REWIND: Rid­ing to Obama’s Res­cue, After Wright’s Rad­i­cal­ism Exposed

REWIND: Riding to Obama’s Rescue, After Wright’s Radicalism Exposed

Six­teen years ago this week­end, Illi­nois Sen­a­tor Barack Obama’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign was in real trou­ble, after ABC pub­li­cized excerpts of ser­mons deliv­ered by Obama’s long­time pas­tor, Rev. Jere­mi­ah Wright. The video showed Wright, in the pul­pit, ratio­nal­iz­ing the 9/11 attacks as jus­ti­fied (“America’s chick­ens are com­ing home to roost!”) and blast­ing Amer­i­ca as the “U.S. of K.K.K.A.”
Oba­ma, who had built his cam­paign around the idea of uni­ty, had attend­ed Wright’s church for two decades, so there could be no sug­ges­tion that the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­date was unfa­mil­iar with his pastor’s rabid­ly anti-Amer­i­can views. At the time, Oba­ma had only the slight­est advan­tage over New York Sen­a­tor Hillary Clin­ton, so any whiff of scan­dal could lead Demo­c­ra­t­ic vot­ers to aban­don the fresh­man Sen­a­tor in favor of the for­mer First Lady.
Lib­er­al jour­nal­ists, how­ev­er, adored Oba­ma, so over the next sev­er­al days the media elite became the candidate’s per­son­al rapid-response team. The …