Jim Geraghty live-blogged Barack Obama’s appearance today on The View, where Obama continues his efforts to distance himself from his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his incendiary sermons. AP has already noted Obama’s statement that he would have left Trinity United had Wright’s repeated rhetoric not escaped his notice, but Geraghty caught Obama minimizing Wright in a way that contradicts Obama’s own statements earlier in the campaign and in his book, Dreams from My Father (emphasis mine):
“I talked to [Wright] after this episode. I think he’s saddened by what’s happened. I feel badly that he has been characterized in just this one way. But he was my pastor. I think people overstate this idea of mentor or spiritual adviser. He was my pastor.”
People tend to overstate the idea of mentor or spiritual adviser? I wonder why? Could it be because Obama himself emphasized it at the beginning of his campaign?
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.” …
Though Wright and Obama do not often talk one-on-one often, the senator does check with his pastor before making any bold political moves.
Also, Wright didn’t just serve as Obama’s pastor, political adviser, and calibrator of the moral compass. Wright had an official position as an adviser to the campaign in outreach to African-American communities. That Obama claims he didn’t know about Wright’s positions on race in America before appointing Wright to that task asks people to believe that Obama is, frankly, a fool rather than someone who couldn’t calculate the political damage of “US of KKK-A” and allegations that the American government created HIV to commit genocide.
Obama asks us to trust his judgment and believe that he is a new breed of truth-teller in American politics. Instead, he has demonstrated years of bad judgment in immersing himself in conspiracy-theory theology and anti-American rants, supporting it with tens of thousands of dollars in donations, and then trying to excuse it away with threadbare rationalizations and minimalizations. He will engage in all sorts of doubletalk to achieve victory, which is nothing new in politics — and exposes Obama as nothing exceptional at all, except in his stunning lack of experience.
Update (AP): A quick Google search reveals that there sure are a lot of people out there who were confused on this “pastor vs. mentor” point. Including Obama’s hometown paper, in an article written before the Wright scandal broke big.