The Jeremiah Wright issue has been a festering sore in the Obama campaign for too many weeks now and it was clear that he was going to have to exorcise his petulant spiritual guide sooner rather than later in order to have some time pass until the November election in which he could recover.
After defending Wright and making a speech on race in America (vapid though it was) Obama would have hoped the controversy would die down but the fact that even a supine press, enamoured as they are with the idea of President Obama, continued to labour the point showed him that the issue was more of a danger to his campaign than was anticipated.
Clearly, he couldn't switch positions overnight and therefore needed some other, glaring reason to throw Wright under the bus.
What better way than to have Wright come out and make a series of profoundly loopy and way out there statements that Obama could then use as a catalyst to distance himself from Wright?
It smells like a set up to me.
The other thing it does is that it puts John McCain in a position where he will come under massive attack from the media to disown John Hagee who has endorsed McCain. Even though there's a world of difference between a person who supports a campaign and one who has provided spiritual guidance to Obama for 20 years of his life the press will run an equivalence argument and go hard after McCain. As soon as McCain throws Hagee under the bus (which he may or may not do) then it completely wipes the Wright issue away for Obama.
Let's see how this plays out over the next few weeks.
I'm re-listening to Obama's press conference today as I write this. In spite of previously describing Reverend Wright as being "like family to me" only a month ago he then claims to never have heard the man say the racist, anti-American things that have now caused so much trouble. It beggars belief.
The other thing I've noticed about Obama is that when he's not reading a prepared speech he is very faltering in his speech, indicating that he does not have his thoughts together, and he comes across as completely lacking confidence in what he's about to say. Obama has been compared to JFK but JFK never lacked confidence when he didn't have his notes in hand.
There are some comparisons that can be made between political leaders and Obama:
When Obama is reading from a prepared speech then he sounds like JFK.
When he's talking off the cuff he sounds like George Bush.
Compare Bill Clinton's natural, folksy manner when he's talking off the cuff with Obama. There's a gulf between them.