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Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr.

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Heilemann: Clinton Over — and Out?

All in all, Clinton's speech last night was a moment that smacked of the end of something — and with good reason, I’d venture.

Big Window Opens for Clinton

Clinton's second wind may last only until the next primaries are decided or it may have come too late to change the end result of the race, no matter what happens on May 6. Either way, right now she's psyched.

Heilemann on Obama’s Sister Souljah Moment

But the differences between Obama’s and Clinton’s gambits are many and worth pointing out — because they go a long way toward explaining why the long-range political implications of the former may be less sunny than the latter's proved to be.

Reverend Wright Was Out for Revenge

Feeling spurned and betrayed by Obama, his former pastor lashed out in the most damaging way he knew possible, a Wright insider tells the 'Post.'

Can Hillary Clinton Win?

To do so, the junior senator from New York must make the right pitch, or gain enough momentum, to win over the superdelegates, those now-omnipotent stars of the Democratic party who will have to push one candidate over the top.

Huckabee Joins McCain in Supporting Obama’s Wright Defense

Yesterday and today, Republicans John McCain and Mike Huckabee both stood up for Barack Obama concerning his relationship with controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright. On Morning Joe today, Huckabee candidly said, "Obama handled this about as well as anybody could." He laid out his argument pretty simply:

"You can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do," Huckabee says. "It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what ... Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago. Many times those were statements lifted out of the context of a larger sermon. Sermons, after all, are rarely written word for word by pastors like Rev. Wright, who are delivering them extemporaneously, and caught up in the emotion of the moment. There are things that sometimes get said, that if you put them on paper and looked at them in print, you'd say 'Well, I didn't mean to say it quite like that.'"
Whoa, that sounds like a pretty firm defense.

Barack Obama's Speech Fails to Unite America ... Over His Speech

Yesterday we compared Barack Obama's Philadelphia address on race in America to Mitt Romney's recent last-ditch speech on faith. But as the New York Times points out, it's really more like JFK's 1960 speech on religion. It came at a time when Democrats, and probably even Republicans, were bored with the current political dialogue and thirsting for some honesty and something new to talk about. Indeed, yesterday and last night, hordes of people were writing and discussing. The overarching question: Will it matter? Will it change the course of Obama's candidacy? Will it change the course of America? A lot of that is up to the press, not the people. But even the editorial boards of The Wall Street Journal, the Times and the New York Post professed not to know what the effects would be.

Chris Smith: Are Voters Ready for Civil Rights Redux?

Senator Barack Obama gave a brave, powerful, important speech yesterday in Philadelphia, but he was forced to deliver it by the greatest crisis of his candidacy: the furor created by the incendiary remarks of his former Chicago pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Jesse Jackson Touts Obama’s ‘Clear Vision’

Jesse Jackson has, up until now, been somewhat muted in his support of Barack Obama. Likewise, Obama has kept him at arm's length, even though the former Democratic presidential candidate is a pledged advocate. But today, just after Barack Obama made a speech attempting to lift the lid off and expose the simmering pot of American racial tension, Jackson suddenly emerged exuberant.

"I thought [the speech] was a culmination of tough-minded, tender-hearted and a clear vision," Jackson told the Huffington Post. "It really was warm, filling, captive, reconciling and comprehensive and it displayed real true grit. He was forthright not evasive and used it as a teaching moment in American history: America's struggle to overcome its past and become a more perfect union. And once he made the case about the past and the complexities of Reverend Wright's life or [Geraldine] Ferraro's for that matter, he made the case that we are here now, but this time we will go forward by hope and not backwards by fear."
Jackson added that he thought "American saw an even deeper and more profound view" of Obama today. What he may mean is that Americans saw Obama, finally, as a large step in the long climb toward civil rights in the country. It was a role Obama had been reluctant to adopt, but it seems as though he's finally accepted it. Jesse Jackson: Obama Just Turned Crisis Into Opportunity [HuffPo] Earlier: Jesse Jackson Does Not Give 'Free Advice' To Barack Obama

Barack Obama's Speech on Race in America Is Honest, Brutal

Barack Obama just finished his big address on race and politics in Philadelphia. This was a big one for him, as he's been forced to address many racially charged issues in the past week because of his friendship and affiliation with the controversial Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Wright is Obama's pastor and officiated his wedding with Michelle Obama. He's also blamed the United States for 9/11, the AIDS virus, and "creating a racist society." In the lull before the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, this has become the main political plotline of the Democratic contest. Today, he addressed these issues and the broader scale of racial tension in America. It was strikingly reminiscent of Mitt Romney's much-touted "Faith in America" address. Beginning with a discussion of the Declaration of Independence and a nod to Obama's mixed heritage, it honestly bared the anger and confusion (and roots thereof) that black and white people still face in America today. Some highlights: • "For as long as I live I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible," he explained, referencing the slave ancestry in his wife and daughter's heritage. • He exclusively referred to Reverend Wright as his "former pastor." He also conceded that he had heard him sermonize controversial ideas but compared it to the many Americans who have heard similar things from their own priests, rabbis, and religious leaders. He called Wright's opinion "a profoundly distorted view of this country."

Barack Obama Runs But Can't Hide From Reverend Wright

Obama and Wright
The good news for Barack Obama: The latest Democratic race-based scandal comes during a five-week lull between primaries, so it may not actually result in any tangible loss until the April 22 Pennsylvania contest. The bad news: It might be something people still remember on April 22. Obama is feeling the heat right now for several particularly inflammatory statements made by his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, which have recently received renewed scrutiny in the media. Obama has come out against Wright's remarks and dropped him from the campaign, but questions surrounding the closeness of their relationship and Obama's knowledge of Wright's more provocative statements continue unabated. How damaging to Obama will this controversy become? And are we committing guilt by association, or guilt by … guilt?

Some Claiming Hussein- and Race-Baiting Strengthen Obama

Obama church
The last few days have brought back discussion of Barack Obama's race and heritage in a way not seen since South Carolina. On Monday, of course, a photo of Obama trying on traditional Somali clothing circulated. Then, in the Cleveland debate two days ago, Tim Russert grilled Obama over the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan and the praise lavished on Farrakhan by Obama’s pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. Finally, John McCain has been trying to disassociate himself from the fearmongering tactic of dropping Obama’s Muslim-sounding middle name, Hussein, carried out separately by talk-radio host Bill Cunningham and, in a press release yesterday, the Tennessee Republican Party. Into this burgeoning mess wade our pundits.