Sunday, March 16, 2008

Is the dream over for Obama?

Wright's sermons have dented Obama's presidential campaign

by Foxnews

Surrogates for Barack Obama on Sunday downplayed the significance of Obama’s relationship to a controversial pastor and suggested the discussion is a preoccupation from bigger issues in the Democrat presidential race.

“The fact of the matter is people would like to move on to other things,” said Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, characterizing remarks by Obama pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright as “outrageous,” but saying they are not relevant to Obama’s candidacy.

“He’s rejected it. He said no– he doesn’t have any association with it. He finds these comments outrageous,” Dodd, an Obama supporter and former presidential candidate, told “FOX News Sunday.” He added that “guilt by association is not typically American.”

But some political analysts say that comments by Wright could pose a major obstacle for Obama because unlike average Americans, politicians suffer from “guilt by association.”
“This is a man who he chose to be associated with. It’s not a family member.

He chose to be associated with Reverend Wright and saw advantage in it. And that’s why he exploited it up to a point when he realized, especially when he was announcing, that he couldn’t have Wright by his side for the announcement in Springfield and now seeks to somehow distance himself. But it speaks to his character, and it speaks to the judgment which is the basis on which Barack Obama has been running his campaign. So I think it could be a big problem,” said National Public Radio national correspondent and FOX News contributor Juan Williams.
It also could suggest an insincerity by Obama, said conservative syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

“This, I think, is a huge story because it contradicts the whole persona and appeal of Obama as a man who transcends race,” Krauthammer said. “I think it ought to be explored a lot more deeply.”

Out on the campaign trail on Saturday, Obama was dogged by questions about comments made by his spiritual leader of 20 years, whose quotes have been sprayed over the news in the last several days.

At a town-hall meeting in Indiana, Obama said he was not in the pews when Wright said, for example, the U.S. is run by “rich, white people” or that the U.S. created the AIDS virus to kill African Americans. The Illinois senator said he “completely rejects” the preacher’s controversial sermons, including one in which he said the United States was asking for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks because it had supported “state-sponsored terrorism” against black South Africans and Palestinians.

“Although I knew him and know him as somebody in my church that talked to me about Jesus and family and friendships but clearly, if all I knew were those statements I saw on television, I would be shocked,” Obama said.

Obama who is new to disavowing himself from the remarks, told his audience that people should speak up forcefully against comments like Wright’s.

Meanwhile, Clinton supporters are refusing to jump on the opportunity to attack Obama for his slow response. “I mean, as you know, I prefer Senator Clinton for a whole lot of reasons, but I don’t cast aspersions on Senator Obama for what somebody else said,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Voters should “accept what Obama has said and move on,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.
The Clinton campaign may be following a well-known operating principle of politics, which is when an opponent is shooting himself in the foot, stand back and let him. According to the results of a new, four-day Rasmussen tracking poll out Sunday morning, Obama’s national lead has narrowed to just 3 points over Clinton.

“The Clinton campaign won’t touch this with a 10-foot poll, but they don’t have to. … It will dribble, dribble out for at least a few more days and in this Internet era there’s no limit to what you can” dredge up, said Democratic strategist Susan Estrich.

Estrich said plenty of more information will come up in the weeks leading up to the Pennsylvania and North Carolina primaries.

“I don’t know, this guy didn’t give just two bad sermons, nobody … does the wrong thing just twice,” she said. “We all have to fill space for six weeks, this is how we’ll fill it.”

According to pollster, Scott Rasmussen, the recent controversy and prolonged fight between the Democrats is also turning out to be a gift for presumptive Republican presidential nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain, whose numbers are up.

That’s a fear Democrats are hoping won’t be realized as the discussion over race and sex issues distract from their overall message of defeating McCain.

“I think we have to lift ourselves out of all of that. Look, we’re talking about running for president of the United States. We’re talking about the leader of the free world. We’re talking about the hopes, the aspirations of the American people being placed — and not like any other job in the world, placed on this person.

And I think people are much more interested on the ideas, the vision, the judgment, the plans that people have. And that’s why people are drawn to both of these candidates,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking on ABC’s “This Week.” Pelosi has not yet stated her preference for the top of the party ticket.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Obama should just quit!