Just talked to a source in the McCain campaign about McCain’s new Rev. Wright comments. Is this a big change? I asked. “This is the position,” the source said. “Sen. McCain is not going to talk about this issue proactively during the course of the campaign. He gives Sen. Obama the benefit of the doubt. But he recognizes that there are millions of Americans who are very troubled by it, deeply offended by it, and have questions for Sen. Obama.”
At that, I asked why can’t McCain bring the Wright issue up, if it is a legitimate one? “The reality is, he wants to talk about the big differences on national security and the economy, not to have a referendum on Rev. Wright,” the source told me. “But he understands that there are a lot of people who are deeply troubled and deeply bothered by it…Those are legitimate questions for people to ask.”
“Don’t look for Sen. McCain to put it in his ads. Don’t look for him to make speeches about it. But the reality is, this is part of the fabric of the presidential campaign, and a lot of people have questions about it.”
I think the bottom line here is that McCain, who personally doesn’t want to push the Wright issue, thinks he has found a way to get himself out of the position of fighting every other Republican and third-party group that wants to bring it up. If Obama is the nominee, we’ll see if that policy can withstand the pressures of a general-election campaign.