Jeremiah Wright introduces candidate 18 days after Hampton University speech.
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What to do?
The General Minister and President of the UCC, John Thomas, was a Wright friend. There was no chance Thomas wouldn’t want Wright involved. After all, this was the UCC. Obama was a UCC member, and Jeremiah Wright was not only a prominent leader within the larger denomination — a “distinguished” UCC leader as Thomas called him from the podium — in the world of church protocol Wright was Obama’s pastor. For Wright to be excluded from this particular Obama appearance would be noticed by the very people Obama was trying to woo in his fight against Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Neither of whom were UCC members, neither of whom were invited. (Later, Obama’s solo appearance as a favored son launched an IRS investigation of the UCC which, after raising considerable alarm and threatening the loss of the church’s tax status or a financial penalty, eventually was resolved, clearing the UCC.)
What could possibly solve Obama’s Jeremiah Wright dilemma at the UCC General Synod? What could calm an already jittery David Axelrod, whom Klein has Obama describing to Wright as a “mother hen”? What could keep the radical showman Jeremiah Wright from being behind a live microphone in front of an auditorium filled with liberal church activists? What could keep the increasingly visible and decidedly controversial Jeremiah Wright — now already profiled in Rolling Stone, written up by Erik Rush, and on national television debating Sean Hannity — off the UCC stage and away from Obama in front of the cameras?
That’s right — the magic of videotape.
Was there really a wedding in Chicago at Trinity UCC that day of June 23, 2007? A wedding that was so critical that only Reverend Wright — not his younger colleague Reverend Moss — was personally required to officiate? Is it possible that the long and extensively-planned multiple-day bi-annual UCC General Synod — a regular affair for the UCC’s “distinguished leaders” like Reverend Wright — actually coincided with a long-planned wedding at Trinity? That Wright had not taken the precaution of checking his schedule for a potential conflict? Is it possible the UCC had picked the one day in June in which Senator Obama and Wright could not be on the same stage at the same time? That the man whom Thomas described as one of the UCC’s “distinguished leaders” and the potential President of the United States upon whom Wright had been such “a profound and shaping influence” — just couldn’t find the time to share a UCC national stage together?
Is all of that really possible? Believable?
Sure. All of this is possible and believable in a normal world.
But a world in which “mother hen” Axelrod is striving to do everything in his power to keep Jeremiah Wright away from Barack Obama — and has already succeeded on announcement day — one is left to wonder.
Be that as it may, John Thomas finished his introduction of Jeremiah Wright and the smiling image of one of the UCC’s most “distinguished leaders” flickered to life on the large screen dominating the Hartford arena.
He was pre-taped.
Or is the better word “vetted”?
This was not the aggressive Jeremiah Wright taking on Sean Hannity months earlier. It wasn’t the man of Erik Rush’s column or the Rolling Stone profile. The man on the screen wasn’t even close to the image that America would see months later when tapes of Wright’s sermons began filling television screens, the pastor shrieking “No, no, NO! Not God Bless America! God DAMN America!!”
This was a smiling, calm and distinctly non-ideological Jeremiah Wright.
“Grace and peace be unto you” he begins, introducing himself in the video for those who might not know him. “It is my signal honor and privilege to be able to introduce to you a man who has been a member of our congregation for 22 years.” In a quiet voice, Wright talks glowingly of the “Barack that I have known.” In stark contrast to the fiery, racist sermons Americans would soon discover, Wright talks quietly of how his friend Barack believes that “Muslim, Jew, Christian, Atheists, Non-Believers, Black, White, Indonesian, African, South American, Chicano, Native American, Aboriginal, Australians — all are God’s children and all can live together and work together fruitfully and productively on God’s earth because God does love the world which includes all people.”
One can only wonder, now that the back story of the Obama-Wright relationship is known, what exactly the next sentence means: “I would say to him today the same thing I said to him the day he was elected [to the U.S. Senate] — keep on being that Barack Obama.” Was that, as the media loves to say, a “dog whistle” that only Obama could hear? A message that contained the implied threat that if Obama didn’t stick to his far-left politics in public — by letting Jeremiah Wright out of his increasingly Obama-campaign imposed silence — Jeremiah Wright would go rogue?
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