Jeremiah Wright introduces candidate 18 days after Hampton University speech.
(Page 2 of 5)
A story told to Klein in a taped interview by Jeremiah Wright himself.
The subject is the Obama-Wright relationship, and the days leading up to Obama’s announcement of his presidential candidacy on February 10, 2007. The announcement was scheduled to be made in Springfield, Illinois. The political purpose: to associate Illinois Senator Obama with Springfield’s most famous adopted son — Abraham Lincoln. The ceremony’s invocation was scheduled to be delivered by Reverend Wright in his capacity as Obama’s pastor.
It was here that the first tremors in what would be the political earthquake of the Obama-Wright relationship appeared. According to Klein (and others), a February Rolling Stone magazine article on Obama had just appeared. The piece included what Klein calls a “devastating profile” of Wright, depicting Obama’s pastor as a far-left radical.
Obama’s campaign was, not for the last time but apparently the first time, suddenly alarmed by Jeremiah Wright.
The immediate campaign objective was to make certain that Wright, now nervously seen as a loose cannon for his radical, hot-tempered political sermons, was removed from the public stage of Obama’s announcement ceremony. Where Wright was scheduled to give the invocation.
Klein has Wright recounting a tense, behind the scenes effort by Obama aide David Axelrod to force Wright out, replacing him with Trinity’s newly arrived younger pastor the Reverend Otis Moss. Axelrod got his way. Wright was present for the announcement, but only to give a backstage private prayer for Obama and his family and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. It was Moss who gave the quite public invocation in front of the cameras and microphones.
For the moment, Wright was effectively separated in a public, televised fashion from Obama — and silenced. But not for long.
On February 28, 2007, Sean Hannity interviewed columnist Erik Rush on Hannity & Colmes. Rush had noticed on the Senator’s bio that Obama was a member of Trinity UCC and looked into the church. Rush — who is black — was stunned at what he found. He wound up describing the vision of Wright’s church by saying it “more resembles a cult than a church. Only this one has as one of its most prominent members a serious contender for the White House.” What he found, Rush said, was scary.
The next night Hannity obtained the first television interview with Wright. The interview was instantly controversial — in retrospect for those who had never heard of Wright, inevitably so. Out tumbled the story of a black preacher who was decidedly not Martin Luther King, Jr. — a man devoted instead to “black liberation theology,” a doctrine described, in the words of American Thinker writer Kyle-Anne Shiver, as “Marxism dressed up to look like Christianity.”
In retrospect, the Hannity appearance was beginning to illustrate exactly why David Axelrod, the aide Obama described to Wright as Obama’s “mother hen,” was determined to make sure that Wright never shared a stage with Obama in public, much less was in front of a live microphone and cameras with Obama anywhere in the vicinity.
Yet there was a problem. Wright still had value to Obama.
Four months later Obama appears at the gathering of black ministers at Hampton University, captured in the Daily Caller video, which was aired this week on Hannity. These were black ministers, Wright’s colleagues. Obama had to say something about his pastor, thus the “special shout out.”
Lost in the furor of the last few days over what Obama said at Hampton that day is what Wright did not say and do. Lost is the realization that while Obama had a “special shout out” to Wright — in which Obama also describes Wright as “my pastor, the guy who puts up with me, counsels me, listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend and a great leader. Not just in Chicago, but all across the country” — Wright himself is not anywhere near a microphone, much less Obama himself. He is unseen, off-camera, stuck in the un-panned audience, not even close to Obama on camera.
In other words, Axelrod’s concern from February — letting the unpredictable Wright share both microphone and stage time with Obama — had arisen yet again. It was resolved in whatever fashion by having Wright in the audience, unseen by the camera, and most importantly neither near the microphone or Obama himself.
Eighteen days later, at the UCC General Synod, the problem of Wright’s high profile in another influential organization that Obama needed politically would frustratingly arise again. While the UCC is dwarfed in size by some other faiths, as a large national gathering of a prominent Mainline Protestant church filled with liberal activists, the UCC General Synod was a political gold mine for the still mostly unknown Obama.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?