Tuesday, April 29, 2008



Antithetical to his DNA...

Two hours after I wrote my last comment about the Wright kerfuffle, here:

In this previous blogpost I tentatively compared Obama to Prince Hal. I think the comparison has been boosted in view of the more recent Wright self-exhibitionism. If Prince Hal is serious about ascending to the presidency, he should do as true leaders do, and cut himself loose from his past Falstaffs, who would cling to him in the hope that some of that power will rub on them...

And no sooner said than done :-)

Andrew Sullvan posted the video, here.

The NYT transcribed the speech and the following Q/A period.


Obama called a press conference in which he dealt with this meddlesome priest... It looks like Obama took my advice, which was grounded in Shakespearean wisdom and in appearance before the press he divorced himself from Wright, a person who has all the bombast of Falstaff without the redeeming charm.

Joking aside, it was almost heartbreaking to watch the ashen-faced, infinitely sad Obama acknowledge that his past reading of the man could have been so wrong. Not one smile did he flash throughout the press conference. Not one jocular statement. It was a heavy emotional moment in which he broke with someone whom he had considered a friend for so long, and has now realized was a narcissistic megalomaniac in search of gratifying his own petty grievances even if this comes with a price paid by Obama's hopes for the presidency.

He spoke simply, clarified in no uncertain terms that Rev. Wright's opinions and positions were anathema to what he, Obama, was and to what his campaign was all about. Particularly painful to him was Wright's suggestion that Obama's voiced positions about Farrakhan and his own hateful comments was due to political posturing.

"I have been a member of Trinity Church since 1992. I have known Rev. Wright for almost 20 years," he said at a news conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago."

Obama said he is outraged by Wright's remarks that seemed to suggest the U.S. government might be responsible for the spread of AIDS in the black community, and his equation of some American wartime efforts with terrorism.

"What particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks were somehow political posturing," said Obama, who added that Wright had shown "little regard for me" and seemed more concerned with "taking center stage."

"...I cannot prevent him from making these remarks," but "when I say I find these comments appalling I mean it. It contradicts what I'm about and who I am ... It is completely opposed to what I stand for and where I want to take this country."


In an interview with Rahm Emanuel, on Charlie Rose on April 25, which you can watch here
Charlie asked him what each of the candidates needed to do in order to break ahead and secure his or her nomination. Emanuel said something which I didn't quite understand. He said the winning candidate will have to wrest that nomination by addressing the voters in emotional nakedness, showing who they authentically are and that they are capable, eager, driven, of doing what it takes to serve the American people. He gave an example from Bill Clinton's campaign, which he thought was a turning point. Hillary Clinton seems to have gained some gentle momentum, but this Obama moment we have witnessed today I think is what Rahm Emanuel was anticipating.

(It is said in the Talmud that after the destruction of the Temple, the gift of prophecy was given to idiots, small children and fanatic zealots, the implication being that only people who can legally claim having diminished responsibility can be trusted with forecasting the future...). At the risk of being considered an idiot, I believe this week will be remembered as the time when Obama got his presidential nomination.

Hmm... on second thought, and having perused other responses, scrap the above...)

I think Cass Sunstein had the right measure of the man, after all.

________

Sidebar:

Some of my staunchest readers (who visit my blog 3-5 times daily on average) have expressed an interest in all that I've written about Obama.

So to facilitate their task, here is a link to all posts written about Obama since March.

Same staunch readers are also always eager to read my thoughts about the recently Hamasized Jimmy Carter. So here is another link.

And while we are at it, here are posts about antisemitism, too.

Happy reading!

2 Comments:

At 9:06 PM EDT, Anonymous nwo said...

"staunchest readers?"

LOL!

 
At 9:08 PM EDT, Anonymous nwo said...

In South Africa, it is a commonly believed and perpetuated myth that the White South African government created AIDS and spread it in the black community.

 

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