Obama has a record as president and can be challenged on that record. Raising Wright now would have been a serious miscalculation and would have been interpreted as attempting to inspire racial animus. But it is unfair to smear Davis as a racist, as some have suggested. He obviously created a proposal based on his sense that this would appeal to Ricketts, who said upon viewing the rejected ­McCain ad: “If the nation had seen that ad, they’d never have elected Barack Obama.”…

The leaking of the document and the prominent display of the story have been a boon to Obama. They provided yet another welcome distraction, as well as a helpful fundraising tool, and smeared Romney by association.

The power (and hubris) of individual political donors and their offspring — the ads they want to sire — may become the tragedy of this election season. Romney is nothing like a racist, yet suddenly he is forced to distance himself from ads about which he knew nothing. And we now can agree that resurrecting Wright for any purpose would do more political harm than good.