Jonathan Martin of The Politico says that Republicans see the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as their weapon for beating Obama, if he becomes the nominee.
In their view, the inflammatory sermons by Obamaâ€™s pastor offer the party a pathway to victory if Obama emerges as the Democratic nominee. Not only will the video clips enable some elements of the party to define him as unpatriotic, they will also serve as a powerful motivating force for the conservative base.
Yep, nothin’ like a scary angry black man to remind white folks where their priorities lie.
In fact, the video trove has convinced some that, after months of praying for Hillary Clinton and the automatic enmity which she arouses, that they may actually have easier prey.
â€œFor the first time, some Republicans are rethinking Hillary as their first choice,â€ said Alex Castellanos, a veteran media consultant who recently worked for Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign.
But what about the speech?
â€œIt was a speech written to mau-mau the New York Times editorial board, the network production people and the media into submission. Beautifully calibrated but deeply dishonest,â€ said GOP media consultant Rick Wilson, who crafted the 2002 ad tying then-Sen. Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden. â€œNot good enough.â€
Mau-mau the New York Times editorial board. OK.
Essentially, the video clips of Wright are giving the Right a way to enflame racist voters while pretending they aren’t enflaming racist voters. And they aren’t going to let go of this, no matter what Obama says.
However, it’s hard to see whether this will really make a difference. The voters who care more about whether Obama wears a flag pin than about what he might do with domestic policy, or believe he’s a Muslim (with a Christian minister?), or who will vote against him because he’s black … would have voted Republican, anyway. The only difference is that more of ’em might get worked up enough to actually vote.
Update: Priceless reaction from Kevin Drum.
Update 2: Liza has another take on this post along with four words for the GOP — John Hagee, Ron Parsley