloviating concerning Clinton/Clinton supporters being the heart of the problem.  According to Kos "power brokers" such as Kos and Olbermann and Nancy Pelosi had to choose sides now to keep the damage to the party to a minimum.  Um, ok.  Keep on brokering Kos...the Obama faithful like your kind of fair and intellectually compelling arguments.

    Also on Kos...For all my fellow disgruntled former dKos participants...don't walk away completely...Some of the Front Page posts are still of merit and those who "rescue" diaries are still pointing readers towards diaries that are well researched, written and reasoned.  I tend to stick to the enviro diaries but to each their own. For today I recommend Chapter 1's: Economy...

    Next, I started at dKos in 2003.  Being new to blogging I appreciated the forum to exchange ideas about issues, rail against Bush and the war, learn about all conceivable matters from people from so many different walks of life.  I don't have money, never have so I don't invest, Bonddad, Jerome, and others have made me far more aware of economics than I ever intended to be.  MeteorBlades and OrangeCloud fed the environmentalist in me.  Darksyde focused on science.  Several lawyers led me through the who's and why's of SCOTUS appts.  BTD in his former life gave me the opportunity to hone my generalized pie-fighting skills.  Basically there was a lot to like.  kos himself I could stomach, sometimes even agree with him but I wasn't a Dean guy, not anti-DLC, not pro-NDN, not pro elect Dems at all costs regardless of their qualifications.  It isn't that dKos has changed all that much...I have.  Even during the best of times on dKos there is always a fight of some sort--troll police, troll busters, PC police, etc.  I kept telling myself that I should just read the diaries that I wanted to read and leave the commenting to others.  But that isn't why I blog.  If I want the news I'll read a newspaper.  I blog because of the MB's and Darksydes and smart diarists that enrich and expand my knowledge of the world.

    So the real reason for being depressed is this:  I just asked myself what an Obama v McCain battle will look like and I didn't like what I saw.  I am no fan of McCain but I can already see the lies, innuendo, smears, etc that will be written about McCain on dKos--hear the "I have no choice but to crucify you" diatribes by Keith Olbermann.  My horse was Edwards.  I support Hillary because shes a tangible thing that I've been acquainted with my entire voting life.  If fellow Democrats are so willing to crucify one of their own, by whatever means necessary, what is going to be the tone of the anti-McCain rhetoric.  I thought I had been seeing the worst of Obama supporters but when I think about it...I don't think I've seen the worst but rather just the beginnings of the lengths they are willing to go to in the effort to elect "their kind of establishment."

    I understand that kos is both BTD's and Jeralyn's friend.  But I can't stand the guy so I hope they'll forgive me when I rail against him.  

    The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.  I can't stand McCain but don't expect me to rally behind Obama or kos just because they can't stand McCain either.  I have a real bad feeling that the Obama wing of my party is going to lead us into becoming the koolaid drinking party where no tinfoil hat is too big and no smear too outrageous.  

    One more thing:  WTF is wrong with FL democrats?  Were there really that many voters telling them they wouldn't support a revote or are they just being stubborn in trying to impose their will on the DNC?  

    What you said. (none / 0) (#122)
    by tek on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:10:41 AM EST
    Your arguments are what make me wonder if the Democratic Party can really survive this campaign.

    Never fear. (none / 0) (#125)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:13:47 AM EST
    I was just there trying to talk some sense into a commenter who makes valid points but seems to sling ad homs at every commenter who acts like a jerk.  (Hint - there's not a shortage of jerks there.)  I give him credit - he's hung in there for months.

    I still hang out at the rescue and enviro diaries.  I miss the "Feminisms" diaries - they were usually good for both thoughtful commentary and the occasional fistfight.


    It's All Hillary's Fault! (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by tek on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:08:57 AM EST
    How the issue of race has ramped up in this campaign over the last two weeks.  Yup, it's gonna be Obama accusing the Clintons and Geraldine Ferraro of introducing race into the campaign.  So sad.  I'm glad to see Bill Clinton is now defending himself against the slanders Obama circulated before and after SC.  Nothing to it, the media manufactured it and Obama promoted it.

    Americans need to think really hard if they want four more years of this Orwellian stuff.

    Hillary (none / 0) (#130)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:20:11 AM EST
    has a lot more plausible deniability than Ferraro.  What Ferraro said and repeated again and again was disgusting.  Her words were the words of the Limbaughs and the Sean Hannitys of the world and should not be thrown about by the leadership of the democratic party.  If a Republican had said the same thing (and we weren't in the silly season) we'd all be outraged.

    I dont' agree (none / 0) (#140)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:36:35 AM EST
    Ferraro truly believes what she said. Obama believes it too and has said much the same thing.

    I'm not exactly sure why it is that white people can't point out that Barack Obama happens to be black and in some ways has benefited from being black but this must be one of those Obama rules that I just don't get.


    David Duke believes what he says. (none / 0) (#201)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:39:22 AM EST
    Not lying when spewing racist commentary is not a positive.

    Two completely different things. (none / 0) (#206)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:44:04 AM EST
    1.  Saying that Obama has benefited in "some" ways from being Black.  This is objectively true,  in other ways,  and I would say more ways it has hurt him.

    and 2. Saying that the only reason he is where he is today is because he is Black.

    Geraldine Ferraro seems to have a habit of saying the 2nd thing about any black candidates running for President.  It's the kind of thing I expect someone like Bill O'Reilly to say and I'm disappointed that a Democrat was the one coming out and saying it.

    Hillary Clinton was correct to denounce her remarks, and I think you are wrong to defend them.


    Saw this in the Washington Post this a.m. (5.00 / 4) (#120)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:09:09 AM EST
    Paul Burka, senior executive editor of Texas Monthly, argues that the damage to Obama from Wright's words is irreparable:

    "A candidate for president of the United States cannot cozy up to someone with this kind of anti-American rhetoric. He has lost Main Street white America. Is anyone going to believe that he didn't know about Wright's views? Is anyone going to accept as an explanation that he wasn't in attendance when these things were said? He'll get clobbered in Pennsylvania, clobbered in Indiana, clobbered in Kentucky.

    "This isn't about white racism. It's about Wright racism.

    "I thought that Obama was exempt from racial reactions because he was the Tiger Woods of politics. People looked at him and saw him not as someone who is black, but as someone who transcended race because of his unique skills and accomplishments. Not any more. He just triple bogeyed the presidency. He's done."

    The MSM has already set this up to be Mr. Hope's (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by vicsan on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:57:30 AM EST
    atonement for "bad judgment" and all will be forgiven by MSHBN (MS Hillary Bashing Network) and CNN. Heaven help me (I haven't watched Fox network since 2000), Fox News may be the ONLY network to stay with this story. Mr. Orator may not be able to sweep this under Fox News' rug, but all the others are looking for an excuse to "forgive him" and this speech will give them that.

    He will be their Messiah once again. Never Mind the man spent 20 years at that church. Never Mind the Rev. Wright married the Obamas and baptized their girls and blessed their new Rezko home and the title of his book came from the racist preacher.. Never Mind he's a liar. He knew what Wright preached.

    All will be forgiven after he speaks his magic words today. JUST WATCH. The MSM cannot wait to forgive their guy. He has that Magic Touch!

    All of a sudden it occurs to me (5.00 / 0) (#163)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:09:14 AM EST
    That by giving this speech today, he has completely vindicated Geraldine Ferraro...he simply wouldn't be where he is (giving this speech), if he wasn't black.

    I would have to disagree (none / 0) (#257)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:29:50 AM EST
    Ferraro's statement about how he has gotten where he is today is more of white backlash type statement.

    This is different. You are right, that it is unlikely he would have to give this sort of speech if he were white- I mean where is John McCain making his speech on Hagee? Why didn't Bush have to disavow Pat Robertson or Falwell for their 9/11 statements?

    This is a double standard (McCain and Bush's treatment v. Obama; NOT referring to you). My AA friends would point out the obvious difference. McCain and Bush are white. Some people will not want to hear that. I can only suggest they walk in someone else's shoes. America has a long and complicated racial history. Based upon that history, I cannot blame any AA who sees a double standard at work here.


    Character: Hillary vs. Axelrod (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by NJDem on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:10:38 AM EST
    What does this story tell you:

    David and Susan Axelrod have three children in their late teens and early 20s. Their eldest, Lauren, has developmental disabilities associated with chronic epileptic seizures and now lives in a group home in Chicago. But for years her illness required enough of her parents' time that it kept Susan Axelrod out of the work force and kept David from moving to Little Rock during the 1992 presidential campaign.

    Susan and two other mothers of children with epilepsy started a foundation, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), which Susan runs, to promote research and raise funds for a cure. Because of David's political work, they have had political celebrities do fund-raisers: Bill Clinton, Tim Russert, Obama. But few have done as much for the foundation as Hillary Clinton.

    It was January 1999, President Clinton's impeachment trial was just beginning in the Senate and Hillary Clinton was scheduled to speak at the foundation's fund-raiser in Chicago. Despite all the fuss back in Washington, Clinton kept the appointment. She spent hours that day in the epilepsy ward at Rush Presbyterian hospital, visiting children hooked up to machines by electrodes so that doctors might diagram their seizure activity and decide which portion of the brain to remove. At the hospital, a local reporter pressed her about the trial in Washington, asked her about that woman. At the organization's reception at the Drake Hotel that evening, Clinton stood backstage looking over her remarks, figuring out where to insert anecdotes about the kids. "She couldn't stop talking about what she had seen," Susan Axelrod recalled.

    Later, at Hillary Clinton's behest, the National Institutes of Health convened a conference on finding a cure for epilepsy. Susan Axelrod told me it was "one of the most important things anyone has done for epilepsy."

    tells me that politics is politics is politics (none / 0) (#231)
    by TheRefugee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:04:44 AM EST
    friends one minute enemies the next.  I think a lot of the anti-Clinton crap on the Dem side is started by former staffers who felt sleighted at not getting enough credit or not getting nominated to a post or get recommended for a job or had asked Hillary for a job and been rebuffed.  Axelrod might join Dick Morris in nutville if Clinton gets the nod.  

    So, apparently Andrew Sullivan is now (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by tigercourse on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:15:20 AM EST
    hedging about who he will support in the general, Obama or McCain. I'm shocked.

    Pull in the Fringe before its to late for the (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Salt on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:17:08 AM EST
    Party too.  I have only one concern that the far Left remains visible and continues to defend or lecture the People on these preaching's as business as usual or justified in anyway, and the People do not hear a clear true Party rejection of these hate teachings.  Hate teachings combined with religion and religious leaders influencing children and communities to fear others as people who are killing people who look like them.  The violence it begets is well known and is in the fore front of every fear and violent attack on the globe.  The risk to the Party is the successful rebranding of the Dem Party as falling back into the hands of the coalition of anti Americanism the violence and hate teachings not just anti war a reputation cherished by some reject by more, a reputation that almost brought the Party to ruin.  It's the Party that's being re labeled here with fear as the tool fear of civic unrest violence at home, stoked by the Liberal Anti America Anti War Party of the 70's not the romance of the 60's, Obama I'm sorry but I believe is done for already.

    not who he says he is (3.66 / 3) (#124)
    by joyce1 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:13:02 AM EST
    Obama said publicly that he was shocked when he saw the video. You mean, in twenty years of attending this church he never once heard harsh words from this pastor? Obama was attending that day on july 22nd so he lied when he says he was shocked. Sad but there is nothing he can say that would help him out of this mess. HE LIED!

    Stop. (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:57:52 AM EST
    The lie that Obama was at church that morning has been thoroughly debunked.

    Look out Clinton campaign: (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:40:43 AM EST
    the larger issue of race in this campaign, which has ramped up over the last couple of weeks

    I had the same thoughts when I read that sentence (none / 0) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:23:03 AM EST
    At least the NYT are stressing the long term relationship. A couple of other key paragraphs in the NYT article.

    Asked how Republicans might use the Wright matter in the general election, Mr. Harris cited several incidents that could be used to question Mr. Obama's patriotism. "Negative ads are built on negative patterns," he said.

    He pointed to Mr. Obama decision to stop wearing a American flag lapel pin and the statement that his wife made about being proud of her country for the first time in her lifetime. (Mr. Obama has called the lapel pin an empty symbol of patriotism, and Mrs. Obama has said she was quoted out of context).

    Michelle Obama (none / 0) (#19)
    by zyx on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:30:27 AM EST
    was the subject of a recent New Yorker profile.  March 10 issue, I believe.

    I don't think she was taken very far out of context, if at all.  


    Michelle Obama (none / 0) (#68)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:08:16 AM EST
    is getting a LOT of crap on some of the more pro-Clinton blogs.  I am torn between outrage out of solidarity and smugness over my earlier warning that MO should be careful about what she says because strong, intelligent women are rarely lauded very long.

    Seems to me she is the weaker link here.  What they can't-or won't-say about him, they freely say about her.

    HRC could tell MO all about how that works.


    MO will be his Achilles heel if he makes it (none / 0) (#88)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:38:47 AM EST
    to the GE.

    MO and the more pro-clinton blogs (none / 0) (#133)
    by teachermom on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:25:23 AM EST
    Where are they? It is very weird to be in this group where every time I check in with the msm i find that we're some sort of deviants.The marginalization of hillary & her supporters - the pro-hill pt of view is excluded from all discussions.  Last night or yesterday watching Howard Fineman: clinton's people better not make too much of this. They are having a hqrd time blaming wright on hillary. But I think Michele is the unsung anchor of this balloon; she has already said her controversial, "for the first time i'm proud", and we will never stop hearing it as long as the campaign continues.

    A new closing line to the stump (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:32:17 AM EST

     "God bless you and God bless America!" he proclaimed.


    wink, wink! (none / 0) (#43)
    by hellothere on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:24:06 AM EST
    Right, it's going to be a negative speech. (none / 0) (#85)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:36:04 AM EST
    Just words (none / 0) (#3)
    by Foxx on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:58:11 AM EST

    Guns (none / 0) (#5)
    by Manuel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:02:12 AM EST
    As a new guest around here I am interested in this community's thoughts on gun control of which I recently became aware.  Dahlia Lithwick over at Slate has an article about the upcoming review of the DC ban.

    Personally, I have always been supportive of gun control laws but without any deep analysis.  Lithwick presents the view that the courts have generally considered the individual right to own a gun to be missing from the constitution.

    The Supreme Court determined in 1939, in United States v. Miller, that an individual right to a gun had no "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia," and thus the Second Amendment did not confer individual rights to gun ownership.

    This view closely matches my inclination.  In the rest of the article, however, Lithwick hints at a liberal case for a "strong reading" of the Second Amendment but doesn't spell it out.  Can someone please summarize what that case might be.  I know, I should go track down the literature but I am too lazy and busy to wade into a Law Review article.  Are there any other quick introductions?

    Jeralyn has posts here on her (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:08:52 AM EST
    views on Second Amendment.

    Case was argued Monday in U.S. Supreme Court.


    Thanks, I found Jeralyn's earlier post (none / 0) (#44)
    by Manuel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:30:29 AM EST
    and read the appeals court decision.  It doesn't look good for DC.  The case for the individual right seems pretty strong.  It sounds like cities can still have background checks and training as requirements.  Access for the disabled is a thorny issue, however.

    Interesting pattern (none / 0) (#152)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:57:09 AM EST
    Someone on Monday was asking about Social Security and out thoughts on it.  Fascinating.

    Queen and Mercury (none / 0) (#6)
    by jcsf on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:05:26 AM EST
    Man, isn't Freddie Mercury one of the best performers?  First, that voice (gone a bit, by this concert), and that stage presence?

    A bit before my time, but I remember We Will Rock You at various sporting events, and then of course, "discovered" Queen because of Wayne's World.

    When I see any of his concert performances though, he had it going on.

    yes he was (none / 0) (#9)
    by english teacher on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:18:40 AM EST
    though this version lacks from bowie's absence on the 2nd lead vocal.  i thought the studio version of this song was just incredible with the addition of bowie's voice.  but mercury was fantastic, as were the musicians in the band.  

    thanks for posting this great video jeralyn, but i am wondering whether, given the wright imbroglio, "another one bites the dust" might have been a more appropriate selection.  maybe you can share that one with us after obama's romney moment tomorrow.  i just don't see one speech overcoming a twenty year association.  the effort itself seems insulting to the intelligence as it is clearly too little too late.

    also, in re:  the decrim thread, one has to wonder whether obama might also be persuaded to stay up till three in the morning learning the distinction between decrim and legalization.  reminds me of the line from "a few good men", was he sick the day they taught law at law school?


    great song idea (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:26:46 AM EST
    The only thing is the media will probably spin tomorrow's speech as the greatest speech in modern history. Remember, JFK's speechwriter, Ted Sorenson, is on his team and his young speechwriters worked for Sorenson previously.

    I don't trust any politician's speeches. Politicians deliver speeches, they don't write them. They are not really their own words, but the speechwriter's.


    GWBush is a great example of that. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:50:49 AM EST
    His off the cuff remarks make me cringe.

    This speech will probably be about setting the tone or perhaps, recapturing the high ground.  Obama's inspirational rhetoric works best when there is no competing narrative.  It's hard to reconcile Hope and Unity with "God damn America".  So he's going to need to find another meme to defeat that one.


    You are really oversimplifying this matter (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by ChrisO on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:18:29 AM EST
    and I don't think many of the readers here need a lecture on Katrina and Iraq. This is a Presidentiasl election, for God's sake. It may give you some satisfaction to get in people's faces and make them confront their racism, but I think most of us are more concerned with winning the election. The time to confront people and change minds is when you have the bully pulpit of the Presidency, not when you're trying to win their vote.

    And for the record, I'm not offended by most of Wright's comments, although I do think the AIDS thing is pretty silly. I'm offended that Obama supporters have effectively shouted down anyone who tries to point out that Obama is unknown and untested, and used charges of racism to make their point. To quote a well known preacher, those chickens are coming home to roost.


    I Promise To Defend Obama With The (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:13:30 AM EST
    same commitment that the A-list bloggers and Obama's supporters defended Clinton.

    When a Democratic candidate (none / 0) (#229)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:01:04 AM EST
    can only get fair coverage on Fox, I think it's time to examine WTF is wrong with the other networks.

    If it's our job to counter the corporate spin of mainstream media, Obama supporters could have started by countering the sexist and misogynistic and just plain biased coverage of Clinton. They've had plenty of time.


    Invading people's comfort zones (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:24:03 AM EST
    may work when it's a pastor preaching to his flock - which we may presume is a nominally receptive audience.

    But it doesn't work when you are courting people's votes.  The Right has a name for this: "Blame America First".  It's a steak served up bloody rare for the right wing.

    In view of the probable right wing reaction, it is definitely not good news for a candidate who is trying to reach across party lines to get votes.  Obama's feel good rhetoric is meant to do exactly that - to make people feel good about themselves and most importantly, about Obama.  It's a time tested method of getting votes.  Reagan: Morning in America!  Bush: playing Mister Nice Guy to Gore's Too Smart For His Own Good persona.

    Obama needs people to feel good.  He has based his campaign on drawing out the disenchanted and disaffected.  G_ D_ America does not make people feel good.


    you obviously read maybe one comment (5.00 / 1) (#218)
    by TheRefugee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:52:36 AM EST
    here before launching into your list of the worlds problems, America's problems.

    1.  For every comment here condemning Wright in whole there are probably several posts that support Wright's sentiment but not his delivery.

    2.  Because he's black and only because he's black?  That is your entire argument?  That everyone who doesn't buy Obama or doesn't find the enlightenment or comfort Obama/UCC Trinity congregationalists find in Wright's words must be a racist?  Maybe you should call up Pat Robertson or James Dobson and have them say something idiotic about God giving gays HIV/AIDS as a divine admonishment of their sexual preference, or how God created Katrina to destroy the hedonists of NOLA.  When we shout them down, pt out the wrongs in their statements are we reverse racists?  Anti-christ superstars?

    You aren't going to find one person on here that doesn't think the world is full of iniquities but how much power do you think a blog has?  Dear George Bush, theRefugee at TalkLeft is plum peeved that you vetoed the anti-torture bill.  PS, George, did you know 1 in 100 Americans are in prison, gas prices are rising, foreclosure rates are through the roof, cats still hunt mice, and somewhere in the world someone just sneezed and you didn't say 'god bless you?'  Color me shocked if George acquiesces to my demands.

    It might be fair to lay the world's problems at the feet of one blog in your mind...forgive me if I fail to see how my support of Hillary or lack of support for Obama or my relative indifference to the Wright story is going to free the innocent or over-sentenced from prison.  I fail to see how TalkLeft, were it to forego the topic on the lips of the blogosphere, could reduce the cost of gas, or provide for reparations concerning past US actions in foreign nations.  TL is just a small voice in a world full of noise.  

    I share many of your concerns but I'm not blaming you when I have to fill up at the pump so don't blame me for falling SAT scores or lack of progress in the Israel/Palestianian peace process.


    You don't count (none / 0) (#114)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:07:25 AM EST
    for some reason.  I'm not sure what it is yet, but I'll figure it out one of these days (Do you drink wine or drive an imported car? Have you ever expressed displeasure with the Great War for Iraqi Freedom?).  My cousin's stepfather's mechanic is a real 'merican and he hates Obama.  Real 'mericans don't take kindly to criticisms of our gubmint.

    Marketing (none / 0) (#156)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:58:03 AM EST
    This is again another piece of the marketing package.  

    I was appalled in Wayne's World... (none / 0) (#17)
    by ricosuave on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:27:37 AM EST
    when Mike Meyers couldn't remember the words during the Bohemian Rhapsody scene.  Still, one of the few good things to come out of Saturday Night Live in the last few decades...

    Oh... (none / 0) (#18)
    by ricosuave on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:29:29 AM EST
    ...I also still have my nude bicycle race poster that came with a Queen record (Day at the Races, I think).  My wife tried to get rid of it recently, not knowing what it was.

    i remember owning (none / 0) (#29)
    by english teacher on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:44:43 AM EST
    the 45rpm for "ride by bicycle" with the b-side "fat bottomed girls".  the dust cover had a picture of a robust female behind in tight shorts on a bicycle seat.  kind of a two for one deal, i suppose.      

    My older bro was a big fan..... (none / 0) (#157)
    by kdog on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:58:49 AM EST
    I spent my years as a toddler listening to Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls/Bicycle Race" single.  Over and over and over.  Those songs are the earliest memories of my life.

    Anyone know (none / 0) (#10)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:20:47 AM EST
    a good place to get an unbiased parsing of Obama's speech today?

    The usual suspects will be cherry picking and either singing allelujah or snarking at Obama's expense.

    I don't expect much from the speech personally:

    Obama is a Christian.
    Wright is a fine leader, unfairly attacked by bad, bad people.
    Much trumpeting of judgment, the shaping of high standards, moral codes and so forth.

    Not sure what he'll say on race.  Not sure what there is to say other than some version of "We are all human and we are all in this together." plus some standard references to MLKJr and possibly Reagan(call me a cynic).

    Anyone else want to guess?

    If the speech is poll-driven, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:23:42 AM EST
    see Rasmussen poll, accessible at Huffington Post.

    Rather than depend on someone else (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Anne on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:56:50 AM EST
    to parse the speech, I would try to find a transcript and just read it for yourself.  See what you think.  What you feel.  Decide what it means to you.  I really think if more of us did this, the power that currently resides in the pundits and in the media in general would significantly diminish.

    As for what he will say and what he should say - the most honest thing he could say might be "I sure wish I could turn back the hands of time," because he gives this speech as a defensive move, as damage control, instead of being able to take a leadership position.

    I think he also suffers for having been a significant part of the divisiveness he keeps telling us that only he is best equipped to bring an end to - he really painted himself into the corner on that one.  In my book, you don't get to fan the flames of a problem and then get credit for putting out the fire - not without owning up to your role in the first place.

    And I don't think he can do that - I really don't.  I think if he does, it kicks the foundation out from under his post-partisan, post-racial campaign.

    And what to say or do about Reverend Wright?  How does he stand up there and say that Wright is wrong, and explain how he maintained a 20-year relationship that included donating large sums of money to the church?  You don't have to be in the pews hearing the invective to know that others are, and others are being influenced to think and believe in ways that seem antithetical to unity and healing - and to do nothing, even if all you would do is find another church, is not the kind of leadership people are looking for.  

    If he comes out and agrees with Wright, he's done.  If he comes out and disagrees, people are looking at those videos and seeing what a lot of us see - that if he really did not agree with Reverend Wright's views, he would have found another church years ago.

    I think the media will try to prop him up as best it can, but if his gift for oratory fails him now, I think it strikes a big blow to his confidence, and ends the invincibility aura that has surrounded him for weeks.

    Could be the last stand - but we'll see soon enough.


    How about just "parsing" it yourself... (none / 0) (#92)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:48:11 AM EST
    Listen to it and then tune out all media till while you decide for youself what it means.  I don't know of anywhere you could get an unbiased opinion one way or the other.

    Remember the source (none / 0) (#14)
    by bob5540 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:25:14 AM EST
    The whole Rev. Wright controversy started March 1 with Sean Hannity at Fox News -- not with the Hillary Clinton campaign, although they have surely been beneficiaries of it. Hannity has been peddling the "black-separatist" narrative since last June, and he and his cabal continue to pump it like a penny stock. Of course, Fox News sets the agenda for the other cable news channels. Wolf Blitzer is "all Jeremiah, all the time."

    We need to remember the source, because we are being played like fools. This is especially true of the Clinton supporters, who have joined the Republicans in the Jeremiad against Obama, repeating all their memes, frames, and talking points.

    It's not hard to figure out the  strategy, and it's brilliantly simple: Take out Obama in the primary, then Clinton in the general election. Why does it work better this way, instead of the reverse?

    Face it: Today, it's a lot harder to play the race card than the gender card. Racism gets called out quickly and loudly. Genderism is barely noticed, if at all, except by the gender group, and they are marginalized as feminists. That's Obama's advantage, if he's the nominee.

    But the race card can be played in the primary, before the nominee is selected, because the the card holder can claim they don't as yet have a horse in the race. When Fox News does a big number on the connection between Obama and Wright, they don't get accused of attacking Obama's race because Obama isn't the opposing candidate as far as the Republicans are concerned. Not yet. The Fox News reporters can appear to be journalists chasing a legitimate story. Had they done this after the convention, assuming Obama is the Democratic candidate, their agenda would be obvious. It would be called out.

    Because it's so easy to prey on gender biases without being noticed (and for several other reasons), the Republicans would rather face Hillary Clinton in the general election. Taking out Obama now would ensure that desired result. To show you just how easy it is going to be, consider this hypothetical commercial:

    (Clip of child sleeping.)

    ANNOUNCER: When the phone rings at 3 a.m...

    (Clip of White House at night.)

    ANNOUNCER: ...who will answer?

    (Clip of Hillary Clinton 'cackling.')

    (Clip of John McCain looking serious, like a commander-in-chief.)

    ANNOUNCER: It's your choice.

    I don't understand (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by badger on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:51:25 AM EST
    what "play the race card" means here. Is there an assumption that people don't know Obama is black? Or is the assumption that people who will base their vote on race will only do so if reminded to do so - absent-minded racists?

    Personally, I think the concept is silly. I don't think there's a large group of swing voters who can be convinced to to vote against Obama because he's black. Their minds are, for the most part, already made up on that issue.

    However Obama's patriotism is eminently attackable - totally unfairly IMO, but easy to do. And that provides easy cover to people who want to vote against him based on race, but don't want to admit it. And some people feel it's a legitimate issue, regardless of race.

    Any candidate can be attacked on any issue with enough creativity, but Hillary's laugh hardly has the emotional impact of "God Damn America".


    I'd be defending Obama right now (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:31:30 AM EST
    If Obama had answered a certain question differently a few months ago.

    A lot of Clinton supporters, mostly over at mydd, are misbehaving right now.

    I'm not in the mood scold them.


    Question (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:56:23 AM EST
    If MyDD is such a den of anti-Obama iniquity, why do people go there?  I've never been and I've seen few, if any links there so I assume that there isn't much of interest there.  (As opposed to say, Digby, Greenwald and so forth.)

    It's bizarre - now that dk seems to have lost most of the committed Hillary supporters, dk diaries have gone up talking about MyDD.  It seems pathological to me.


    mydd traffic has doubled (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:10:50 AM EST
    due to all this.

    Clinton supporters go there for the same reason Obama supporters go to dailykos.


    That's not saying much! (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:23:41 AM EST
    Hillary bashing versus Obama bashing?

    It's two sides of the same coin to me.  If they blow things out of proportion at MyDD the same way they do at dk, I have no interest at all in it.


    I'm not really trying to convince anyone (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:50:23 AM EST
    To take part in what goes on over at mydd.com.

    I'm just acknowledging that it's there.


    Thanks for the info. (none / 0) (#73)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:27:06 AM EST
    It's hard to see the gestalt in large, community sites.

    Someone once asked me for advice on reading dk, and I had to think long and hard about what to say, how to help them sift through all the chatter.  That was before the primaries.  If someone asked me now, I'd give them a handful of diarists to read and tell them they are better off not reading anything else.


    Okay, I'll take the bait. (none / 0) (#48)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:05:38 AM EST
    What question are you referring to?

    I'll also agree that MyDD is getting a little too edgy--it's drifting from moderately pro-Clinton to being anti-Obama, or the mirror image of DK.


    Someone asked him (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:45:23 AM EST
    What he thought of the republican attacks on the Clintons in the 90s, and he basically said that it wasn't really Clinton's fault and that those attacks were "unfair" but that that history was there, and that history would prevent Clinton from uniting the country in the way that he can.

    For the longest time I was just PO'd that he couldn't bring himself to say the simple words "It was wrong," and then I realized a week or so what was happening there.

    He doesn't want to force anyone to choose between him and hating Clinton.  The people he's trying to bring into the Tent are people who are ready to say Bush sucked, but they're the same people who, oddly enough, are not ready to say they were wrong about Clinton.  They will hold onto that hate until they die presumably and if the Democratic Party is to embrace these new Democrats we must never put ourselves in the position of saying they were wrong to attack the Clintons the way they did.

    No matter, just being irrationally PO'd or knowing the rational reason behind the answer, ever since I've been incapable of responding any better to the attacks on Obama.

    What's happening to Obama right now isn't really his fault.  It is also unfair, but it's there now.

    That's the best I can do.

    Thanks for asking.  This is my obsessive issue of this entire race.


    Nice analysis (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:13:14 AM EST
    This illustrates one of the things most troubling to me about Sen. Obama, namely, that he does not confront, he just says we should choose a different path. I understand that makes him more acceptable to people who do not want to be confronted about the past, but I believe in calling bs where it's warranted. To accomplish great things, to truly move forward, I believe confrontation of the past, of ourselves, is usually necessary.

    It's a good issue. (none / 0) (#77)
    by Fabian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:30:57 AM EST
    I hadn't thought of it that way, actually.

    It's something to ponder.


    How's it feel? (none / 0) (#233)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:05:49 AM EST
    We need to remember the source, because we are being played like fools. This is especially true of the Obama supporters, who have joined the Republicans (and MSM) in the jeremiad against Clinton, repeating all their memes, frames, and talking points.

    Beam, mote, eye, etc.


    I don't see any way a speech will heal these (none / 0) (#15)
    by athyrio on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:25:50 AM EST
    wounds...to think otherwise is just "pie in the sky" thinking...This pastor has sunk him IMHO...

    I wonder what we will do? (none / 0) (#20)
    by blogtopus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:31:19 AM EST
    Who in their right mind would enter a bleeding horse into an important race? This isn't Hollywood.

    The Short Answer (none / 0) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:34:44 AM EST
    The Democratic Party.

    A bleeding horse... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Imelda Blahnik2 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:05:39 AM EST
    ...a wounded donkey

    well i guess we will just have to pull (none / 0) (#25)
    by english teacher on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:34:59 AM EST
    a rumsfeld, and go into the election with the candidate we have, not the one we wish we had.  rumsfeld really wasn't that far out of the mainstream, in case you haven't heard.  

    Unfortunately, I agree w/BTD. (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:36:14 AM EST
    No re-vote in FL means no HRC  as Dem. candidate.

    Don't Underestimate the Cllinons (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:45:59 AM EST
    I can tell from her schedule the next 4 weeks that she'll have her game plan on .

    Well, maybe Obama (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:48:39 AM EST
    will implode, but I don't see PA and PR getting her the nomination but I would really like to be wrong.  

    If the delegates aren't seated (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Edgar08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:50:22 AM EST
    And the popular vote isn't added in as is, then Obama will have to make up a certain percentage of lost Clinton supporters with his Obamacans.

    Does he have a dog named "Checkers"? (none / 0) (#37)
    by badger on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:54:30 AM EST
    (the "Checkers" speech is on youtube - it's about 12 minutes long)

    Re the "Checkers" comparison (none / 0) (#62)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:52:10 AM EST
    Didn't we subsequently learn that Nixon was indeed a "crook"?

    Hmmm.... (none / 0) (#39)
    by oldpro on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:05:43 AM EST
    same speechwriter(s)...

    This one will be tricky.  Wonder how long it's been in the works?

    Anyone see Samantha Power on Colbert? (none / 0) (#56)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:06:32 AM EST
    yes, i did. (none / 0) (#178)
    by cpinva on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:24:02 AM EST
    i still think she's an idiot, who shouldn't be let out by herself. like many idiots, she sort of sounds rational, until you start to actually listen to her.

    i'm sure she's a lovely woman and, um, very bright. supposedly, so is condoleeza rice, and we see how well she's worked out.

    they should both stay in academia, where their acttions won't actually cause real harm to anyone.


    I like her (none / 0) (#216)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:49:40 AM EST
    She speaks out on topics other people would like to ignore. She was clearly embarassed at having to talk to Colbert about the monster incident, but she hung in there and did fine.

    Colbert is simply brilliant: Cookie Monster was awesome, and I wish Sen. Clinton would latch onto that one.


    yuck (none / 0) (#220)
    by Nasarius on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:53:44 AM EST
    Colbert has joined Stewart in being so sickeningly pro-Obama/anti-Clinton (not to mention gleeful about Spitzer's downfall), they're unwatchable.

    Ms. Power does meet my "it-getter" threshold by clapping for Stephen as he runs out. But what was with "we have three amazing candidates" left in the race? A foreign policy adviser who won't trash McCain is no asset.


    Jees, have you had a sense of humour (none / 0) (#241)
    by JoeA on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:13:17 AM EST

    I'm sure she was referring to Mike Gravel when she mentioned 3 amazing candidates.


    Racism (none / 0) (#60)
    by Doc Rock on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:49:03 AM EST
    Some of Wright's sermonizing is clearly racist--when one assigns blanket blame: "whites" did this or that, it is racist.  Obama says he does not support this.  I credit him with being truthful unless/until he is shown to be otherwise and he has not been so far.

    The racist card, however, has been repeatedly slapped on the table in this campaign--often by Obama supporters such as when they leapt upon Clinton's having said that it took Lyndon Johnson to actually pass the civil rights legislation (and by Clinton supporters such as Ferraro's stupid assertion that Obama wouldn't be where he is today if he were not black).  The Clinton statement did not "dis" Martin Luther King's efforts--it merely stressed the reality that there is a legislative element that was a key part of the accomplishment.  

    It would be no more or less racist to assert that Reverend King's leadership was an essential mover in the fight for civil rights and to ignore Lyndon Johnson's contribution to moving the legislation.  

    Whenever any element plays to racist sentiments, it demeans us all.  For some reason, however, much of the media appears extremely anxious to fan the sparks of racism in this campaign.

    King vs Johnson (none / 0) (#67)
    by Aussie Chris on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:07:21 AM EST
    I think one's thinking on the King vs Johnson debate is conditioned by whether you are white or black. As an analogue: who is responsible for the independence of India - Gandhi or British parliament? The British  give themselves a lot of credit, but no one else does, especially Indians. I think whites, like myself, give themselves far more credit than they deserve for the civil rights acts of the '60s and this is really irritating to blacks. I think their reaction is understandable and legitimate.

    That's an (none / 0) (#94)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:50:45 AM EST
    entirely different situation. One was an Empire that did was giving up a colony and it is not in any way comparable to a President that made Civil Rights and the Great Society the crux of his agenda.  Know what I mean? It's apples and oranges. Johnson willingly gave up a HUGE swath of Southern support in order to pass Civil Rights legislation. Not in any way the same thing as the British finally giving up a colony Post WWII.

    I HOPE Obama (none / 0) (#63)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:00:59 AM EST
    admits and apologizes to Hillary for Axelrod's strategy of negatively injecting "race" in the campaign.  

    have you seen these new comments? (none / 0) (#65)
    by diplomatic on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:05:20 AM EST
    In my opinion they are even worse:

    "They would do anything to win, and that means anything," David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, told me Monday. "There is a frenetic energy around them to commandeer this election in any way they can."

    Axelrod went on: "She is the ultimate Washington inside player. She is always asking, `How do we wire the vote? How do we wire the system to get the results we want?'"

    The first thing I highlighted seems to imply that they might even try to bump someone off.  The second thing implies vote-rigging. (even if the explanation is that he meant poll-testing and insider dealings)


    To be fair he also said (none / 0) (#104)
    by kid oakland on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:59:40 AM EST
    "And if that does not work out, they will probably challenge us to a game of cribbage to choose the nominee."

    Which is kind of funny and probably the tone he should have taken overall.


    It's actually (none / 0) (#108)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:02:37 AM EST
    not funny...it's condescending and rude. But I've come to expect nothing less from Axelrod.  He acts as though they've won, the very same thing he accused HRC of doing.  

    Best 2 out of 3? eom (none / 0) (#117)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:08:25 AM EST
    The Wright question is... (none / 0) (#72)
    by zzyzx on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:26:41 AM EST
    To me, what I wonder is how much does what we've seen of these 4 speeches represent the views of Wright?  Wright has had, what, 1000 sermons over his career and we're seeing 30 seconds out of them?  If these are rare moments, then yes, it is quite possible that Obama could have gone his entire career without seeing them.   If they're common, then it's a bit weirder.

    One of the things I think Obama can do with this speech is to try to differentiate between the Wright that he knew all these years and the one that appears in the videos.  If this is something that largely started as he aged, it's possible - something along the lines of, "I was drawn to his message of hope and am horrified to see Wright turn his back to the message that he used to preach," or something.

    Do you really (none / 0) (#78)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:32:20 AM EST
    think that it's a weird happenstance that Wright was so vicious in those 30 second splices? If this were not a common occurrence, don't you think the crowd would have reacted angrily? If it's so out of character for him, wouldn't his Church immediately recoil from such hate speech...if this were an out-of-bounds, out-of-normal preaching for their Reverend?  That's my question.

    I do think that the majority (none / 0) (#98)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:54:14 AM EST
    of his sermons were more like this.

    I don't think that will work. What did BO say (none / 0) (#82)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:34:04 AM EST
    last Friday?  That was the time to do that.  Too late now.  And he just gave an interview on NPR and said that the only reason he hadn't distanced himself from Rev Wright and Rezko was because he hadn't been in DC long enough.  Seriously.  He has not handled this in a good way.  That shows his poor judgment and his immaturity.  He just is not ready for prime time.

    I don't think that type of speech (none / 0) (#154)
    by TheRefugee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:57:33 AM EST
    is limited to just Wright's sermons, I would imagine that many black preachers espouse the same views.  Blacks still getting the shaft, Blacks still being called ni**er, etc.

    On the face of it there isn't much that Wright says that I necessarily disagree with.  I agree with him and Ron Paul that attacks on the US by foreign entities aren't random but are the result of US being a bully before being a friend.  I agree that race is still an issue, I just think that it isn't to the degree that Wright thinks it is.  I agree too many people still throw the N word around like somehow Dr. Dre or Chris Rock et al using the word makes it ok for everyday use.  I agree that blacks from the poorer areas of the country are less likely to receive a quality education and are far more likely to end up in prison for breaking some stupid law like possession of marijuana.

    What I disagree with is the vicious language coupled with the emphasis on words like white or black or Hillary.  When the majority? of his congregation is black emphasizing those words does nothing other than promote intolerance.  We don't need black kids being taught that "white" is an epithet, that all those of Caucasian decent are trying to keep blacks down, that whites can't know poverty.  He says a lot that is true but in saying it the way he says it he is creating a divide.  

    I damn America for leaving the poor behind etc.  But I'm an atheist, having God damn America does nothing for me because I don't believe in God and I can damn America all by myself.  But to a ton of voters God is real and America is infallible so for anyone to say that God damns America, for any reason, is a big ol no-no.


    When's the speech? Anyone know? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:37:52 AM EST

    I have no (none / 0) (#90)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:39:48 AM EST
    idea but I'm dying to find out. Is it during the day?? I have school at night and would rather see it while at work.  

    I finally found something that says 10:15 in (none / 0) (#109)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:02:52 AM EST

    I really have mixed feelings (none / 0) (#97)
    by ChrisO on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:53:27 AM EST
    about this whole tyhing. On the one hand, I take some measure of satisfaction in seeing Obama get his comeuppance (I hope that's not a racist word) especially since I think it's shameful the way he has played the race card, and smeared two people who have done more for the Democratic Party than almost anyone else.

    On the other hand, I don't hate the guy, and am still prepared to vote for him in the GE. This has the potential to seriously derail his career. Even if I don't support him in this election, there's no question he's a shining star in the Party.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see how a speech helps him here. His momentum has been built on being post-racial, and the unity message. I think a lot of voters do have a desire to see us move beyond racial issues, and internally applauded themselves for voting for a black guy. The angry black stuff is a genie that can't be put back in the bottle.

    The only way I think he may be able to deal with this is to say "There are a lot of angry black people in this country. I have been blessed with many privileges, so I don't share that anger, but I recognize it. That's why my message of unity is more important than ever."

    Unfortunately, even if he does say that, I don't think he'll be able to resist the urge to take a shot at Hillary, directly or indirectly.

    This whole incident is playing out exactly as portrayed by those of us who have been arguing that the superdelegates do play a role, in case of a late meltdown by the presumptive nominee. If Obama gets absolutely blown out in Pennsylvania, and loses someplace like Indiana that's already been put in his win colukmn, the party leaders will have to take a long look at our prospects for the Fall. When  it comes right down to it, the romance with Obama is a result of speed dating, and he's in the lead now essentially as a result of about three really good weeks, when the press coverage of Hillary was all about when she would drop out. I think Wisconsin is a perfect illustration of this, since it's the only time before or since that he has taken away her base.

    Unfortunately, his followers will forever blame Hillary for this, and if she did get the nomination she would come out of the convention severely crippled. I'm afraid there's no good way out of this. I would much prefer that he somehow deal with this and get the nomination, than to watch McCain putting justices on the Supreme Court.

    Sorry for the long rant.

    I don't blame Obama for any of this (none / 0) (#132)
    by TheRefugee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:24:14 AM EST
    as yet there is nothing linking Obama to statements against Clinton as 'race-baiters' save thru linking him to his surrogates in the manner that Clinton is trying to be linked to Ferraro.  Most of this is just politics.  Race isn't the issue so I think Obama is missing the boat if he tries to give a lecture about racism.

    The issue is white Obama supporters being overly sensitive and looking for reasons to cry racism.  Jesse Jackson Jr has been all but MIA since his SC comments about Bill Clinton.  If Obama cut his role or asked JJ to tone it down I applaud him.  But it wasn't JJ that made Bill's comment or Ferraro's comments or Bill's falling asleep in front of the black pastor get blown into a big deal.  It was media types and bloggers, most white, who latched onto and promoted the idea that race was being introduced into the campaign by the Clintons.  This is just my opinion but I see this whole flap as being caused by white people trying to be over politically correct(not sure of how to phrase it) and seeing racism where none exists.  

    Obama would be better off just continuing to repudiate Wright's comments.  Any attempt to try and parse or change what he wrote on HuffPo the other day is just going to make things worse.  What needed to be said was already said so he should just continually repeat that he doesn't approve of Wright's comments, wasn't in the church during any of those tirades, considers Wright a friend but will never support anti-American or racially charged rhetoric voiced by either a friend or a foe.


    "comeuppance" (none / 0) (#135)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:28:17 AM EST
    doesn't strike may as racist, but it seems like the word "arrogant" gets thrown around a lot with indignation.  I don't understand how BO is arrogant (being too young or not connected enough?), but it's a little disturbing to me when I see it.  

    Hillary probably won't be mentioned (none / 0) (#106)
    by cannondaddy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:01:21 AM EST
    I honestly don't know what people will think of Hillary if she gets the nomination over this.  I would hope it could be pulled together in time for November.

    BTW, I've never heard anyone put Indiana in the Obama win column...

    BO tends to do better in red states (none / 0) (#123)
    by clapclappointpoint on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:12:25 AM EST
    and it borders his home state of IL.  I don't think there are any polls out there yet and there's a lot of time before their primary.

    Indiana... (none / 0) (#161)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:05:11 AM EST
    The only polls in Indiana have shown Obama to be up by about 15%.

    I'm hoping he advances race relations... (none / 0) (#110)
    by DandyTIger on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:03:05 AM EST
    I'm a Hillary supporter but if Obama can address some issues and differences between black and white (and other) then that could be a good thing. I don't know how he could do it, but somehow put Wright in context and make it understandable. He's in quite a spot, but I'm pulling for him on this issue.

    See my post above. MO is BO's Achille's heel (none / 0) (#111)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:05:02 AM EST
    in the GE if he gets the nomination.

    The Other Obama has been silenced (none / 0) (#252)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:23:30 AM EST
    for weeks, with not a word about that in the media.

    Instead, the navel-gazing media love to cover the story of them not covering Bill Clinton now, ignored on the campaign trail (by the media not paid by the campaign to follow him anymore but not ignored by the public).

    But at some point, inevitably, MO will say something again that will be captured on video again, just like the Rev. Wright . . . watch for it.  She simply will not be silenced for long, that is clear about her.  And I actually find that admirable in many ways, but not when it is hurting the cause of getting a Dem in the White House.


    He was in Scranton yesterday. (none / 0) (#116)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:07:59 AM EST
    The Scranton Times had this to say :
    Compared to Hillary, Mr. Obama's arrival on St. Patrick's Day seemed like a secret.

    There was no large rally or parade. At the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport when he arrived shortly before 4 p.m., he offered only a quick wave before jumping into a waiting sport utility vehicle.

    After an hour at a private forum with veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at Whistles Pub and Eatery, Mr. Obama spoke for only 10 minutes at the dinner -- long enough to impress some, but not others.

    The Obama supporters have complained that they thought the parade use to be the St. Patricks Day Parade and not the Hillary Parade as it appeared to be on Saturday. 8 Republican friends went to the parade. They are for her in the GE. One shook hands and was so excited saying this might be the next President of the US. They tell me that it got a little quiet in the parade and then you heard the roar of the crowd like doing a wave at a ballgame. A lot of people went to the parade to see her.

    Obama appeared at a dinner for the Society of Irish Women. I could not figure that one out but apparently he recently found an ancestor of Irish Descent. The sub headline was Obama joins the Green Party.

    And Bill will be in Wilkes-Barre and Stroudsburg in the Poconos tomorrow. The Clintons are heavy hitting NE Penna and being welcomed.

    I think the Wright damage is irreparable (none / 0) (#126)
    by Saul on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:14:51 AM EST
    First impressions have more effect than any thing you do or say to correct it after the fact.  People will look at it like spin and doing it for political expediency which will make him look like the politician his campaign wants to show he is not.   Even if he is nominated he will not be electable because of this.  The republicans will play this for all it worth and he will loose the white vote.  I never seen such a naive person like Obama.  The super will have their work cut out for them.  They will have to ponder his electability.  The Supers have a tough job.  If we go for Hilary because she is more electable in the GE, we will loose the AA base in the GE.  If we go for Obama, we will probably loose the GE.  So maybe following the will of the people, as great as that sounds, may not be the best thing to do.  You got to keep things in perspective, the ONLY goal is to win the GE and sometimes you do it by not making everyone happy.  The only other way is the dream ticket. Most everyone is happy and that is a slam dunk for the GE.  The DNC needs to get rid of super delegtes or if they want to keep them they need to set guidelines on how they must exactly vote instead of the current willie nillie process.

    Dream ticket: Hillary/Edwards, right? (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:41:49 AM EST
    I use to think the Hillary/Obama ticket would be the dream ticket, but when he scoffed at the idea I figured ok, enough of that thought. But as I have said before, I do not think she would lose the AA base. They were for her a lot before Obamania and I believe they will be for her again as they are Democrats. You might lose the newbies, but would pick up some GOP women to compensate. I think she could pull it off.

    Deny the election to Obama by Supers (none / 0) (#160)
    by Saul on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:04:29 AM EST
    The supers would have to deny Obama the election even though he has the pledge delegates because he would be unelectable and that will anger the AA.  Will the super say "Yes he has the delegates but he can not win the GE there fore will will go with Hilary.'  Do you think the supers got the guts to do that?

    No n/t (none / 0) (#174)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:17:48 AM EST
    I depends on how far this goes. (none / 0) (#182)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:26:45 AM EST
    I think that is possible.
    but if that happens they will not be mad at the supers, because if they do that they will only do it when it is absolutely clear that he is unelectable, they will be mad at Hillary and us for making this happen.
    I have been seeing this already.   because I saw this coming I am some kind of racist and I made this happen.

    Donna Brazille (none / 0) (#129)
    by glennmcgahee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:18:48 AM EST
    I read an article in this morning's Miami Herald about the do-over vote in Florida not happening. In it, they quote Donna Brazille and label her a Democratic Strategist that remains neutral in the race for the nomination. Anyone who's been paying attention knows this is not true. In an article from Slate, I came across a piece by Ms. Brazille that mentions her problems with her own family's preacher who was politicing from the pulpit and her disdain for it. An interesting read since she dismisses the brouhaha over Pastor Wright:

    Maybe it's just me (none / 0) (#134)
    by dk on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:27:33 AM EST
    but I see this whole Wright kerfluffle as more about religious fundamentalism than about race.  Basically, since Reagan, we have had to fight religious fundamentalism in its southern white form (and no, I'm not saying that all southern whites are religious fundamentalists, but that some are, and those are the people we have been fighting against).  Republican presidents since Reagan have legitimized the views of those people and given them a great deal of power.

    In an Obama presidency, the power would shift to religious fundamentalist of the african american southern and inner city variety.  Obama will legitimize the views of these people (he has already done so with McClurkin, he will likely, to a certain degree, do so with Wright today).  

    Deciding how to vote in an election, obviously, is about picking priorities.  To me, nothing is more important than trying to reduce the power and influence of religious fundamentalists in this country.  That is why, at this point, I don't see myself pulling a lever for Obama, even in the GE.  It also explains the one time I actually ever voted Republican in my life, which was for Lowell Weicker over Joe Lieberman in 1988 in Connecticut.  This time, I wouldn't vote for the Republican, but I guess I'll just skip the vote for President and vote Democrat down ticket.

    Speech on race today... (none / 0) (#138)
    by white n az on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:33:41 AM EST
    Couldn't be because he's taking a serious hit because of the coverage of his pastor could it?

    Actually, I think that Obama brought this one on himself because he got out in front of decrying Geraldine Ferraro's comments instead of leaving it to his surrogates and it has cost him big time.

    He seems to lose ground every time he talks about race and religion and today's speech is just going to amplify and lend more credence to the coverage of his problem with his association with Jeremiah Wright...and clearly he knew that Wright was a liability going in.

    So he gives a speech and tries to punch home the notion that words matter...but apparently Jeremiah Wrights words matter too.

    This religion speech thing worked so well for Mitt Romney too, didn't it?

    Why doesn't HRC take the lead on addressing (none / 0) (#143)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:44:44 AM EST
    racism and injustice?

    Clinton presumably understands the intense pressure Obama is under to achieve an almost impossible equilibrium between being both "black" and "not-black."

    HRC's reputation has taken a major hit with AAs. Why doesn't she step up to the plate now?

    The underlying issues should be more important to her than just waiting to see what advantage she can reap from the historic challenge now facing Obama.

    Or maybe her campaign's main concern at this point is whether a sizable enough percentage of less educated white men in Pennsylvania can be influenced to vote her way, as happened in Ohio.

    This speech (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:50:57 AM EST
    is a retort to the Wright criticism. Why should it be HRC that addresses it at all? It's been addressed to death that neither camp should engage in race or gender baiting.  This wright kerfuffle is squarely on Obama.

    Shortsighted view (none / 0) (#171)
    by CodeNameLoonie on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:16:35 AM EST
    HRC doesn't need to address Wright. She needs to address the issues.

    She presumably understands the context in which this story is happening. She could show leadership. She still may. That would be a good day.


    Hillary tried three times (none / 0) (#228)
    by ChrisO on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:00:48 AM EST
    to defend Obama against the Muslim rumors, and what did it get her?

    Your suggestion is (none / 0) (#210)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:46:48 AM EST
    just a bait.  

    If Obama had ever addressed the sexism (none / 0) (#258)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:30:37 AM EST
    Hillary has had to deal with, you might have a point.

    The Theology : God Bless America (none / 0) (#167)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:12:01 AM EST
    Watched the George Carlin special on HBO.  He did a whole bit on God Bless America.  Made the same point Wright made, without the, God Damn America.  Carlin basically said, why should god bless only America?  Carlin is a comedian.  

    One thing you folks are missing, to "believers"  Wright is a minister.  A man of god asking god to damn america is not the same as the guy down the corner.   Someone told me that he is a "liberation theologist".  HA!!!  The idea of being godly is not using god in that way.  

    Sacred, the words God and America are sacred to some people.  Not maybe you and me, but they are.  The fact that Obama holds this man as his mentor and pastor tells people that he will not take "care of them".  He will not care for all Americans, he will exclude.  He has not transcended race.  If your religion is based on the words of a man who holds such hate towards most Americans, Americans right now need someone who will stand up for them, and they are not getting the love.  

    I am concerned about the pulpit scene (none / 0) (#212)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:48:06 AM EST
    Yes, the GDA and especially the Aids spew because both are forms of hatred and intollerance. Not the God I know but I am a bad Catholic and I could not condone Priests harming children and not being deflocked. I condemed it.  But can any of you imagine in your mind in a church, a minister humping the lecturn in front of families and no one saying it was over the line?  This was not just words. It was all over the line and yet, this was the mentor and spiritial advisor of BHO. And that is the problem. BHO should have been advising Wright rather than embracing him. Wright smiles a lot but apparently the smile conceals a hidden agenda.  

    Can we please have a thread to live blog speach (none / 0) (#172)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:16:37 AM EST

    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:22:26 AM EST


    STOP... (none / 0) (#198)
    by mindfulmission on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:37:48 AM EST
    ... YELLING!!!

    Will try.... (none / 0) (#202)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:39:49 AM EST
    but once in a while... I just can't help..

    My Thoughts (none / 0) (#181)
    by chrisvee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:26:44 AM EST
    Here's my opinion.

    I expect the media will hail this as one of the greatest speeches ever made. I'm a little more...I don't know if cynical is the right word.  I like moving rhetoric but ultimately, I'm about actions.   BTW, that's probably the root of my reluctance to embrace Senator Obama as the nominee.

    It's hard for me to imagine what Senator Obama might say that would alter my evaluation of his actions and that evaluation is going to be based on the totality of his relationship with the Reverend Wright.  This is someone who is/was an important influence on him and I don't find it credible that Senator Obama wasn't aware of Reverend Wright's body of work.  I also don't really buy into the notion that one would attend a church even if one heard disturbing things that espoused problematical views such as the ones we've heard in sound bites thus far.  I know I wouldn't.  I respect anyone working on issues of social injustice.  I abhor the prejudices that were and are at play in our society.  Yet some of Reverend Wright's more publicized remarks are borderline hateful to me. But some of that may be because these remarks tap into guilt or buried racism within myself that I need to examine and understand.  I consider myself both liberal and tolerant.  I am struggling to come to terms with both how I feel about this issue in addition to its potential political impact.  I haven't come to conclusions about either yet. Am I typical of other voters? I don't know.

    I'm not sure how Senator Obama can approach this issue.  If he throws Reverend Wright under a bus and repudiates him, that's going to look very cynical indeed. If he continues to try to paint some of Reverend Wright's remarks as those of a 'crazy uncle' that's not going to look very charitable. If he tries to claim he was ignorant of those remarks, that's not going to look very credible.  If he tries to explain, contextualize, or justify Reverend Wright's remarks, that is going to be a very difficult proposition indeed.  While I think there's some merit to saying that these remarks are small in number and are taken out of context of a very long career, how does one really convey that in a way that's persuasive?

    We live in a sound bite world.  Most people IMO are not going to have the time or inclination to invest in researching Reverend Wright's body of work nor will the media help in that regard. Many people IMO are not going to have the leisure to reflect on this topic.  So a lot of people may be forming opinions based on what information is easily available and may form those opinions quickly based on their current world view.  How will this not hurt Senator Obama with independents, swing voters, and Republicans, all of whom he is trying to court?  I am a loyal Dem and will vote for Senator Obama despite any misgivings but is that the case for the new voters he has excited or even for core Dems?

    I think the speech will deliver all that ardent Obama supporters want. I don't see it affecting the primary race because I think opinions on that have hardened and that Clinton is unlikely to catch him on delegates and possibly not in popular vote so there won't be a case to make to the supers.  But I'm not sure that it will staunch the bleeding that we've seen in the polls.  And I fear that even if it blows over now, it may return in force during the GE.

    This is why I think Senator Obama has a big problem and I hope he's up to the task of handling it since he remains the frontrunner for the nomination.

    I've re-read this three times in the hopes that it's reasonable and not offensive.  We'll see how I do. :-)

    Obama's Speech (none / 0) (#250)
    by chrisvee on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:21:05 AM EST
    This speech is like a potluck dinner -- there's something for everyone.  He just took all the potential responses and used them all.  There's something here for everyone.  This is the non-sound bite response since it relies on being rather complicated and multi-faceted.

    My initial thought on reading the transcript is that he should not have brought GF into it; that's a misstep because it's just going to harden feelings even more.

    Off to think about this speech some more.


    Blame (none / 0) (#188)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:33:50 AM EST
    Yesterday he blamed Washington.....
    Obama's interview with Gwen Ifill -- seems a bit of a stretch:

    MS. IFILL:  Do you think that your association with those two people or people we don't know about would raise questions about your judgment?

    SEN. OBAMA: Well, no, look, all of us have people in our lives who we meet, we get to know, in some cases form friendships with, who end up getting themselves into trouble or say things that we don't agree with. And probably what's true is because I haven't been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others that I have not distanced myself from these people for as long a period of time as somebody more steeped in Washington politics might have.

    I will wait to hear how it goes.  My prediction is the media will say he did well, so will Obama supporters.

    Did anyone see the poll data on MYDD?

    A new kind of politician.... indeed (none / 0) (#195)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:36:58 AM EST
    what's true is because I haven't been in Washington as long as Senator Clinton or others that I have not distanced myself from these people

    See Sean Wilentz (none / 0) (#189)
    by lambert on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:33:59 AM EST
    for exhaustive detail on the "larger issue of race in this campaign." It's quite illuminating.

    Indeed (none / 0) (#213)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:48:11 AM EST
    Sean Wilentz wrote two absolutely brillant articles.

    If by "illuminating" you mean (none / 0) (#223)
    by JJE on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:57:07 AM EST
    pretentious hackery.  Wilentz does good scholarship but his opinion pieces are just shilling.

    Is he going to speak or not... it was scheduled (none / 0) (#207)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:45:53 AM EST
    at 10:15........ is he still preparing.. it should be easy since he always uses teleprompter.. :)

    He Was Also The Wbhite Supremists' (none / 0) (#208)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:46:17 AM EST
    wet dream. Had he been as successful as Obama portrayed him, he would have rolled back many of the Civil Rights achievements of the '60s and '70s.

    The Obama can do no wrong crowd did in fact twist themselves in knots defending him for referencing Reagan in a positive way, but their was also a lot of anger from people who were not in the Obama camp mostly from people who were adults during the Reagan years. I was either undecided or an Edward's at the time this came out and it really ticked me off that he was spouting that crap about Reagan.

    Who will write that speach for him? Wright? (none / 0) (#214)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:48:17 AM EST
    Wright, because of his background should be the best person for such a topic by his own acknowledgment.

    The damage is irreparable (none / 0) (#217)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:50:04 AM EST
    and Paul Burka(Texas Monthly) got it exactly right in my view:

    "A candidate for president of the United States cannot cozy up to someone with this kind of anti-American rhetoric. He has lost Main Street white America. Is anyone going to believe that he didn't know about Wright's views? Is anyone going to accept as an explanation that he wasn't in attendance when these things were said? He'll get clobbered in Pennsylvania, clobbered in Indiana, clobbered in Kentucky.

    "This isn't about white racism. It's about Wright racism.

    "I thought that Obama was exempt from racial reactions because he was the Tiger Woods of politics. People looked at him and saw him not as someone who is black, but as someone who transcended race because of his unique skills and accomplishments. Not any more. He just triple bogeyed the presidency. He's done."

    Here is Paul Burka's (none / 0) (#225)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:59:14 AM EST
    link to his full article full Remembrance of Things Pastor posted Sunday March 16th 2008 in the Texas Monthly.

    It is excellent.


    Looks like they want to force JFK/King legacy (none / 0) (#219)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:53:37 AM EST
    on him.. even though he may not have the ....

    The problem with Wright, IMO (none / 0) (#221)
    by litigatormom on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:54:19 AM EST
    is not that he's a scary black man, or an angry black man. I don't really have a problem with most of what he said -- African Americans have a right to be angry with how this country has treated them.

    The problem is that Wright seems to go beyond righteous anger into hatred for America.  That may not be what he really feels, but its what it sounds like. For most people, "G** D*** America" is simply beyond the pale, and they won't care about context.

    But the speech is starting now. With so many comments on this thread, we probably need a new live thread.

    here's the speech: (none / 0) (#222)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:56:21 AM EST
    thanks for the link (none / 0) (#224)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:57:59 AM EST
    Obama Political Lesson # 23 (none / 0) (#226)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:59:19 AM EST
    Religion:  for the  transcended non religious generation, if you plan to be in politics you must have a religion.  Make sure you choose something bland and non controversial.  Episcopalians, (oops they have all that gay minister stuff going on), scratch.  Methodist, Lutheran, Pressbetyrian.  Not Catholic, yikes, they have lots of baggage.  For god's sake not Islam or Judaism.  Be careful of New Age religions like Oprah's Course For Miracles, new ageist, but they have lots of great stuff to include in your speeches about love, transcending, peace, hope et.  

    But if you choose a religion that gives you creds and political connections in your neighborhood early on, make sure you dump them when you start getting beyond a 10 mile radius.  

    rooge4 has the speech link--HuffPo-just above. (none / 0) (#234)
    by jawbone on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:06:31 AM EST
    Could have made my coffee!

    Defending Trinity, etc. Dancing, clapping, singing, sometimes bawdy humor, etc. Embodies all of black community.

    Gag...the speech (none / 0) (#236)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:08:42 AM EST
    Thanks for the link.  

    Out of the Bush playbook, the new foreign policy.  

    a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.


    I think the (none / 0) (#242)
    by rooge04 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:15:14 AM EST
    speech is basically preaching to the choir. Those who were impressed before will love it. Those who don't buy it won't buy this one.  I certainly don't.

    The text of the speech (none / 0) (#237)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:10:12 AM EST
    The text of the speech is printed over at Ben Smith's blog.

    It's brilliant.

    It's a hatchet job. (none / 0) (#239)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:12:27 AM EST
    Equating Ferraro with Wright is his defense.
    Nice try. We'll see how it plays.

    Bet (none / 0) (#238)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:11:52 AM EST
    So who won the bet on how many minutes until he brought in Clinton?

    Is is providing a rationale... to wright's text? (none / 0) (#240)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:12:50 AM EST

    Cannot disown Wright anymore than his white (none / 0) (#243)
    by jawbone on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:17:13 AM EST

    Nation can't ignore race. Must address.  Wright simplified too much in his comments. Must reflect complexities.

    The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

    Now talking about similar anger within white community--about economic troubles, bussing, affirmative action. Fears about crime is prejudice.

    Sticking to the script--


    It is preposterous (none / 0) (#244)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:17:29 AM EST
    that Obama in his speech, just as some in the media have done (latest example Gwen Ifll last night on the News Hour)
    mention Ferraro (directly or indirectly) and Wright on the same sentence,  
    on the same breath. It is outrageous.

    Here is Obama's paragraph on this:

    "On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.  "

    Obama and the media need to be called on this: of course  the idea is : "well they had Ferraro I have Wright, we are even , end of story."

    But as offensive Ferraro's comments might have been to some,; Wright's are a whole different lot and to even mention both on the same breath is disingenenous, very wrong, and quite dangerous.

    I think it's stupid, actually, which is a far (none / 0) (#248)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:20:25 AM EST
    worse sin, politically.
    Obama praises Wright and damns Ferraro. If that's the message he wants to send out, I am all for it!

    Vote for Obama if you want to heal your sins? (none / 0) (#245)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:18:06 AM EST
    In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds

    Brilliant - is it enough? (none / 0) (#247)
    by geordie on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:19:21 AM EST
    As someone who's neither a Clinton nor an Obama supporter, I really do hope this speech is enough - because I do think the odds are stacked against Clinton at this point, and I think a highly divisive campaign on racial lines will be devastating for Democrats.  The speech itself is brilliant - and, contrary to MarkL's post above, I don't view it as a hatchet job in the least - the one-line reference to seizing on a Clinton supporter's remark as being racially divisive could apply to a number of different things, including Bill Clinton's statement in South Carolina.  And in any event, that is one line in a pretty long speech. I would prefer to take it in the spirit it professes - that focusing on these things is harmful to politics generally.

    Nonetheless, it's going to be very hard for this brilliant, LONG set of words to counter the video of Rev Wright that WILL play every day somewhere in the fall if Obama gets the nomination.  Obama now has to change minds back - that's a daunting task.  Still, it seems to be a good start.

    I missed the other statement (none / 0) (#253)
    by geordie on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:24:55 AM EST
    I see that there was more than one reference in here to Clinton supporter statements - and I agree that Obama could have gone further to say something about Ferraro's role as a pioneer.  But he didn't - and I guess I can't get that worked up about it.  If he was genuinely offended himself by what Ferraro said (and I didn't think it was racist myself, but then, I'm not black and I can see where if I were, I would have highly resented it), then I wouldn't expect him to extend much of an olive branch.

    Still, in my position as advocate of neither camp, it was a good speech - how effective it will be is the question.


    I Just cant' believe he is saying this..... (none / 0) (#249)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:20:44 AM EST
    We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

    Wasn't he and his campaing the one to pounce on it (none / 0) (#254)
    by TalkRight on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:25:04 AM EST
    JUST WORDS.................

    New thread, comments closing (none / 0) (#251)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:23:17 AM EST
    Comments are at 250 here  and closing. A new thread is here.

    Where was this speech... (none / 0) (#255)
    by kredwyn on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:25:44 AM EST
    ages ago?

    His option 1 is the one that's been going on for the past several months.

    Within a paragraph on bad choices, he does get in (none / 0) (#256)
    by jawbone on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:29:37 AM EST
    A reminder that Hillary and her campaign have played the race card. Does the "she" pronoun refer to Ferraro or Clinton?

    I may be too sensitive to this, having watched what Obama and his campaign has done from early on in this campaign to accuse others.

    For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

    We can do that.

    But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

    That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

    This is it (none / 0) (#260)
    by Andy08 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:34:44 AM EST
    for me.... His speech has paragraphs that are so
    calculating, so disingeneous that just compounds the damage he has done in my mind.

    It does read like a great speech (none / 0) (#261)
    by ChrisO on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:36:33 AM EST
    but no one ever accused Obama of not being able to deliver great speeches. The fact is, he dissembled and dodged when he had to address the issue off the cuff, but when he's had time to write some oratory on the issue and address a friendly crowd, now he's ready to go.

    His defense of Rev Wright was very nice, but how does it square with the "crazy uncle" comments? Likewise, he goes from "I wasn't at church that day" to "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes."

    I realize that his supporters will eat this up, because many of them have demonstrated a willingness to go with style over substance. I can only imagine how many blog postings we'll see about the tears that were shed while listening to the speech.

    His talk about the issues around race were very well put. But it's interesting that he has waited until this late in the campaign to address the issue in depth. I understand why: he has been doing everything he can to avoid talk of race, because it doesn't help him in the election. But to my mind, that only underscores the difficulty he faces from these remarks, and the problerm isn't going to go away.

    I have no doubt that Olbermann and Matthews will be wetting themsleves over this speech. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those things that can be dismissed at the whim of the media.

    I just went to TPM for a minute to look at the text, and it reminded me why I hate moments like this. Reading the weepy comments of his followers is stomach turning. He's being given credit for saying things people don't want to hear, as if he's speaking truth to power. The fact is, he gave this speech today because he needed to quell a potential political disaster, not because he woke up and decided that America needed to hear a message of hope and reconciliation, and the consequences be damned. He's trying to save his political career.