early and often

Barack Obama Runs But Can’t Hide From Reverend Wright

Obama and Wright

This is the closest these two will be ever again.Photo: AP

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?

• Andrew Sullivan writes that while exploring Wright’s controversial statements is long overdue, it ultimately shouldn’t change our view of Barack Obama, since all the evidence shows that Obama does not adhere to Wright’s beliefs. [Atlantic]

• William Kristol doesn’t think Obama shares Wright’s beliefs either. He simply joined a historically black church for the benefit of his own political career. [NYT]

• Mark Ambinder points out that one of Kristol’s facts is false: Obama was not in attendance at Wright’s church on July 22. [Atlantic]

• Ana Marie Cox looks at Kristol’s blunder and wonders whether media’s “mangled coverage” of Wright will allow Obama to escape relatively unharmed. [Swampland/Time]

• Michael Crowley doesn’t think Wright’s statements are isolated outbursts, but part of a belief system that Obama must have been aware of. They’re reflective of black middle-class alienation still strong enough that even a “post-racial” candidate can’t escape from it, he writes. [Stump/New Republic]

• Minister Harry R. Jackson Jr. holds Obama accountable for his pastor’s words, saying that some of Wright’s teachings must have rubbed off on Obama over the years. [Town Hall]

• Thomas Edsall relays Democratic concerns of evidence emerging that will show Obama did attend one of Wright’s controversial sermons, and their advice that Obama give a high-profile speech about his church and his faith. [HuffPo]

• Lisa Miller looks at the history of Trinity United Church of Christ and writes that the Wright discussion is forcing voters to view Obama through the lens of their racial and cultural identity. [Newsweek]

• Peter Wehner doesn’t buy that Obama only recently became aware of Wright’s incendiary beliefs and finds Obama’s explanations insufficiently reassuring. [National Review] —Dan Amira

For a complete guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

Barack Obama Runs But Can’t Hide From Reverend Wright