The Continuing Obamenon
The campaign of Barack Obama is a fascinating story, a bonus in a year where the contentious race for the Democratic nomination has already been pure entertainment for a conservative Republican like me.
Much has been made of the Jeremiah Wright debacle. One definition for that word is “a great disruption.” Whatever your feeling on the matter, can this be argued? One thing that is clear is that Obama should not be surprised. From a one year old New York Times piece (via Best of the Web):
Few of those at Mr. Wright’s tribute in March knew of the pressures that Mr. Obama’s presidential run was placing on the relationship between the pastor and his star congregant. Mr. Wright’s assertions of widespread white racism and his scorching remarks about American government have drawn criticism, and prompted the senator to cancel his delivery of the invocation when he formally announced his candidacy in February.
Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate who says he was only shielding his pastor from the spotlight, said he respected Mr. Wright’s work for the poor and his fight against injustice. But “we don’t agree on everything,” Mr. Obama said. “I’ve never had a thorough conversation with him about all aspects of politics.”
It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began his presidential announcement with the phrase “Giving all praise and honor to God,” a salutation common in the black church. He titled his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” after one of Mr. Wright’s sermons, and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public life.
The article concludes:
Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s audition for the ultimate establishment job.
“If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”
I don’t support Obama. I don’t like his policies. I’m less concerned about his Church associations, notwithstanding his pastor’s nuttiness. How he has dealt with those is an interesting window into who he is.
What else tells us about him? I liked this post from Eric at The Tygrrrr Express. Eric is also a conservative, but like many (including me) he can’t help but be impressed with Obama. He does possess formidable political gifts. This excerpt illuminates one of them:
Bill Kristol correctly pointed out that many of Obama’s answers lacked substance. Even if that was true, the fact that I did not notice that during the interview only goes to show how effective he was. To go back and watch it again, and judge the performance in a harsher light, would be unfair.
I know this has happened to me- Obama exudes a kind of reasonableness. I know this is what makes him a palatable choice for many people, even Republicans that should know better.
We’ll keep watching the Obamenon unfold.