Reverend Jeremiah Wright was back in the news this weekend and Senator Barack Obama has found himself in a position he doesn't want to be in. On Monday he again defended the Reverend (he claims before he actually saw the comments). Then on Tuesday, he disowned Reverend Wright in very strong, personal language. I think this "break" with Reverend Wright has revealed the real Obama.
Many supporters early in the campaign labeled Obama as a candidate above politics, a candidate of "change". I was very critical of Obama's speech in Philadelphia. One quote from the speech regarding Obama's pastor of 20 years now really stands out. From an ABC News transcript:
"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me…but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street…"
I think this quote is an important insight into Sen. Obama. The focus at the time was how Sen. Obama was throwing his grandmother under the bus. How Obama was equating a few remarks made in the privacy of his grandmother's home, to the hateful rhetoric spewed from the pulpit at Obama's church in front of one of the largest congregations in Chicago. However, at the time, it was also a sign that Obama was willing to sacrifice his grandmother, the woman who loved and sacrificed so much for him, in order to win a few primaries.
Now, with Rev. Wright taking center stage this weekend, and Obama disowning him on Tuesday, the comments take on a new meaning. Obama could no more, "…disown him than [he could] the black community." How should supporters and critics view these two statements? I think the answer is very simple: Obama is a typical politician.He is not the messiah his supporters have made him out to be. He is a politician of the ilk we see in Washington and in movies. He is a politician willing to say anything and sacrifice anyone to get what he wants. Reverend Wright's comments this weekend were no different than the ones Obama was responding to in Philadelphia. However, the comments continue to plague the Obama campaign, and with Rev. Wright on the national stage, it became easy to disown him.
Sen. Obama should have said what he said on Tuesday back in Philadelphia. However, he didn't. Instead he has revealed himself as the power hungry politician his critics have accused him of being. Make no mistake; Reverend Wright will continue to be associated with Obama into the Democratic Convention in Colorado. If Obama is lucky enough to win the nomination, Reverend Wright will follow him all the way to Election Day. The Super delegates know this. They also know which of their candidates has won the big states and which hasn't. Will Reverend Wright give the Super delegates enough cover to nominate Hillary Clinton? Only time will tell.