The sickness unto election day: No alarms and no surprises | Bleader

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The sickness unto election day: No alarms and no surprises

Posted By on 04.29.08 at 12:42 PM

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Why I could never go into politics, part eleventy-million:

In March, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) went to great lengths not to "disown" his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, after fiery videotaped comments from sermons surfaced.

No, "great lengths" would have been if Obama had brought Wright up on stage and said, "Yeah, God damn America, what are you going to do about it." He gave a good speech and kind of split the difference, which is fine. He's also been distancing himself from Wright, which is arguably less fine.

In return, an unapologetic Wright launched a speaking tour, ending Monday, drawing outsized coverage on the hot-button issues of God and race days before crucial votes in Indiana and North Carolina, threatening Obama's presidential bid.

Threatening what? Unless Wright is detaining pro-Obama superdelegates, he's not threatening anything right now. The numbers are still very much in Obama's favor, and I haven't seen any real evidence, besides media fretting, that Wright hurt Obama in the primaries. He did slightly better than/about as well as expected in Pennsylvania, depending on the time frame. Obama will probably lose Indiana and win North Carolina.

Some in the Obama camp were stunned that Wright did not realize the potential harm he could do to Obama's candidacy by reviving stories about Obama's relationship with his pastor.

The big reason I don't think I could go into politics is that I don't think I could sustain the kind of naivete required to believe that a veteran, temperamental preacher--with tons of higher education and years of experience at one of the largest churches in Chicago behind him--wouldn't "realize" what he's doing, or not do it. He's a preacher. That's what he does.

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