2007 Profile: Wright provides “spiritual guidance” for Obama, Oprah

posted at 7:59 am on March 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Before the press began looking into the inflammatory rhetoric of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, they fawned over his association with Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. In a Chicago Tribune profile that appeared just as Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency in January 2007, the Senator confirmed the close relationship with the firebrand preacher at Trinity United Church. Wright provides both a moral compass and political advice, Obama said — then:

Wright, 65, is a straight-talking pragmatist who arrived in Chicago as an outsider and became an institution. He has built a congregation of 8,500, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hip-hop artist Common, by offering an alternative to socially conservative black churches that are, Wright believes, too closely tied to Chicago’s political dynasties.

Obama, too, also came to the city as a young unknown. Emerging from relative obscurity with his win in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race for a U.S. Senate seat, he found a growing audience by preaching the politics of social justice and common ground. He has encouraged Democrats to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of Americans. Now, he is positioning himself as a presidential candidate who can unify the American people.

Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.

“What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice,” Obama said. “He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s involved in national politics.”

This sounds much different than Obama’s “old uncle” analogy that he has used of late as more of Wright’s inflammatory rhetoric has come to light. Wright has always stirred controversy, but not to the level that Obama feels now. Calling on his congregation to say “God damn America” and railing at Hillary Clinton because she has never been called the N-word may not have a great impact on the rapidly diminishing number of primary elections Obama has to face before winning the nomination. It will have a huge impact on how people see him in the general election, since as Obama himself stated in this piece, he seeks out Wright for political guidance before making any “bold” political moves.

What kind of advice would people believe him to receive from Wright, after having heard his sermons? And why would Obama seek it, and feel comfortable in the race-baiting environment Wright provides?

Obama may have less to lose than Oprah Winfrey, however. She has built a media empire by making herself accessible to women across all demographic lines. Not many people would associate Oprah’s easygoing nature and warm, welcomng appeal with the kind of oratory provided by Wright. Both Obama and Winfrey may have to tune their “old uncle” messages in the weeks and months ahead, if they want to continue their wide appeal to Americans who don’t feel compelled to ask for God’s damnation on the nation they love.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air


Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.


Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2

I think those who will abandon this douchebag are Christians who will be horrified by this anti-Christian Jeremiad in a place of worship – Catholics, Methodists, and evangelicals who don’t also happen to be hateful leftists.

Jaibones on March 14, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Unfortunately most American Christian sects have moved very far to the Left, divested themselves of investments in Israel, and so forth.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2008 at 11:04 AM

I’m glad that this is FINALLY getting press. I am a young black Christian and know way too many Christians who are fooled by this guy b/c 1.he’s black and 2.claims to be Christian. This Wright guy may be what is needed to break the spell.

I attend a majority black (even though we have a mixed church) and YOU WILL NEVER HEAR THIS GARBAGE BEING PREACHED FROM THE PULPIT OR EVEN CONDONED! I am listening to the WMAL right now in DC, and the number of lemmings sitting here condoning Jeremiah Wright is astonishing. This man is not preaching a Christian message and taking the name of the Lord in vain makes it even worse.

He CHOSE to attend this church and he CHOSE to stay there all these years. PERIOD.

Dubn8tr on March 14, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Sure it’s a fact. And I also said, in general.

Indy Conservative on March 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM

The two don’t go together well. You can’t have it both ways. “In general” implies some variables. Without knowing how many or how large, you can’t represent something as fact at an acceptable level of confidence. Standard deviation is a necessary component of drawing a valid conclusion at an acceptable level of confidence. You offered an opinion based on your own observations, which is certainly acceptable on a message board. But, it wasn’t fact. No need to go further with this, it is going too far off topic.

a capella on March 14, 2008 at 11:23 AM

This man is not preaching a Christian message and taking the name of the Lord in vain makes it even worse.

He CHOSE to attend this church and he CHOSE to stay there all these years. PERIOD.

Dubn8tr on March 14, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Exactly, although I hesitate to call it a church. It’s more like a temple of Marxist ideology.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Oprahbama: Speaking their truth to power.

SouthernGent on March 14, 2008 at 11:33 AM

a capella on March 14, 2008 at 11:23 AM

I know, reality hurts. But it’s OK. I don’t care if they keep on dreaming that the world is dandy and everybody love each other.

But facts are facts.

Indy Conservative on March 14, 2008 at 11:35 AM

I remember when my oldest daughter was part of a group that was singing at Disney’s Christmas program a few years back. While in line waiting for the seats to open we were discussing my experience as a security guard when the Hartford civic Center first openned in Hartford (71 I think). I got to meet Bill Cosby after an celeberty tennis match and as the only white guard amonst 5 black guards working for Burns. He was openly hostile to me and refused to shake my hand (not so with the black members of my team).

I detest the man to this day.

Anyway the women in front of me turned and told about her daughter who works on the Oprah show. She said that her daughter had the same type of experience. Your treatment was heavly dependent upon the color of your skin. Their is no doubt in my mind that Opah, Bill and Obama are closet racisists, but no one has the courge to look into this.

CloneTrooper on March 14, 2008 at 11:48 AM

If you check most of the MSM websites today you’ll be hard pressed to find this story! Here’s what’s out there:

MSNBC – nothing, glowing story about Obamas mother
CBS – nothing, but two stories about GOP problems
ABC – linking McCain and Obama, both have religious issues
Fox – video buried on sidebar. O’Reilly covering for Obama, claims Ferraro’s comment racist, we’ll see what Obama is going to do.
CNN – has an article which states Obama had distanced himself from the rev. along time ago

So, as far as the MSM, this stories legs/cycle is over, nothing to see, please move along. An interesting note, the Spitzer story has totally evaporated, compare this to the Mark Foley email saga. We are toast….All hail The Messiah

dmann on March 14, 2008 at 11:49 AM

GD America – Just Words…

faraway on March 14, 2008 at 12:03 PM

No one needs to ask God to “damn” America, the lefties have done that without any help from above. Oh, and how many ‘black’ men have white mothers who raised them to run for president? This, my friends, smells like a set up.

“Not many people would associate Oprah’s easygoing nature and warm, welcoming appeal with the kind of oratory provided by Wright.” (This is her TV persona.)
Why am I not surprised that O-Prah! loves Wright, but I disagree with this assessment of Mz. Winfrey after been given the dubious honor of being her masseuse for one massage, (the worst I ever gave because I was star struck!), and she was not any of those things but was some others that I won’t share because they aren’t ‘nice’. Granted, she was rightfully angry about some gal, (probably white or Hispanic), at front desk letting one or two calls from radio talk shows thru to her room, but it didn’t excuse her from taking it out on me–the white help, who didn’t know any better than to worship* her. This was back in ’89, but I’ve heard plenty of bad reports on her recent diva-behavior. She is an example of how money and power corrupts absolutely. I get nauseated whenever I see her air-brushed face on her joke of a magazine.
*Judy Tenuta had more class when she told her stud-puppets to: ‘Worship me pigs!’
As far as Obama’s cozy relationship with Wright is concerned…I think he has some ‘splaining to do. Whether he does it, that’s yet to be seen/heard. If I was a fan, I’d tell him to: ‘rise about it’.

Christine on March 14, 2008 at 12:09 PM

…above, not about. Sorry.

Christine on March 14, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Before the press began looking into the inflammatory rhetoric of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, they fawned over his association with Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Wright, 65, is a straight-talking pragmatist who arrived in Chicago as an outsider and became an institution. He has built a congregation of 8,500, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hip-hop artist Common, by offering an alternative to socially conservative black churches that are, Wright believes, too closely tied to Chicago’s political dynasties.

By developing an anti America blame, shame and loathing cult campaign, sound familiar?
The Rev. has been pretty successful with America damnation and racist rhetoric.

Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.

How does a President Obama’s use of Wright’s priority of blame, hate and debts owed, benefit the nation?

Speakup on March 14, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Think about this…

Obama should step down. Not apologize. Not condemn. But step down.

faraway on March 14, 2008 at 12:22 PM

This culminating scene of Obama’s life is pure Shakespearean tragedy, on a par with King Lear. How could it have ended otherwise. The poor little fatherless black/white kid with the big ears, raised by some clueless liberal white woman, forced to negotiate the vipers nest of American racial politics.

One day, in the not-too-distant future, the destruction of this young man will be used as an object lesson for the lethal policies of the Dem. party, American left, and African-American community.

JiangxiDad on March 14, 2008 at 12:50 PM

People who agree with Wright have the opportunity to pursue the damning of America by voting for Obama.

Wingo on March 14, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Oh, and message to African-American community:

You might wanna tighten up the rqmt’s for “Reverend.”

JiangxiDad on March 14, 2008 at 12:56 PM

LOL. Here’s an attempt to be fair and balanced from the Guardian U.K.:

Such disputes are not exclusive to the Democrats. John McCain, the Republican nominee, is under pressure to repudiate a televangelist supporter, the Rev Rod Parsley, who has spoken of a clash of civilisations between Islam and Christianity.

Buy Danish on March 14, 2008 at 9:06 AM

Wow. I guess Samuel Huntington and Bernard Lewis better start apologizing for their books too then?

funky chicken on March 14, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Why Barrack Obama Is Dangerous

We all think of ourselves as rational people who make decisions based on an evaluation of facts. We think of ourselves as goal setters who seek to better ourselves and our situation in life by earning rewards and avoiding suffering if we can. Yet, the truth is that while those notions are superficially accurate and our actions are rationalized by the conscious mind, to varying degrees we’re run by subconscious drives that result from our past experiences. The more emotional the experience, the greater will its effect be on our future behavior. Consider, then, the case of Barrack Obama.

For all outward appearances, Barack Obama is an intelligent, articulate family man who is ambitious and wants to enact a political program that he and his followers think will improve this country. That’s ostensibly why he’s running for president. But an examination of Obama’s past experiences and his present associations suggests that there’s a subconscious dynamic at work that could be disastrous if Obama became president.

Obama was born of a white woman, a leftist anthropologist who was only attracted to men of color. His father, a Kenyan, abandoned his family when Obama was only two, and soon after, his mother married an Indonesian. So the very young Obama had the seeds of internal conflict sown by having a white, caring mother and a black uncaring father. After his mother divorced the Indonesian man she had married, she sent Barrack to live with relatives in Hawaii while she stayed in Indonesia with his sister. According to a friend of Barrack’s, his abandonment by his parents was the most difficult issue young Barrack had to deal with.

Given Obama’s biracial makeup, he had to choose a race with which to identify. Being half black, he knew he would be considered all black by a largely white American society. Obama’s troubled youth was spent trying to make a decision whether to identify with being white or black. He eventually decided to be a black man, yet it appears that subconsciously he may have wanted to be white since the issue led to inner conflict. From his perspective, American society would never allow him to be white like his mother, so there had to be some level of resentment at having to be black like the father who abandoned him. In his youth, Barrack became radically leftist in his political leanings and anti-American. It’s no wonder, then, that Obama could be an associate of unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Obama’s failure to disassociate himself from these people who hate America suggests that Obama doesn’t condemn a world view that places America at the center of the rich, white man’s capitalist exploitation and imperialism. And it is probably why he deliberately chose Reverend Jeremiah Wright to be his pastor.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright is not only his pastor, but also Obama’s spiritual advisor, close confidante and sounding board. Interestingly, Wright appears physically to be more white than Obama and like Obama, Wright probably felt he could never fit in as a white man and so was forced to become what he may have unconsciously decided was an inferior position in society. Now he revels in anger. Wright appears to have built up not only resentment, but actual hatred of white people. That Obama could identify with Wright isn’t surprising. Wright’s church, nominally Christian, seems more dedicated to worshipping at the altar of black victim-hood. Being a black victim is the true religion of the congregation, as reinforced and validated by a “man of God.” The congregation’s sense of pride and self-worth rises in proportion to the portrayed evilness of their white oppressors, and they depend on Wright to help them feel good. At some level, Obama must have his own sense of victim-hood being reinforced at his church. And he must have the same world view as his pastor or he wouldn’t have attended for 20 years. Obama’s wife, Michelle, has demonstrated her, and probably Obama’s, agreement with their pastor’s view of white American society by, for example, her famous remarks about being proud of America for the first time in her adult life, and her offhanded comment that America is mean.

People who are abandoned by their parents sometimes develop feelings of worthlessness. For a child, adults are the ultimate authority and if your own parent abandons you, then it must be because you’re unlovable. The parent is right, and the child is wrong. People try to compensate for feelings of worthlessness or low self-esteem in a variety of ways, one of which is seeking public adulation. From grade school, it appears that his obsession was with becoming president of the United States. So it isn’t surprising that Obama has chosen public office as the route to achieving love and approval. It’s also not surprising that he campaigns on avoiding statements (and making votes) that could arouse controversy while espousing unity, post-partisan politics and social welfare. The man needs to be loved and accepted. It could also be that, perhaps subconsciously, Obama needs to reconcile his two racial sides by publicly reconciling the two racial sides of America.

Michelle Obama seems, if anything, to be more problematic than her husband. The product of a middle-class black family, she attended a private school on a scholarship and then was granted an ivy-league education at Princeton where she majored in sociology. From there she went to Harvard law school. Much has been made about Michelle’s senior thesis wherein she doubts that blacks could ever gain full acceptance on campus. That her thesis concerned the topic of black acceptance suggests that it is of major concern to her. Oddly, nobody seems to have noticed that in the dedication page of her thesis, she thanks her family and friends for always helping her feel better about her self. Michelle is undoubtedly a bright person, but she was also the beneficiary of affirmative action, and that could not only dampen her feelings of accomplishment, but exacerbate her doubts about being good enough. So sitting in the pew of Reverend Wright’s church could only feed her resentments about white America and it’s no wonder, then, that she connected emotionally with Barrack. They can share a similar view of themselves and their role in American society while feeding on each other’s sense of grievance.

So, if Obama has deep seated psychological baggage that he can’t really be accepted in white America, why run for president, especially after not even completing one term in the Senate? The outward motivation might be a simple ambition to unite an America divided by racial and political lines. But Obama as the purveyor of hope and unity would only make sense if Obama had disassociated himself from Reverend Wright and the radical bombers. But he hasn’t. Wright is now aiding Obama’s campaign. Can a man who stumps on the notion that we’re past race look to a black racist as his spiritual advisor? If Obama wanted to be president from a very early age, it’s possible that he saw the office as a way to gain love and power. Apparently, he never got over it.

More than anything, people want to validate their own inner feelings about themselves. My guess is that Obama was subconsciously driven to run for president in the expectation that he would get nowhere. His spiritual advisor, the Reverend Wright, claimed that no black man could ever become president of the United States, so was Obama trying to prove him wrong, despite listening for 20 years to Reverend Wright reinforcing the notion that blacks are perpetual victims of white America? I doubt it. Or was Obama trying to validate his feeling that he could never be accepted in white America? That would be a huge psychic payoff since it would prove that Obama was right all along about white America. That Obama has been so popular and successful in his presidential campaign apparently shocked his skeptical wife, who finally found something to be proud of in her country. It may have profoundly surprised him, too.

If Obama becomes president, the question is, would he govern as if nothing of his baggage, the hurt that the Reverend Wright reinforced in him, mattered? Or would he seek to validate the notion that he will always be inferior and unaccepted in the white world? Would that Obama be reluctant to defend America? Would that Obama want to seek retribution by victimizing white America? Would he self-destruct in scandals just to bring himself down and prove his unworthiness? In my view, Obama is at the least, a highly conflicted politician whose policies may be determined by which Obama, the outwardly successful black man or the subconsciously unworthy victim, is running his mind at any given time. I personally believe, however, that Obama will, as with most people, act according to his inner beliefs about himself. Without therapy, inner beliefs really don’t change. Would success as a black politician, adored even by white people, transform him? Or would he subconsciously sabotage not only his presidency, but America itself? That’s the danger of Obama.

NNtrancer on March 14, 2008 at 3:45 PM

Perhaps Obama finds something of value in his pastor and does not want to totally avoid a friendship etc. I feel like this with some people who cannot speak without profanity. I accept the good and do my best to ignore what I find reprehensible. That said, there is no way I would allow any association with my impressionable child. If I wanted to see people united, I would not allow my children to be exposed to the rantings of someone who could possibly indoctrinate them into hate for other human beings. As a Christian, I could not read God’s word and then listen to it being perverted. Christ’s new commandment to “Love one another” seems totally missing in this so called Christian church. This type of judgement is not what we need in the POTUS.

Pat in NC on March 14, 2008 at 3:56 PM

There’s not much else to add, some things that struck me… Why did it take so long for MSM to pick up this stuff, this latest rev. Wright especially?… And someone also said above, how in God’s name did Obama ever think he could run for president with all this baggage in his past? Did he really think it wouldn’t matter to most people?

4shoes on March 14, 2008 at 5:04 PM

“What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice,” Obama said. “He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible

Yeah. And we all know what the concept of “truth” means to Wright. Great choice for a mentor and “sounding board” of truth there Obama.

Guardian on March 14, 2008 at 7:37 PM

Why is there a massive “boycott Oprabama” campaign going on yet?

SaintOlaf on March 15, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Why is there not a massive “boycott Oprabama” campaign going on yet?

SaintOlaf on March 15, 2008 at 4:40 PM

SaintOlaf on March 15, 2008 at 5:21 PM

A White person would have to be crazy to vote for Obama or follow Oprah after what we’ve learned this week. These two do not have our better interests at heart if their spiritual leader is preaching this hate. The choice of this man as their spiritual leader is completely voluntary. It is not something forced upon these poor, oppressed people by the rich White oppressive, racist society. What is more disturbing is this type of behavior is probably going on in other black churches across the nation at this very moment. If there’s one, there’s always going to be more.

UnEasyRider on March 16, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Comment pages: 1 2