Now that Obama has further distanced himself from Rev. Wright, I think you’ll see a determined effort on the part of his campaign and its advocates in the press to declare the matter over. I still haven’t heard every word that Obama said today — I just saw his seven-minute opening statement, and I’m not sure what his position is today on his “I can no more disown…” statement from Philadelphia. Also, watching Rev. Wright for the last few days, watching the fluidity with which he moved from educational theories to musical theories to racial theories, it’s hard to believe that that material hasn’t been in the sermons Obama has heard Wright preach over the last 20 years, so I’m skeptical about Obama’s new outrage over Wright’s words. At the very least, I’d like to know more about what Wright taught Obama.
Nevertheless, given Obama’s statement, we’ll hear a few declarations that the story is now over. Over. Perhaps it is even safe for the New York Times to report in its news pages that Wright once said “God damn America.”
Preaching in 2003, Mr. Wright uses an expletive when referring to the United States and discussing its treatment of African-Americans, arguing that instead of singing ‘God Bless America,’ they should sing something else. Mr. Obama has said he was not at the service.”
UPDATE: I just saw the transcript of Obama’s news conference. It appears that he was not asked the question that seems most important, which is: “In Philadelphia, you said that you could no more disown Rev. Wright than you could the black community or your white grandmother. Are you now disowning Rev. Wright?”