Beliefnet
God-O-Meter

natjournal.jpgWeeks have gone by since the Jeremiah Wright brouhaha died down, but Democratic and media elites continue to go public about new Wright-inspired doubts about the Senator. Polls show that this sentiment hasn’t trickled down to ordinary voters, but elites have the power to shape the thinking of this year’s all important super-delegates. Of course, some are super-delegates. Here’s media elite Stuart Taylor (not a super-delegate) in yesterday’s National Journal:

Weeks of brooding over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Michelle Obama eruptions have severely shaken the hope I expressed in January: “If Barack Obama can show he is tough enough and pragmatic enough to win the presidency and serve with distinction, it would be the best thing that could happen to America and the world.”
It appears that Obama shares the unfortunate tendency of many liberals to see far-left extremists as kindred spirits.
What should we learn about Obama’s judgment and fortitude from the fact that he sat passively in the pews for 20 years and gave money and took his children while Wright, his friend and “spiritual adviser,” spewed far-left, America-hating, white-bashing, conspiracy-theorizing, loony, “God damn America” vitriol from the pulpit?
….And he still has not adequately explained why he didn’t walk away from Wright, or challenge his anti-American tirades, a long time ago. Yes, as Obama has said, Wright has redeeming qualities, including his programs for the needy, homeless, and sick. And yes, the minister’s fiery sound bites are a bit less stark — though still surpassingly ugly — when seen in full context….
[W]ould the same Obama who lacked the fortitude to break with Jeremiah Wright be a good bet, if elected, to take on his party’s own special interests? To break, when circumstances warrant, with the across-the-board liberal orthodoxy he has long embraced? Curb entitlement spending? Temper excessive affirmative-action preferences? Tame the lawsuit lobby? Assign the teachers unions their share of the blame for what Obama calls “crumbling schools that are stealing the future”?
Could he get tough, when necessary, with fashionably leftist foreign dictators, highly politicized international institutions, and sanctimonious European America-bashers? Or would he instead heed such soothing platitudes as his wife’s February 14 assertion that “instead of protecting ourselves against terrorists,” we should be “building diplomatic relationships”?
I have a hard time believing at this point that Obama is up to these tasks. I would love to see him prove my doubts wrong. And, of course, he does not have to be flawless to be the best candidate. He just has to show that his flaws are less crippling than the all-too-apparent shortcomings of Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain.

These are the same concerns that Hillary Clinton raised in her “red phone” ad, about Obama’s judgment. It’s his Achilles’ heel. Will raising questions about Clinton’s and McCain’s judgment on the Iraq invasion be enough to neutralize this weakness?


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