“Maybe Barack Obama skimped on his contribution when the offering plate came past at Trinity United Church of Christ. Or perhaps he nodded off during one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons,” writes Amy Sullivan in Time today, “It’s hard to think of another reason why the Illinois Senator’s former pastor would put on the kind of performance this morning at the National Press Club that can only be described as a political disaster.”

Rev Wright just won’t go away. And while the man may be entitled to his opinions, and he’s always been fiery, it’s as if he’s going deliberately out of his way to derail the Obama campaign. And short of smothering him with a pillow, there’s nothing that Barack Obama can do about it.

Why Wright is so wrong: And I’m on the left. I know huge chunks of it are true. But Wright casts his critique in such an extreme way that the possibility of redemption, the evidence that America can and has and will change for the better, is never considered. (It should be noted that Obama agreed with me on that point in his March 18 speech about Wright and race.) Wright preaches a deadly kind of “blame America” politics that many on the left have tried to move away from since the ’70s. And it could be especially deadly for Obama. He was supposed to be a continuation of our evolution toward promise and opportunity and optimism — but his pastor is a guy who says “God damn America”? Who seems to feel vindicated by “the chickens coming home to roost” after 9/11? — Salon

Sticking up for Clinton: We once looked forward with unambivalent glee to the fall of the house of Clinton. Many of us still do. But we also see the liberal media failing to give Hillary Clinton the respect she deserves. So, since we conservatives believe in giving credit where credit is due, it falls to us to praise Hillary. The fact is Hillary Clinton has turned out to be an impressive candidate. She has consistently defeated Barack Obama when her back was to the wall — first in New Hampshire, then in several big primaries on Super Tuesday, on March 4 in Ohio and Texas, and then last week in Pennsylvania, where she was outspent by almost 3 to 1, yet won handily. — William Kristol, The New York Times

Inside Clinton’s BlackBerry: The e-mails come by the hundreds: prayers and Chinese proverbs, quotes and jokes, sent by Hillary Clinton’s friends, intended to inspire and to buoy her through the tough times. The aphorisms are part of a collection Clinton has maintained all her life, starting in a scrapbook when she was a little girl, later as clippings in a binder she toted around as First Lady and, more recently, on her BlackBerry. On the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, Clinton offered NEWSWEEK’S Karen Breslau an exclusive look at her collection… — Newsweek

Bill v Bama: While Obama downplays wonkiness and Hillary presents her plans as tedious laundry lists, Bill makes connections and translates abstractions into folksy humor. To underscore the relationship between America’s budget deficit, paid for by loans from countries like China, and lax enforcement of the trade violations of those countries, he asked voters to imagine barging into the local bank president’s office and smacking him. “Say, ‘I can’t take it anymore!’ Bam!” he told the Lock Haven audience as he pantomimed a punch and then paused for comic effect. “Do you think you could get a loan tomorrow afternoon?” People laughed and shook their heads.  — Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

The Obama campaign is off the rails: The entire tone of the race changed the moment we saw the first fiery Wright sermon. The sight of those sermons triggered a question in a lot of voters’ minds: How do you get the moderate-sounding, pleasant, agreeable student Barack Obama from an angry, divisive, radical, way-out-of-the-mainstream teacher like Jeremiah Wright? The sermons weren’t quite a deal-breaker, but many Obama supporters, leaners, and undecideds were asking… how did Obama choose this man as a mentor? — The Campaign Spot, NRO

Hillary shows McCain how it’s done: …if a Republican candidate can hold the line or make some modest gains with the region’s white working class voters, the picture looks very different. And as it turns out, the GOP may have a candidate who can do just that in John McCain. As Hillary Clinton’s campaign slow-marches to its unhappy end, she is offering lessons not only for how McCain can defeat Obama–she is pointing towards a possible bright future for the Republican brand. She’s probably not thrilled about that. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth considering the scale of the obstacles Republicans face.The Weekly Standard

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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