Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So that's it

Following Barack Obama's long overdue repudiation of Jeremiah Wright today, we can all heave a sigh of collective relief and get back to the "real issues" of the presidential campaign. Right?

Well, it was a good speech. Really, it was. Not because it was smooth and polished (it wasn't) and not because it was credible (he never saw this side of Rev. Wright until yesterday?) but because it was filled with righteous indignation and despite all evidence to the contrary, he made you want to believe it. It'll work for a lot of people. And it'll let all (well, most) of those squirming Obama supporters off the hook of having to defend the indefensible. That will be a relief -- for all of us.

But, no, I doubt that it's over. What it is, I'm not sure. I've read a lot of interesting conspiracy theories, one of which holds that Wright's antics over the past few days were all political theater designed to give Obama the excuse he needed to (how sick of this phrase are we already?) throw him under the bus so his campaign could ... move on. Another one suggests that Wright's trying to sabotage Obama's campaign in order to reinforce his vision of a hateful, racist America in which a man of color could never be elected President. And then there's the one that claims Karl Rove put him up to it.

No matter what it is, the Obama campaign will now offically relegate it (again) to the dustbin labeled "distraction" and they will likely have more success this time. It will be interesting to see if Wright now takes his bow and leaves the stage or continues to bask in his new-found notoriety (any bets?). It will also be interesting to see how Senator Obama is received at his church now, as it appears that the good reverend is a rather popular figure there.