From New York magazine (via NRO):
In October, Obama’s former pastor, Wright, will publish a new book and hit the road to promote it, an occasion that might well place the topic of Obama’s blackness (along with his patriotism and his candor about what he heard in the pews in all those years at Trinity Church) squarely at the center of the national debate. How Obama handles that moment may determine whether he becomes the next occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
As I blogged here on April 2:
So, I don't expect we've heard the last from Rev. Wright. All summer, he's going to be sitting in his new mansion on the golf course in the gated community in 93% white suburban Tinley Park brooding on how Obama has betrayed him, and what he's going to do about it.
He'll think of something.
For example, last November 2, he invented the Jeremiah Wright Trumpeter Lifetime Achievement Award and gave it to Louis Farrakhan at a big bash at the Chicago Hyatt Regency, but it took the white media ten weeks to even notice what a black man had done. This year, there are all sorts of people he could give his award to on, say, Saturday night November 1st. And I bet this year it won't take ten weeks before the white press talks about it!
Or maybe somebody else will think of something for Wright to do. If you were a literary agent, say, wouldn't you want to sign Wright up for a quickie bestseller, with a release date targeted at, say, 10/1/08? Hustle your best ghostwriter out to Tinley Park and get Wright's memoirs and views on current issues slapped together by the Fourth of July. Make that deadline and you could have it on the bookshelves five weeks before Election Day!No, I don't think we've heard the last from Rev. Wright.
Update: Now, Rev. Dr. Wright's daughter says that isn't true. She asserts her father is in an electronically inaccessible region of Ghana and will issue a statement when emerges from "email hell."
I must say, the news Rev. Wright is currently hanging out with Dr. Livingstone and Mr. Kurtz makes Obama look much more Presidential than did the endless Obama-Wright psychodrama of last spring. As I blogged on April 29:
One little-mentioned aspect of Barack Obama's on-going fiasco involving his spiritual mentor is that it makes him look feckless.
Rev. Wright has been a problem Obama knew he was going to have for, roughly, ever. But what has he done about it, besides giving a 5,000 word speech? Did he switch to a Washington D.C. church when he was elected to the Senate in 2005? Did he persuade Trinity to stop selling Wright's sermons on DVD? Did he provide any sort of narrative about the evolving ideological differences between the young and mature Barack Obamas?
In contrast, do you remember how in February 2004, Democratic frontrunner John Kerry was rocked by rumors that he was having an adulterous affair with a young woman? You probably don't remember because, although for about a day it looked like it might derail Kerry's victory march through the primaries, the story quickly went away — when the young lady went away, leaving the country.
Problem dealt with.
I have no idea if the rumors about Kerry were true or if the girl's timely departure from America was a coincidence or what. But, let's assume the worst about Kerry: he wrote a big check from the allowance his wife gives him to his mistress in return for making herself scarce. What can you then say about Kerry?
Well, one thing you can say is that he had a problem and he dealt with it. All else being equal, I'd rather have a President who had a problem and dealt with it than a President who had a problem and failed to deal with it.
Wright should not have been an unsolvable problem for Obama. Wright likes the spotlight, but he also likes other things. (He drives a Porsche, for example).
So, Wright likes money. Obama has friends with money. Right there, you have the makings of a deal. (The payoff didn't have to be crass — just that in return for Wright maintaining a low profile all year, in December 2008 Obama's supporters would start up a charitable foundation for Rev. to run. Obama could have asked Bill and Hill for advice on the fine points of foundations.)