obama41.jpgWith the avalanche of criticism descending on Jeremiah Wright after his National Press Club appearance yesterday, even from many Obama supporters, the big question today was whether Obama would do what he said he couldn’t in his big Philadelphia speech on race and politics: disown Wright. That’s exactly what he did this afternoon at a press conference in Wilmington, NC:

“I am outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday,” Obama told reporters at a news conference….
“This is not an attack on Jeremiah Wright,” Wright told the Washington media Monday. “It has nothing to do with Senator Obama. It is an attack on the black church launched by people who know nothing about the African-American religious tradition.”
Obama told reporters Tuesday that Wright’s comments do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church.
“The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago,” Obama said of the man who married him….
“I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia explaining that he’s done enormous good. … But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS. … There are no excuses. They offended me. They rightly offend all Americans and they should be denounced.”
Of course, that won’t be enough to placate Obama’s detractors on the right. They’ll question his sincerity and ask why Obama stuck with his church and declined to criticize Wright for two full decades. But that has little bearing on Obama’s ability to win the Democratic nomination. What matters is whether Obama’s remarks were forceful enough to allay the fears of the white working class voters who did him in in Pennsylvania last week. Not to mention superdelegates.
God-o-Meter wonders if voters will be looking for more than an impromptu press conference on the Wright issue. The speech in which Obama stood by Rev. Wright last month was a major primetime address delivered from the U.S. Constitution Center and broadcast live on national TV. Will Obama’s attempt to put the Wright issue to rest require similar staging?


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