Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Why Oprah quit Jeremiah Wright's church and Barack Obama didn't

Early in the 1980s rising television star Oprah Winfrey was looking for a local church in Chicago. Not surprisingly, she like many blacks including four years later a community organizer named Barack Obama, was attracted to Trinity United Church of Christ and its dynamic, outspoken pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

That South Side church was THE place for upwardly mobile Windy City blacks to connect and it had an aggressive community ouDaytime TV diva Oprah Winfrey's support of Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle turns out to have cost her perhaps more than she helped him. Winfrey abandoned the Trinity United Church of Christ run by the controversial pastor Rev Jeremiah Wright over concern for his inflammatory sermons while Obama remainedtreach program. And attendance continued Winfrey's childhood connection with black churches and their shared sense of community and support.

As The Ticket noted Sunday morning, the same reasons caused other black clergy to steer the young Obama there, saying he'd have more luck connecting with black churches in his urban organizing efforts if he actually belonged to one himself. Obama's friends later added that alighting at Trinity with its forceful male leader was also part of the mixed-race Obama's exploration of his black identity in the absence of his father.

Things went along fine for several years, as Oprah's fame and fortune exploded and as Obama laid the groundwork in local efforts and political connections for his political career.

But something began bothering Winfrey. By the....

...late 1980s, she was an infrequent attendee at Trinity's services and by the early 1990s she had stopped going altogether.

According to a revealing article, headlined "Something Wasn't Wright," in the new Newsweek by Allison Samuels, a major reason was Winfrey's concern with Wright's inflammatory sermons, her association with them through church membership and the potential impact on her widespread popularity.

Samuels' quotes unnamed sources as saying that, Winfrey, now a multi-billionaire, knew her audience was mainstream and while Wright's anger-filled rants may have been familiar to lifelong black churchgoers, they would be nothing close to mainstream in the minds of Winfrey's millions of fans.

Ironically, while Winfrey protected herself against negative associations with Wright, her endorsement of and active campaigning for Obama last year has hurt her popularity, as noted in two recent Ticket items here and the other one here.

Questions have arisen over why Obama as an astute budding politician would have remained in the same church environment for 20 years and when Wright's shocking sermon snippets initially emerged weeks ago deny having heard them.

He clearly was aware of the danger of association with Wright, having disinvited the pastor from giving the public invocation at Obama's campaign announcement in Springfield in February of 2007 because, reportedly, Obama said Wright's sermons could come across as a little "rough."

Yet in his recenOprah Winfrey left the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in the 1990s over concern for the incendiary sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright while Illinois Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama continued to attendt speech on race in Philadelphia, Obama said: "As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthens my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can disown my white grandmother."

Yet five weeks later after Wright's National Press Club speech and news conference performance, Obama had this to say: "I am outraged by the comments that were made, and saddened over the spectacle that we saw yesterday. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate.

"They offend me, they rightly offend all Americans, and they should be denounced. And that's what I'm doing very clearly and unequivocally here today."

Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" Sunday asked Obama about defending Wright a full year after he indicated Wright's words could be trouble for his campaign and what he'd learned in the five weeks between his Philadelphia remarks and last week's denunciation of Wright? The same question has been raised by numerous Ticket commenters in recent weeks.

At one point Obama said he was like millions of Americans: "My commitment, as I said, Tim, is to the church, not to a pastor."

Obama also replied:

"Well, you know, previously, there were a bunch of sermons that had been spliced from a collection of sermons for 30 years. And that's not who I thought he was. That's not what I thought defined him. He's somebody who's a Marine, he's somebody who has served
on city colleges boards, somebody who was a respected pillar in the community.

"And so I thought it was important to--for him to explain or at least provide some context for some of the things that he had said previously. But when he came out at the press conference of the National Press Club, not only did he amplify some of those comments and defend them vigorously, but he added to it.

"He put gasoline on the fire. And what that told me was not only was he interested in using this platform to continue to make statements that I fundamentally disagree with and that offend me, but also that he didn't have much regard for the moment that we're in right now here
in the United States where we can't be distracted or engaged in this divisive, hateful language.

"Instead, we've got to bring the country together to solve problems. And, so in that sense, what became apparent to me was he didn't know me as well as I thought he did, and I certainly didn't know him as well as I thought I did. And, and that, you know, was disappointing, but something that I had to clearly speak out about."

The complete Obama transcript is available here. And the full hour video is available here. The parts concerning Wright are in the first 17 minutes.

Does Obama's most recent explanation of his relationship with Wright assuage any concerns you may have had? The comments section below is open.

--Andrew Malcolm

                                                         Photo Credits: AP and Trinity United Church of Christ

Comments () | Archives (165)

The comments to this entry are closed.

You Spin me Wright 'Round, Obama, Wright 'Round.....
First off, love the way Obama chooses a church by how high it can elevate his standing with blacks and his networking abilities! Gee, I thought it was about faith.....Next, Oprah bailed when she realized Wright was a loon; unlike Obama who held Wright to his bosom, inviting him to be his friend, marry him, baptize his girls. Right up until Obama disinvited him to speak at the inaugural. Alarm bells in his head? Oh yeah. Will Obama look into Putin's eyes and "see his soul" just like Bush misjudged him & Obama supposedly misjudged Wright? He reads people so well, our Obama does. Rezko, Wright, his bomb-making friends.....As to the gas tax, IL roads are some of the worst, always under construction & have been for years. As STATE senator, Obama did nothing about it, yet he says the TEMPORARY reprieve will layoff construction jobs? Pullease! And our STATE tax on gas is always one of the highest if not the highest in the country. Did nothing on that either. Did little or nothing his entire career, except if you count foreclosure filings that he did as a JUNIOR law partner in the BLACK community. Big deal. Talk about resume padding.....

Comparing Wright to Catholic pedophiles is convenient, but completely wrong. As soon as any given Catholic priest was found to be a pedophile, that man was removed from the pulpit. The parishioners were not sitting in the pews with someone who preached pedophilia. Wright preached his bigotry and hatred on a regular basis, and was never removed from the pulpit.

Dear Readers:

I am a 62 year old white, male; a very conservative Republican, and also a presently retired Protestant minister.

That being said, I will be quite satisfied with either Senator McCain or Senator Obama as candidates or our eventual President. Both these men are honorable, and I believe devoted to our country. Whereas the Clintons are prepared to sell this country to the highest bidder. Bill today is nothing more than an extension of Middle East Oil and Sultan of Dubbie, bought and paid for. The Clintons have made their first 100 million selling Hillary's potential as the next US President through Bill's speaking in foreign countries, and if his wife were elected that would turn to a billion as the two of them sold our country out, just as they sold pardons at the end of their last term in office.

That being said, I think God is not done with Barack Obama. With God, all things work for good. As King David had to contend with Saul, Barack Obama has been placed into the firry furnace so that he can be refined as Gold, for our sake and his.

Barack had a spiritual family in Trinity United in Chicago, but now it is for all America, not just Trinity, to pray for him. From God's perspective, Barack Obama was all too comfortable at Trinity.

God's will is that all of us "grow in faith and understanding" Barack Obama could not possibly be growing as God would have listening to Reverend Wright's twisted liberation theology. Given all that Senator Obama has written or and preached, he simply never bought it. When you think about it, Barack Obama's personal faith is much more in keeping with the love of Christ, and love of neighbor. So how then could he "grow in faith and understanding" if he stayed under the (lack of) spiritual guidance of Reverend Wright? He couldn't. In Washington, Barack Obama will find a better church, Black or otherwise, which will help guide him better in his walk of faith in the love of Christ.

Thus, for God it was important that Barack be blasted out of his comfort zone. Barack Obama has said that Reverend Wright was his "spiritual advisor". Nonsense. God doesn't want Barack Obama or anyone following a man, but rather following his son, Jesus Christ.

The Reverend Wright issue has not been comfortable for him. It has saddened him, and sobered Barack Obama. Good! Because the issues facing him as President - war and peace, the Middle East, American dependency on foreign oil, the welfare of all Americans - will be much more troubling for whoever is elected President this year. What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. So better that he be toughened now, then as President.

How bad could it be have been were Barack Obama elected President and still had Reverend Wright remain as his "spiritual advisor", handing like an albatross around his and our nations neck? God had to get rid of Reverend Wright so that as President Barack Obama would turn to Christ and God himself as his "spiritual advisor" during his Presidency, and not Reverend Wright.

You want to know why Reverend Wright acted like an idiot before the National Press Club? Simple. God hardened Reverend Wright's heart just as he hardened Pharaoh’s heart against Moses, such that in the end there could be no question that God's will was done in guiding the Children of Israel.

All of us have a part in this. We are to pray for Barack Obama and Senator McCain that God will continue to guide their steps in our country's best interest. Do not be blind to the hand of God, for He is near, and cares and loves us all greatly.

Love, Pastor Burt.

Frank: I think every Hillary fan should ask this question? Do you want a lying, angry woman as president? Do you want to go into Iran with McCain or obliviate Iran with Clinton? Probably yes. At least Wright and I care about the innocent children and women our cluster bombs in civilian areas killed and massacre of them in Vietnam days. God as you know s/he be your judge, not me.

Obama is not a movie star. He has a solid track record in Congress in working across party lines to get legislation important to me, done. One of those things is to help rid DC of the corruption that is the Clintons. But how would anyone know about actual work, when the Clinton owned media is not reporting?

The other is he spoke wisely about not going into Iraq. Clinton now says "we acted on faulty intelligence". We are in debt and hated due to our "killing for oil". Perhaps Wright's anti-Iraq war stance is what gave Obama part of his wisdom on that matter.

Wright is a non-issue. You, Frank, were their target audience. I have a bridge in Brooklyn, I want to sell ya...

Tom J., you are a lefty wacko! Hagee is a moderate compared to the Rev. "KKK America" Wright. As for water boarding, it is preferable to listening to the Rev. Wrong's sermons!

Thank you for this article it is so insightful on how the war in Iraq is going to end, how the economy is going to rebound, and how oil prices will be forced down all because Oprah stopped going to church.

Lost in all of this is the fact that Obama used his association with this "Christian" church as cover for the rumors going around that he was at least sympathetic to the muslim world view, if not actually a muslim. The comment about joining the biggest church as a vehicle to political office makes me wonder if this is what's going on... Obama uses this church to gain status and recognition in the black community. He uses this status to make political inroads and progresses toward his goal of empowering and enriching himself. He uses the church to cover for his islamic connections (even as the pastor of the church has been very friendly and sympathetic to the "nation of islam" and Louis F). Then he throws the pastor under the bus when it becomes apparent that he has gained all he can from the church, and will be politically hurt from his association with it. This guy is a "wolf in sheep's clothing".

Too bad the Times does not have a thumbs up and thumbs down to comments. No time to read them all:

Kudos to: Mark, Tom J, Paul Stewart, Dorrett, C Adams and even Jenna.

Jenna has her rights to support Hillary even though the Clintons are the ones who started the trial and crucification of Obama. Flag lapel pins? (and more) Anyone ever wonder how many Wright taped sermons someone had to sit through to find the exact sound bites they wanted? 520 of them?

Clinton is lying about being the fighter of special interests in DC. She vowed to continue taking their money and a quick check online shows she takes more PAC money than McCain. She "misremembered" about her Iraq war vote and what the Bill she signed said; she lies, and lies, and lies some more. Bosnia was but one of them. Her reason: sleep deprived was a second; Bill lied about her lying also.

So, yes, Jenna vote for the Bush/Clinton dynasty; more war in Iran even though we can afford to pay for Iraq; possible reinstatement of the draft. Continued government "of, for and by the lobbyists" and the people who benefit, such as Bill in Dubai.

I am so over this. Can we please talk about something that matters ... or is this entire election going to be nothing but "Duelling Pastors"?

OK ... we can dig out the photo of Rev. Wright and Bill Clinton being all buddy-buddy at the White House. Then we can get together all the photos of John McCain with his wacko pastors ,,, Hagee, Parsley, Falwell, Robertson, et al.

So ... what does it all prove? What? None of the candidates should be President? All Pastors are wackos? Everybody knows a wacko?

Meanwhile we have the worst health-care system in the industrialized world ... our children are marching through schools that don't teach them what they need to know to survive ... and the ones that aren't doing so well there are getting killed in Iraq in a war to secure high oil prices for years to come (which was the true intention after all).

Let's get our priorities straightened out here, shall we?

Cause and effect is a bitch ! Clearly both candidates Obama as well as Hillary are both suffering from this in the
race for the democratic nomination. Obama is dealing
with cause in effect it's just that simple ! Obama supported
a man the ''he claims'' had no idea was ''a bigot'' is NOT
only a big lie. But now Obama is swimming against judgment that he feels that he is personally NOT connected or responsible for any of the words Mr. Wright the pastor
has made !

Obama knows who Mr. Wright is and is about it's just
that simple . There are no accidents !

obama's judgement is very poor if he sat and listened to that crap for 20 years.. come on... exactly when was he going to realize that this was unacceptable?? hmmm.. maybe now.. after it's been put out there for everyone to know... otherwise he'd still be singing the nutjob's praises... this is the president of the united states we are electing here... judgement is crucial.. obviously obama's is flawed........

I am sure Ms Winfrey would move away from Reverend Wright, and perhaps Senator Obama, if she felt not doing so might hurt her popularity. Of the three of them, I like the reverend the best. Is it really shocking that a black preacher of his generation, a man who has served his country in the Marine Corps for six years, a man who has seen the injustices toward people of color since childhood, would be angry? He's tough, he's not running for office, and he's not trying to keep his television ratings up. (I too am a white guy from Montana, a Vietnam veteran, and for a couple of years in the 1960s a community block club organizer in the south side of Chicago).

I find it humorous that McCain's pastor, John Hagey gets a pass with all the outrageous comments he has made. Everyone seems to have short memories when it comes to his xenophobic tirades. Bottom line; we're voting for Obama not Wright. We need to be more concerned about the problems we all share as Americans and not divisive distractions.

Is Rev. Wright running for president?
Why do so-called journalist keep bringing up this stupid story.
Obama cannot be held responsible for what his pastor said, as much as we can hold George W. Bush responsible for the crazy things his fundamentalist supporters like Falwell and Robertson have said.
End this Wright story now and get back to the real issues.

Sure there's nothing wrong with Rev. Wright according to Obama. Just like there won't be anything wrong with other fire breathing, hate mongering leaders in the world after Obama becomes our president. We will all live happily ever after when Obama's change is implemented. The dictators of the world will voluntarily hug each other and become best buddies. Sounds like the dream of the 70's flower power. Dream on.

Oprah left Wright Church because she is further along in her spiritual journey than Obama. His journey is just starting so his need for a 'home' is far greater than hers.

The Jeremiah Wright situation in regard to Obama has various elements and complexities that need to be explored more fully.

There seem to be quite a few factors that make the case seem less simple than as some would like to portray it.

Food for thought in the article:

"Obama not 'black' enough for Jeremiah Wright?"
May 4, 2008

and at ...

Joint Recon Study Group
May 4, 2008

This issue is very simple. Ask yourself.......would you sit and listen to such hateful talk once, let alone 20 years of hate. No, no matter what church one belongs to.....most of us would stand up and walk out. It is as simple as that.

This is simple racism, pure and simple.

People don't like Obama or Reverend Wright because they speak the truth.

Just as Jesus Christ spoke the truth and was killed for it.

Why have a black prophet when you can settle for the white devil?


When the Rev. William Procanick put his hand on the Bible during his

sex-abuse trial in Oneida County Court earlier this year, he swore to

tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But as the former

Clinton Pastor was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for

Inappropriately touching a 7-year-old girl at his home last March.

Judge Michael L. Dwyer said Procanick sacrificed his honesty the

day he testified.

Okay, so now that Bill and Hillary Clinton's pastor has been convicted

of child molestation, will we see the same furor directed at Hilary that

Obama has had to endure these last few weeks?


Then you need to email this article to everyone you know. Here

the Clinton 's Pastor is convicted of child molestation. So, if Obama

bears the guilt for his pastor's comment; then Hilary has to be

equally tainted by this man's crimes.


Who has better judgment?

Let's compare.

- didn't read the NIE.
- voted to give President authority to make war against an innocent people (no link to 9-11; no justification for war)
- voted for Lieberman-Kyl amendment
- persisted in lying about so-called foreign policy experience even when presented with multiple examples of evidence to the contrary
- proposed "gas tax holiday" even knowing it's bad policy

- opposed the AUMF in Iraq and campaigned as an anti-Iraq war candidate (for US Senate) when it was dangerously unpopular
- rejected "gas tax holiday" proposal as bad economic, energy & environmental policy despite potential loss of appeal to certain voting constituencies; proposed substantive long- and short-term alternatives instead
- stayed loyal to his church congregation that fed thousands of people; sheltered thousands of homeless; administered services to thousands of AIDS patients; provided day care to thousands of children of low-income working poor families; ministered to thousands of inmates; gave scholarships to thousands of promising students -- despite the pastor's occasional tendencies to say outrageous things and potential for damage to his political career

In the end, whose judgment has had more positive or negative consequence? Who is more likely to produce more of the same?

Every time I see this picture of Wright and Obama, I can't help but think I'm looking at a father-son photo. Not with regard to beliefs, but the similarities in facial features - smiles, chins, cheeks, ears, foreheads, noses - is uncanny! ... Even if he was his father, I'd still vote Obama anyway.

barrack obama= the flim flam man.

There seems to be a double standard at work here. When unidentified sources were used in a NY Times article about McCain having a sexual affair with a blonde lobbyists, people were outraged.

Now we have unidentified sources regarding Oprah and Rev. Wright, but this is fair game? From what I heard Oprah stopped going to Trinity because she got too famous and it created too much of a distraction in church as she was being mobbed by her fans and fellow church goers.

This guilt by association thing is disgusting. Clearly Obama is a man of great character and integrity. McCain is a man who cheated on and then dumped his disabled wife. He ended up chasing after a rich beer heiress. Hillary and Bill are two people who will say or do anything to win just for the sake of their ambition and their quest for power.

Any objective person can see that Wright doesn't represent what Obama believes.

All these comparisons with other religions really don't put things into perspective. If any denomination or non-denomination puts out or supports race-hate speech as Wright has done, I can't imagine anyone taking any less tact than to denounce it and to distance themselves from it. To receive an endorsement from a "minister" with such views will only further divide and raise tensions with other race-hate-mongering groups. Please put the arguments in better perspective if you are going to make a falacious comparison with religions in general. Apples to oranges.

Yep, in the race for President, NOTHING could be more important than Rev. Wright. No point in looking any further, Obama must be a white-hating ax murderer. No doubt.

I have been reading all these comments and what some of the readers and viewers does not seem to understand is where Reverend Wright is coming from. Sometimes pain does not go away even if you want it to. He lived in a time when he could not ride at the front of the bus or eat in the same restaraunt as the whites. He is stuck in time. I once met an old lady, she had a beautiful 38 years old daughter, but from time to time she would get sad and she would cry. When I asked her why she always cried. She told me that she was raped as a teenager and she had the child. I secretly remarked to myself, that she needed to let it go. As I got older and began to experience some unpleasantness in life, I began to realize what pain, resentment, hurt, discrimination ant other unpleasant emotions were and i finally understoo.

I am from the West Indies, and I cannot undersdand why Americans and this country trives on things that seems so insignificant. I am from a country where the majority of people are black. From a country where whether you or black or white there is nothing on your birth certificate that states that. I am from a mixed race with one grandparent German and one grandparent African. our motto is, " Out of Many Nations, One People", where we live as one. It is time for America to come together as one people. The blacks are sensitive to what the whites does or says and the whites are even more sensitive.

When is this thing ever going to end. Like Martin Luther King, helped to let America move forward a little, and i believe that whether Obama become the next president, it is a move in the right direction of bridging the gap.

American blacks need to find a way to forgive even they will never be able to forget and the whites needs to understand that blacks can be as productive and educated as they are if given the chance.

Obama is having a hard time with his campaign because the media looks for every imperfection, every flaw to tear him down.

He is intelligent and respectable and just because he goes to Rev. Wright church does not mean he thinks like him.

Fire said:

"There is an assumption that only Africian Americans have ever suffered injustice."

That is absolutely not true. In fact, Fire, have you heard Rev. Wrights' entire speech? The very first thing he lambasted the US government about was their treatment of Native Americans and how their land was taken. I don't think that anyone, regardless of race, has forgotten the pilght of the Native American. It's just that you don't see speeches from Indian Chiefs looped over and over and over again on the evening news. That's the difference. The amount of attention that is given to any African-American that calls this govenment out on it's injustices.

Why didn't Hillary leave Bill? How many times did he have affairs with other women? Why did she go on national TV with him and make the claim that a right wing conspiracy was after him? Why did she take the public ridicule and not stand up for herself and her daughter? Why did she allow Bill to humiliate her child? Why didn't she have guts? Why should you believe she is so strong? Why Hillary, because you just love Bill or for some other reason? Why did Bill invite Rev. Wright to the White House to pray for his sorry, sorry, sorry?

Since we really only know about the candidates, political figures and celebrities by what they tell us ... getting an opinion from another source is important. Obama's connection with this minister gives some insight into Obama. What would be even better would be to be to gain insights like this related to all the other candidates. Imagine voting for a president that we had the truth about!!!

I have friends who work in the US Senate on Capitol Hill. They say that Senator Obama is an "empty" suit and has been running for president on the first day he entered the Senate.

Throughout his three years there, he has not been in any bi-partisan colations or alliance to force the issues on important matters. Everything must be beneficial to him before he engages.

He has done anything yet? He hasn't paid his dues to the political life of the country and he simply wants the presidency handed over to him!

Give me a break! He's an elitist snob!

By the way, his wife, Michelle, says that "this is the first time she is really proud of the country" as her husband wins causes and primaries. "Wasn't shw proud when her husband as elected to the uS Senate?" What a hyprocrite and opportunitst!

Dominic, independent

Its not just Rev. "Goddamn America" Wright, its the whole enchilada. Now I see on other sites that his pal "Bomber Bill" Ayers is doing a tap dance on the American flag, standing on our flag and wiping his feet. Obama is running for President of the United States, the most powerful job in the world and he has friends and pastors like this? You are and are known by the people you associate with, he's good enough for Chicago but no higher political office. Obama is tarnished goods and the Rezko trial and how his million dollar house was financed by a Saddam bag man hasn't really come up yet.

Obama changing his story as it fits is perhaps his biggest problem. It's not Rev. Wright but Obama trying to spin out of this. And believe me it's better this came out now than later during the election. This is about Sen. Obama's lack of experience and judgement. He went to the church for it's connections not " spiritual direction" so why not walk out? He / they stayed even his wife did not nudge him and say " let's find another church for our kids and ourselves. Perhaps the children should be hearing a more " color blind " less biased minister. ( Children learn what they hear and see. ) Not only are the Obama's there so are their kids being " ministered " by this man. I agree this should be a non-issue. And it has become an issue because of Sen. Obama's poor handling of it. He will not be elected with this kind of baggage and poor judgement. Perhaps a great V.P. Talk is cheep in this country. Bush preached " a change in Washington as well" remember...

The problem I have with Mr. Obama is his pattern of saying one thing and then distancing himself from those words when the opposite is revealed at a later date. That is called "spin", folks, and certainly not "new politics". It also speaks to his platform of "good judgement". How can it be good judgement to listen to divisive words when you are also running on a platform of "unity", and listen to that for 20 years, just as an aside. To believe he had no idea how divisive is a joke since he disinvited Wright from his invocation a YEAR ago. First he denies hearing those things, then explains them away then denounces. Seems like "same olf politics" to me folks. The very telling comment he made during his denouncing stage - "He disrespected me..." and then quickly says "and all Americans". The point being, he didn't denounce Wright strongly at first because it wasn't "personal" enough for him too. So, it is Ok to brush off the comments aimed at ALL Americans, but golly, when HE is disrespected, now he gets enraged and must denounce Wright.?! How about that same level of anger when it isn't about him but America instead? We have a need and right to know Senator Obama from every angle and what he believes when he talks of equality and a "vision" for America. America is a melting pot of races, genders, culture, etc. and we each have a personal interest in seeing "ourselves" in our President. With that connection comes passion and emotional investment. However, it also must be tempered with information about the candidates (good and bad, without negative "label" attached to said information) so that we can make informed choices, rather than only emotionally-driven ones. All this Wright stuff aside, remember what this race is really about: Hiring someone to do the toughest and, arguably, most important job on the planet. Being President of the US isn't about speeches, promises and what-if's - it is about who you BELIEVE will get up, everyday, and work their butt off for every hardworking American, because they have a track record of that already. That person is Senator Clinton. She has worked hard and diligently for all Americans, and spent years building strong relationships because she has a passionate vision of what America can be, not just because she's running for President. Vetted, intelligent, tested and hardworking. Senator Clinton is the right choice for me in '08

What I Learned from Dr. Wright:
Every time some one fondly remembers "the good old days", all I have to do is think of what Wright said and I'm instantly happy to be living now rather than when he grew up. Yes, things have improved. Yes, things need to keep improving. YES WE CAN. (And that isn't just about race issues, it's about the United States in general.)

I don't want the next great American inventor, scientist, writer, economist or entrepreneur to not become that because of crime, lack of education or lack of health care. I don't care what that person's race, religion or family is. We're all Americans. We can't do everything for everyone, but we can help provide opportunities.

Obama made a profound error in comparing Wright to his grandmother. But last time I checked he was human, so he can err a little.

His claim that he does not share the pastor's views is entirely credible--it shows from his actions--he stands for unity, he does not stand for nor winks at any kind of demagogic divisiveness.

Most people alive today neither have participated in nor, on the whole, are at all benefiting from race-based discrimination.
And let's remember that the North never condoned slavery and in fact hundreds of thousands fell as casualties in the Civil War, which was a war against the institution of slavery. How soon we forget.

Hatred is a lose-lose game for the people, played by demagogues for their sole benefit.

Obama is a great man and he intends to lead us away from that game and toward common sense.

I must believe that intimate conversations betwen Wright and Obama took place durings their close relationship. I believe that these conversations would have involve a general philosophy that was common to both.
This frightens me and makes me question his sincerity.

Franckly, americans get over with your fanatic gossips. Why can you just pick the right candidate for right reasons...not because someone is black, white, hispanic, catholic, protestant or other... By the way, why you keep going to the Catholic church KNOWING that priests raped your children !!! It's so easy to be mean and destroy someone. It looks to me that media as well is playing a dirty game. I'm afraid that americans will pick the wrong person for a third time - hopefully I'm wrong.

Jeremiah Wright hates white people. And he hates Amerikkka, because Amerikkka is white. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama also hate white people and they also hate Amerikkka. That's fine with me. Let's put them in The White House. Maybe President Obama and First Lady Michelle will re-name it "The Black House".

Wright + Obama = Priceless

Obama is going to throw us all under the bus!

Apparently no one can post a comment that is in any way critical of Andrew Malcolm or the LA Times. This really makes me wonder: what else are you censoring? And what are you so afraid of?

(Hey, Jake, you should get out more and read these comments. Or maybe you just want to see your name online.)

Obama did not say those words.

No, his bosom buddy of 20 years did.

Liberals never cease to amaze me with their powers of deception, particularly self-deception. You guys all need to take remedial courses on critical thinking.

Try and imagine the howling from libs if a white guy was as close to the White House as Obama, and had rubbed elbows for 20 years with a (even tepidly) pro-white pastor (married by him, kids baptized by him, gave him 20 grand 2 years ago, call him "spiritual adviser" and "like an uncle to me," etc).

NOW libs are crying foul about guilt by association, after playing the very game so long and loose themselves! Libs wrote the book on guilt by association!

NOW they want to change the rules? I think not.

His very DNA indicates that he could not share Wright's view.

Open your eyes. Wright obviously has more white admixture than Obama. That aside, it's TOTALLY ABSURD (probably evil, at least according to libs if they were consistent) to claim that anyone is incapable of any view due to their DNA (mental incompetence aside of course).

E.g., there are hordes of white people who are racist against whites. Pick any academic at random, particularly in the humanities, and you're likely to find one. Who do you think writes all the textbooks about how singularly wicked dead white males have been (clue: that's racism)?

Enough is enough; let us look at the issues facing this nation and the world.

YOU DON'T GET TO SET THE AGENDA, LIBS! You don't decide for Americans what we find important. I find important the possibility of Obama becoming the commander in chief of the world's only superpower - a man who has rubbed elbows with a blatant, militant racist for 20 years, showing either his own racism or total lack of political common sense (probably both).

I find the fact that a Liberation Theologist and probable Marxist is *this* far from the White House to be quite important - particularly when the press is afraid to vet him properly because a) they're libs and b) they're quaking in their boots like teenagers at the prospect of having the race card flung in their faces.

If Obama was a white guy he'd have been eviscerated by the press by now.

There's the real racism in America, right there in your faces.

"Okay, so now that Bill and Hillary Clinton's pastor has been convicted of child molestation, will we see the same furor directed at Hilary that Obama has had to endure these last few weeks?"

Libs have been throwing this "argument" around for weeks now. Just goes to show their total intellectual bankruptcy.

The analogy is fatally flawed: it would be relevant if Clinton's pastor (or a hypothetical pastor since I've heard nothing of this story) had preached the NAMBLA platform for 20 years and Clinton had sat in the pews smiling the whole time, writing 20k dollar checks, etc.

"So then the question is, why has Mr. Obama reacted so strongly to Dr. Wright's statements?"

Uhm, because he knows Kool-Aid drinking, self-hating academics are a vanishingly small portion of the electorate?

"it is impossible for obama to win in November..."

This is so true! Republicans will run the
"why does O so steadfastly refuse to wear a flag pin? Why won't he stand for the Pledge of Allegiance? Why has Mrs. O never been proud to be an American? Why did he hang out with a guy who says the American government created AIDS to kill blacks, called America the U.S. of KKA, said America deserved 9/11 [video of 9/11 attack begins playing] Do we really know enough about to make him Commander in Chief?" ads right up until Nov. 5th, and Obama will go down as if poleaxed.

Want to know the scary part? I'm a conservative who wants the Republcans to lose, and lose big, with RINO John McCain in November to punish the party for betraying conservatives by nominating McCain; if conservatives don't see past the facile "you have to get behind the nominee, no matter how much of a clown" silliness and PUNISH the party for their behavior, said behavior will NEVER change.

When someone takes advantage of you, you punish them for it, or they'll continue taking advantage of you. It's so simple children understand it.

Obama is making this scenario an impossibility, because even the horrible McCain will trounce him. Name one swing state Obama's won.

Who cares about Wright?!! We have bigger issues that need to be dealt with, & yet all everyone wants to talk about is the pastor! I have become so disgusted with other Americans the last 8 years. What in the world is wrong with us? Gas is at almost $4 a gallon, & yet things are strangely quiet. Bush has never been impeached, & the war goes on & on. Whatever happened to our fighting spirit? Don't we care anymore, or do we just want to get fat frying our brains on American Idol?

There are several issues here that really speak of judgment. Barack says he has better judgment than the other two candidates which seems in light of several bone-head associations to be untrue to say the least. I guess it would never occur to me to boast my ability to make judgments on all issues. Barack made a decision not to support this war which is one very big issue. However his vote did not count and so it is easy to take a riskier stance when nothing is on the line. If you google you will find some remarks he made after the war and while it was going better that suggested he may have been wrong to oppose the war. Of course now he says differently, which is fine. I think Jesse Ventura was right about one thing, and only one thing. I do think there should be a place on the ballet that rejects all 3 - as NONE OF THE ABOVE. They all have some strong points, but they all have lots of weak ones. Overall a fair rating for all 3 which certainly should not be the case when picking a president.

Jeremiah Wright was a breath of fresh air.

Plusnews bulletin- Wright is not running for President so save your fears and morale outrage for the last 8 years of hell brought to you by the Republitards.And if you want more of the same vote for McCain.

David Axelrod PLANNED the whole Rev Wright media blitz, so Obama could denounce him. And it's working. It makes me puke. I can't wait until this FRAUD concocted by Axelrod, Wright and Obama is investigated and nailed to the front page of every paper.

I know this is a plan by Axelrod. I know the Rev was in on it.
I know Obama is weak.

Thing is they felt this a coup because even if he loses NC and IN, he can claim he's winning anyway and AFTERWARDS, the Rev Wright thing will blow away.

I'm not falling for it. I knew from the getgo that it was an AXELROD scheme. It stunk to high heaven and yet NO ONE investigates it.

Just like they don't investigate the many lies he tells about some old woman who gave him 3dollars as a contribution. Who is she? No one bothered, because the Media eats up his words like they were made in the Jesus Kitchen.

AXELROD is behind the Rev Wright Media Blitz.

« | 1 2 3 4 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: