Although they’re not so much as runnin’ buddies anymore since Obama dumped him for more politically correct ideals, the preacher is not stopping his program.
In a recent sermon at D.C. church, a few bloks from the White House, Wright seemed to slight his old friend, saying he and Oprah need to learn from “the foundation” that precedes them. He mentioned civil rights figures that made a significant difference and also referred to the youth that stood for change.
He went in on the dude, bad mouthing Harvard University, accusing the school and other high ranked institutions of breeding students with “white racist DNA.”
You can always depend on him to make unapologetic statements like that.
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Experts say, however, it’s quite possible Wright could be that fly in Obama’s ear that buzzes around and gets swatted away. Political scientist Andra Gillespie says that it appears that since the preacher continues to “attack” Obama, it’s quite clear the president has distanced himself from his former mentor. And this time around, he might not be worth talking about during this campaign round.
Here’s what the Huffington Post is reporting about the possible impact of Wright’s statements on Obama and the presidential race this time around.
“My gut is it is not worth the time” to revive Wright as a campaign issue, Republican pollster Ed Goeas said in an email to HuffPost. “All the economic stuff is such a target-rich environment, no need to go there and give [Democrats] something to try and get us off message.”
The GOP recently made clear that the economy is its main talking point, when word leaked out of a super PAC plan commissioned by Joe Ricketts to link Obama and his former pastor, and the proposal was quickly rejected publicly by Mitt Romney. “I repudiate that effort,” Romney said of the plan.
Smearing Obama with Wright’s controversial rhetoric “had traction four years ago because Obama was still a relatively unknown political figure,” Gillespie said in an email. “Today, while there are people who still charge him with opaqueness, voters have a lot of information with which to judge Obama.”
Leonard Steinhorn, a communications professor from American University and co-author of “By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race,” said he agrees that much has changed.
“The American people have had four years observing Barack Obama under the media microscope, and they see no connection between him and the rantings of Rev. Wright,” he said, noting the rapid rejection of Ricketts’ proposed ad campaign. But he cited another reason Wright is unlikely to become a campaign issue.
“It might encourage media hound dogs to snoop more into Gov. Romney’s religious practices as a way to balance out the reporting,” Steinhorn said in reference to the presumptive GOP presidential candidate’s Mormonism. “No one wins when a candidate’s faith becomes the issue.”
Read/learn more at Huffington Post.