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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Wright Pandora's Box Opens Again

In order to understand the damage that Wright is doing to Obama, I need to once again share the view Dick Morris had on politics. He said that it really didn't matter how the media covered any such event. Rather, what was important was what they covered. He pointed out that if the media was say focused on health care and the environment that was good for Dems. If they were focused on the GWOT then that was good for Republicans.

The weakest that Obama's campaign has been was in the week or so that the Wright issue exploded. Obama seemed to finally move the campaign beyond Wright when lo and behold Wright decided to pop on the scene again this past weekend and this morning.

The news media has been nothing short of obsessed with his speech today at the National Press Club. The coverage has been generally negative though if you looked enough you would find just about any and all sort of coverage of it. What you are going to find is that the coverage is intense and relentless.

Wright presents old and new problems again for Obama and while it is still unclear just how much damage there is, there is no question this latest jaunt all over the media will present serious damage. First, it damages Obama by the Morris rule. His campaign is at its worst when the media focuses on Wright. That is what they are doing now and it is unclear how long they will go but it will eat up significant time between now and Indian/NC.

The second part of it is even more signficant. Obama was on FNS yesterday and he repeated that it was unfair that the media took Wright's most offensive statements and looped them for thirty seconds ad nauseum. That perspective has some reasonable merit. None of us want to be defined by thirty seconds of the worst things we have ever said. Those things likely don't reflect the overwhelming nature of our character. That said, most of us don't necessarily repeat our worst thirty seconds. In the case of Wright, he proceeded to blow that theory straight out of the water in his speech today. All of the worst things that were played ad nauseum were repeated today at the National Press Club and several new ones. He repeated his HIV conspiracy, codemned America as a racist nation, and said our own actions warranted the response on 9/11.

Furthermore, he proceeded to proclaim that an attack on him was an attack on the black church apparatus. The worst thing for Obama is that he implied that Obama only distanced himself from Wright because he is a politician and that's what politicians do. That undercuts the entire theme of Obama's campaign.

The worst thing for Obama is still coming in my opinion. That's because it appears as though Wright really revels in the spotlight. He isn't going to shut up, not for long. I don't think he will remove himself from the spotlight entirely for the entire course of the campaign. He will continue to show up from time to time just so everyone can be reminded of why they shouldn't vote for Obama.

Wright has now firmly wrapped himself around Obama's neck and become his albatross. Obama can simply not get rid of him. Wright went ahead and confirmed all of the worst things people thought about him today, and frankly all weekend. Furthermore, he managed to degrade most of Obama's most reasonable arguements for why this shouldn't be held against him. For Obama's supporters, there is no spinning this. Wright is here to stay and the more we see the less chance Obama has of being elected to anything.

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