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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Run Boy Run

You know that catch line, "Run Boy Run Boy Run Boy Run", it comes from the latest Kia commercial. It could just as easily come from the latest Barack Obama press interviews.

A month ago he said that he could no more disown his Reverend, Jeremiah Wright than he could the black community or his grandmother. This week Wright said those were the comments of "a politician". Now, the politician has decided that he can disown Wright, and is running as fast as he can, as far away from him as he can.

Obama's Wright problem got worse, and worse, and worse this weekend and Monday, as the "snippets" Obama claimed were used out of context were put into context, publicly, by Wright himself. It turns out that those "snippets" weren't out of context things pieced together to make the man look like a demagogue, they were his true feelings.

Suddenly Obama's Wright problem is two fold. The minister himself, obviously, and Obama's own speech in Philadelphia, where he defended him. To believe the minister would mean that Obama probably knew the man's feelings, after a 20 year association. To believe Obama's speech you have to believe that a man who wants to be President is completely tone deaf to his ministers rantings. Either one of those ends up meaning that Obama probably isn't the guy most folks want running the country.

Charlie Sykes put up a great list of links to both conservative and liberal reaction to Wright's recent appearances. The consensus seems to be that Wright may have damaged Barack beyond repair. The liberal defenders are starting to wonder out loud how Obama could NOT have known how Wright feels, and the conservatives are just too busy laughing about the whole thing to say much of anything.

If any of the list of liberals, or liberal leaning columnists like Dana Milbank, Eugene Robinson, Susan Estrich or Joe Klein had singly written columns announcing the downfall of Obama it would be one thing. When all of them do, then you know that the wheels are coming off the bus.

For the folks out there who think this can still pass, and Obama will win in November, all I can say is 527. There are going to be tons of 527 groups showing up, and tossing up photos of Obama and Wright together, and Wright's comments will be heard over every picture. They'll play every day from nomination to election, on every TV station in America, most radio, and be in print ads.

Add to that Obama's own foot shooting moments of late, especially "bittergate" and what you'll find is that he's so damaged he can't win. His core supporters may stick around, but that group isn't big enough to win the popular vote in the Democratic primaries, much less a general election.

Howard Dean said recently that the candidates will know when it's time for one of them to bow out of the race. It's possible that the one of them will be Obama, and it may be sooner than folks think. If he can't win North Carolina in two weeks by more than 10 points, and loses Indiana, Hillary will have more ammunition for her cannon shots of "I'm more electable".

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