While he still appears to be in solid shape to win the Democratic nomination, the last few weeks have been politically the worst of Barack Obama’s career.
The Illinois senator struggled in the pre-primary debate in Pennsylvania, before losing by double-digits despite outspending Hillary Clinton 3-to-1 in what could have been a knock-out blow of the senator from New York. All of this came after his much-talked-about “bitter” comment, which rightly or wrongly offended many blue collar, rural Democrats.
Now he has the Jeremiah Wright World Wrath Tour grabbing all the focus away from him and back to his former pastor. He also had some less than coveted “endorsements” happen, which further isolate him, while continuing revelations about the terrorist backgrounds of supporters swirl around his campaign.
Obama is finding life at the top is not always enjoyable.
The time is now passing when reporters are asking questions about how Obama’s good looks impact his campaign. He’s facing harder questions and tougher reporters. In politics things can turn around over night, but right now Obama is in a tailspin.
The next two primaries were shaping up to be a firewall for Obama, ones where he could garner sizable wins to increase the pressure on Clinton to withdraw. However, one poll has Clinton in the lead by 9 in Indiana (another has her up 8). Another has Clinton cutting Obama’s lead in NC in more than half from 25 points down to 12. A more recent poll cuts the double digit lead down to 5.
The last thing that Obama needed after the disappointment in PA, was the resurfacing of Rev. Wright, the man Obama once called his spiritual mentor.
After Obama told Fox News that Wright was “a legitimate political issue,” the former pastor mocked the accent of an assassinated president. Wright later spent time praising hate-monger Louis Farrakhan, who’s Nation of Islam has been providing security for the Christian pastor. He’s engaging in racist language about how black students and white students learn through different parts of their brain. He doubled-down on his assertion from old sermons that the US government intentionally infected people with AIDS in order to start a genocide.
Wright also insinuated and basically said that Obama only distanced himself from Wright because he wanted to be elected. Wright said that Obama had to say those things politically.
Wright has become so toxic that even those on the left who had defended him only recently have since begun finding fault with him. Bob Herbert, Eugene Robinson, E.J. Dionne and the editorial board of The Washington Post have changed their tune. Andrew Sullivan reversed course in the matter of a few hours (after he actually read what Wright said). Joe Klein is openly wondering if Wright is trying to “destroy Barack Obama.” However, there is at least one prominent left-wing politician would be glad to go to Rev. Wright’s church.
On the heels of Wright-mania, a top Hamas political advisor told WABC that the terrorist organization supports Obama’s foreign policy. “We don’t mind–actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election…,” said Ahmed Yousef. Obama’s Judas, Bill Richardson brought back another semi-endorsement from Venezuela.
Despite the press attention to other issues, the one that has recently come to light that is much more troubling to me and will be, I think, much more damaging to Obama in the fall is his relationship with the domestic terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. His campaign has said that Obama and the two Weather Underground leaders are “friendly.” He describes them as “respectable, mainstream figures in Chicago.” As of last year, they would not denounce their terrorism.
The audio of Ayers and Dohrn then and now is very troubling and will be politically effective for the GOP in the general election. Clinton can’t touch the issue because Bill pardoned Weather Underground.
The problem for Obama was the last time he spoke on Wright, he reassured us that the clips we heard were not in context and they did not give the full picture of who his pastor was. He told us, “I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother…These people are a part of me.” Yet, here he is a few months later disowning Wright as hard and as fast as he can.
It has become less and less believable for Obama to say that he never knew this side of Wright, when it seems the man relishes the attention his verbal bombs bring him. Wright does not seem like a man who shies away from confrontation and vocalizing his opinions despite their lack of popularity. All of what we know, flies in the face of Obama’s comments today that he was “shocked” at what he heard from Wright yesterday. That’s odd because nobody else was.
Michelle Malkin points out that for Obama, his tenor toward Wright changed when the pastor said Obama was being politically disingenuous with his distancing of Wright. “What particularly angered me was the suggestion that my previous remarks were political posturing…” The senator should have been “particularly angered” at Wright’s comments a long time ago instead of trying to dance around the issue.
Why should this even be brought up in a presidential election? After all, shouldn’t we be spending more time discussing issues and less time dealing with guilt-by-association? For starters, Obama himself declared Wright to be a legitimate political issue. Secondly, Obama’s campaign has been founded on the nation that his judgment is more sound than either Clinton’s or McCain’s. What he lacked in experience, he made up for in judgment. He had the campaign slogan “Judgment to Lead.”
These issues, particularly Wright and the Weather Underground duo, call into question the judgment on which he has campaigned. If he cannot see (for over 20 years at least) that Wright is a gutter-based, racist hate-monger masquerading as a Christian leader, how does he have the judgment (which supposedly outweighs the experience of others) to become President of the United States, leader of the free world? Why now, when it is the most convenient (and necessary) politically, does he finally see the truth behind Wright that most everyone else has seen from the moment we heard him utter “God d*mn America!”? So Obama’s critics exercised better judgment on a man whom the senator knew for 20 years, who married he and his wife and baptized his children?
Whether you support Obama or not, these are issues (real, legitimate issues) that he is going to have to answer – if not in the primary, definitely in the general election. I fully expect his supporters both here and in the media to declare this issue dead now that Obama has issued his decree, but it will not go away with the way it has been handled and continues to be handled.
The question that many have is where was this current Obama speech a few weeks ago when we were assured that Wright was a fine fellow who was being mischaracterized with YouTube clips. That what makes all this current “shock” seem disingenuous and purely political (the exact opposite of the image Obama wants to portray) and calls into question the judgment he has featured so prominently in his run to the White House.
In a week of political absurdities, this may be the most absurd. Barack Obama should do exactly what Karl Rove tells him to do!?!