This past Sunday Governor Sarah Palin expressed surprise as to why her campaign has said so little about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. She told New York Times Op-Ed columnist William Kristol that she didn’t understand “why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he [Obama] didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”
Let’s say that McCain decided that he did want to bring that up (and maybe he already has). Would it work? I don’t think so and here’s why:
Because Americans are wikipediaing terms like “Hooverville” “Hoover flag” and “Hoover blanket”: The nation’s economy is on fire. So maybe now is not the most expedient time to focus on Obama’s really questionable taste in pastors. Let there be no doubt: this association is troubling. But harping on Wright for the next few weeks would only confirm suspicions that McCain has no answers for a crisis that is quite conceivably raising the blood pressure of every single citizen of the United States as we speak.
Because McCain already proclaimed the topic off limits: Back in April, McCain honorably warned Republicans in North Carolina to knock off the negative ads on this subject. The Maverick would risk looking erratic and indecisive if he reversed himself. Of course, that’s what operatives and surrogates are for. Still, they too are climbing uphill. . . . .
Because the press is bored with the issue: Absent new YouTube videos featuring anti-American rants, the media has gone about as far with this story as it can go. The punditry got to familiarize themselves with the ideological stylings of Reverend Wright for something like two glorious, byline-rich months and can never be accused of having swept it under the rug. Either the GOP delivers fresh fulminations or journalists go back to filing stories about, like, foreclosures and stuff.
Because McCain fumbled the ball when he solicited the endorsements of Pastors Hagee and Parsley: Doesn’t McCain have his own questionable “associations” with controversial religious figures? He sure does. But, in all honesty, these were minor compared with the length, depth and profundity of the Obama/Wright bond. This is why it is hard to underestimate how catastrophic McCain’s decision to bring two pastors on board whom he hardly knew (sound familiar?) really was. In the popular perception both McCain and Obama have had their pastor disasters. In the popular perception, it’s even. Time to move on.
Because Joe and Jane Six-Pack also have retirement funds: Over at the Six-Pack residence I am guessing that rumored layoffs down at the plant are a subject of much concern. What with the little Six-Packs going to the dentist next week, maybe mom and dad want to hear what’s good about McCain’s economic vision, not what’s bad about Obama’s now irrevocably broken relationship with his spiritual mentor.
By Jacques Berlinerblau |
October 9, 2008; 11:14 PM ET
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