Time for Obama’s JFK Moment

15 03 2008

This has been a bad two weeks for the Obama campaign. First Samantha Power, a great foreign policy thinker and close advisor, resigned after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster.” Then he had to figure out how to respond to Geraldine Ferraro’s ridiculous remarks without walking into the whole trap of being seen as the black candidate. And now with footage of Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary remarks surfacing on the web and onto mainstream media outlets, he has to deal with yet another controversy, the most damaging one thus far.

Curiously enough, many media outlets have focused on the anti-Americanism of Wright’s comments, but not what he said about gender with respect to Hillary. His comments will surely ignite the another furious and fruitless debate on gender versus race discrimination.

Hillary never had a cab whiz pass her because her skin was the wrong color. Hillary never had to worry about being pulled over. I am sick of Negroes who just do not get it. Barack knows what it was to live in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger….Hillary has never had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by rich white people who run everything.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAYe7MT5BxM&eurl]

That kind of inflammatory rhetoric will surely serve to alienate an even greater number of Hillary’s supporters, particularly, seniors, white working class folk, and this will certainly do nothing to endear Obama to Latinos. It may even chip away at Obama’s own base of the white liberal “I don’t see race” crowd.

This controversy has also overshadowed the endorsement he won by a number of retired military personnel earlier this week. Pennsylvania, whose demographics are strikingly similar to Missouri, a state he won in a squeaker, will be an even tougher to win now.

These next few weeks will probably be very difficult for Obama to get through. I think he will need to give another speech precisely on his faith and what it means to him just as Kennedy did about his Catholicism. The speech should be done before a racially mixed crowd either in PA or somewhere within the Midwest with a decent media market. In the speech, he should tell of his journey from atheist to believer, from Chicago outsider to community pillar, from skeptical idealist to committed activist, the Christian notion of hope, and maybe even the role of faith in his marriage with to Michelle. People love that kind stuff.

If done right, it will serve to remind people why so many people are attracted to his message.

In a future post this weekend, if I have the time that is, I will blog on Obama’s post on Rev. Jeremiah Wright comments Huffington Post.

But for now, check out a much saner, if not esoteric, version of Rev. Wright on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes last year.

[Youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNTGRL0OJWQ&feature=related]

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8 responses

15 03 2008
gasdocpol

It seems as if FOX News is playing the tapes of Rev. Wright pretty much non-stop. FOX will milk this little gem for all it is worth.

Hannity has called for Obama to resign from the Senate!

If Americans were dumb enough to put GW Bush in the White House for eight years, they could be dumb enough to listen to Hannity and give us McCain and one hundred more years of the Iraq fiasco.

The good news is that Obama is a pretty smart guy and he will probably counter the stupidity and probably prevail.

15 03 2008
johnnypeepers

This is an intentional MSM led “black op” designed to assassinate Obama’s character. The overlords who control McCain and Hillary cannot risk a man of principle who will reject the U.S./Corporate war machine. Their attempts are transparent.

15 03 2008
Leo

Damaging? You bet it’s damaging. I will not vote again for Obama. Not when his message says one thing and his pastor and ADVISOR says another thing. I am hurt and sad. I believed in him. But I am not stupid to believe just because I want to believe. Forgive me if I don’t feel like being blind or brainwashed about this one.

15 03 2008
KUT

Leo, I understand that you feel hurt and disappointed, but I do sincerely doubt that Obama himself really thinks the same way that his pastor does on foreign policy and race relations. If he did, so many of his advisors would not be white centrist Democrats.

And more importantly, I really do not think Obama’s religious thinking is borne out of the same perspective.

Check out what Obama said about him coming to terms with his Christian faith in “Dreams of Father,” a memoir he wrote long before he entered politics.

“Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shamed about, memories more accessible than those of ancient Egypt, memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild. And if part of me continued to feel that this Sunday communion sometimes simplified our condition, that it could sometimes disguise or suppress the very real conflicts among us and would fulfill its promise only through action, I also felt for the first time how that spirit carried within it, nascent, incomplete, the possibility of moving beyond our narrow dreams.””

Does that sound like a crazy angry black man? Listen, I respect your opinion, but lets not judge Obama guilty by virtue of association.

15 03 2008
Wayne

Sadly, he was on hannity and colmes. Sean hannity truly sickens me–because his concept of ‘unity’ is truly a farce. He, and people like him, refuse to acknowledge racial and class disparities in the United States, sit in their ivory towers (an appropriate allusion, given the context) without having to get out of their comfort zones, and decry anyone who tries to tackle this reality.

The minister, sadly, passed on the opportunity to discuss this, opting, instead, to get into a debate over academic credentials.

Who would’ve thought that the words of Dr. King would be used after 40 years to somehow decry people’s self determination and tackling of social issues.

15 03 2008
Wayne

Leo, I’d have to agree w/ Kut on this one. If you play guilty by association, you start to nix a lot of people really quickly.

Who doesn’t have associates that we try to separate ourselves from?

Hell, i have friends i grew up with that i try to keep far FAR away from my coworkers and other friends, simply because they can sometimes embarrass me–now, i’d hate to think that if i decided to run for a local, that foray would be totally ruined because of the knuckleheads i associated myself with.

15 03 2008
gasdocpol

Leo

I am also appalled by Rev Wright. He looks to me like the sort of caricature that could be dreamed up by Karl Rove himself to sabbotage Obama.

I interpret all this differently than you do, however.

I suspect that that Reverend Wright was not all bad and Obama drew some very positive things from him.

Indeed this I see as one of the many strenghths of Obama as being able to draw the best from people rather than to throw out the baby with the washwater. I think that this quality will help Obama reach accross the aisle and find common ground and even in dealing with our enemies.

With friends like Wright, Obama does not need enemies. Well meaning blunderers are difficult to be dealt with by people who are as decent as Barack Obama is.

16 03 2008
KUT

Gasdocpol, that’s an excellent point. I should have mentioned that in my post. In fact, Obama himself tried to convey that as much at Huff Post when he spoke about how Rev. Wright’s involvement in HIV/AIDS work in Chicago, and his reputation as a theologian.

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