I’ll have more later, after I get back from some parental duties.
Update: Enjoyed a swim meet, dinner, and family time, with nary a thought for Obama and Wright. I think that the people Julie has been listening to are correct (no more punning on Wright). The ground will shift from whether Obama disagrees with the Rev. to why it took so long for the scales to fall from his eyes. This is clearly not a new or changed Wright. And while I’ll concede that you can’t size up a pastor all at once (especially if you’re as innocent of the ways of the church as Obama was twenty years ago), who he is and what he believes ought to have been clear enough long before now. So Obama’s judgment indeed becomes the issue.
And he will continue to be distracted by questions about Wright, either putting him off message or making it difficult for him to pierce the fog of this particular political war.
I also agree with Steve Thomas that Obama has an opportunity, not without political risks, to precipitate, not a national conversation about race, but a conversation among African-Americans about the burdens of history. I’m sure he’d rather do that from the Oval Office, but I doubt he’ll have the luxury.
Finally, there’s the politics of all this. I’ll be interested to see whether and how much this hurts Obama in the remaining primaries and in the general election (if it comes to that). For some portion of his supporters, he has probably said all that needs to be said. For some other portion, he may have said too much. (How many divisions does Rev. Wright have?) The latter surely won’t vote for HRC. What happens in North Carolina and Indiana if they stay home? I have a hard time seeing any fence-sitters breaking in Obama’s direction, though it’s also not as if Clinton is a big draw. Perhaps, then, some measure of the effect of this brouhaha will be whether turnout is down in N.C. and Indiana in comparison to previous states.
Barring a total Obama collapse in the remaining races, the superdelegates will still, I think, have a hard time refusing him the nomination.
In the general election, this becomes part of the general picture that I hope the McCain campaign paints about Obama’s character and (in)experience. Too much exclusive focus on it would, I suspect, be counterproductive.