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Hillary Clinton would not have sat in one of Rev. Wright's pews

March 25, 2008 | 11:48 am

It took awhile, but Hillary Clinton finally threw the Rev. Jeremiah Wright under the bus (just who is the driver of that oft-cited vehicle, anyway?).

Sitting down earlier today with a crew of journalists from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Clinton said of the controversial Wright: "He would not have been my pastor."

In a pretty clear reference to Barack Obama's previous description of Wright as an uncle-like figure to him -- someone you're fond of but who occasionally drives you batty with nutty comments -- Clinton added, "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."

Clinton and her usually eager-to-pounce staff had been atypically silent as Obama was forced to confront incendiary comments on black/white relations that Wright had sprinkled into sermons over the years (hyping the furor, in this case, would have seemed like piling on).

But with her comments today ...

Clinton is keeping attention focused on a question that lingers for Obama in the aftermath of his generally well-received speech on racial tensions last week: why did he maintain his membership in Wright's church?

Given her remark, we also imagine that someone from the Obama camp may be checking out the rhetorical records of pastors at the services she and her husband attended during their many years in Little Rock.

Another response Clinton gave to the Pittsburgh newspaper that may not get as much attention -- but is worthy of note -- concerns the flap spurred by her exaggerated recollection of her trip to Bosnia while she was first lady.

Clinton blames "sleep deprivation" for her erroneous recent recollection that she and her traveling party -- which included daughter Chelsea -- were under sniper fire when their plane landed in Bosnia in 1996.

The Tribune-Review story on its conversation with Clinton can be seen here.

-- Don Frederick

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