By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, March 17, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Election 2008: Barack Obama’s story that he never once heard his preacher trash whites and America in hundreds of sermons sounds like Bill Clinton claiming he never inhaled while smoking dope.
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The mushrooming church scandal has taken the shine off the golden boy of politics, a two-decade regular at “unashamedly black” Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
With his phony defense, the Democrat front-runner has exposed himself as both a typical Beltway spinmeister and a hypocrite.
From the start of his presidential campaign, Obama has positioned himself as a straight shooter and a uniter — the very antidote to the sinister Clintonian politics of the past.
“Voters don’t believe what politicians say. They get cynical,” he said during the Nevada primary in response to what he described as dishonest “tricks” by both Clintons. “We have to change that politics, and that’s why I’m running for president.”
“You know what I’m saying is true,” he reassured voters.
Yet his denial over Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s vitriol does not ring true. He’s suddenly shocked — shocked! — that his black nationalist church would spew anti-American venom.
“I did not hear such incendiary language myself, personally,” he insisted, “either in conversations with him or when I was in the pew.”
Back in February 2007, however, Obama knew Wright might be a political liability. His chief campaign strategist, David Axelrod, was so worried about his provocative statements that he urged Obama to withdraw a request that Wright deliver an invocation at his presidential campaign kickoff.
Reluctantly, Obama “uninvited” his long-time friend and mentor, according to Wright’s own account at the time, telling him “it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”
And earlier this year, Obama had to release a statement distancing himself from a decision by Wright to honor black bigot Louis Farrakhan with a “lifetime achievement” award in Wright’s name. In its November/December issue, Obama’s church magazine heaped praise on Farrakhan in a cover story.
Obama seemed neither surprised nor very offended. “I assume that Trumpet magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders,” he shrugged.
Only the magazine, published by Wright’s daughters out of church offices, never mentioned Farrakhan’s work with ex-cons.
Obama claims he never heard Wright suggest as he did in a Sept. 16, 2001, sermon that America brought the 9/11 attacks on itself.
But he said essentially the same thing, only worse, in 2005 — this time, in the same church magazine, Trumpet, that Obama and his family receive as members. There on page 7 of the August 2005 issue, Wright blames the attacks on “white America,” suggesting outrageously and cold-bloodedly that the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11 was retribution for America’s past racism.
Obama argues his pastor’s hate speech was strung together and compiled in the media out of hundreds of sermons over the course of a lifetime. “They basically culled five or six sermons out of 30 years of preaching,” he complained.
In fact, the clips shown represent Wright’s bread and butter. These are just the Greatest Hits he sells as DVDs in the church bookstore. Obama, a church regular whose membership spans 1,040 sermons, expects us to believe he not only missed these particular lessons, but was unaware of such bile ever coming from the pulpit of his home church.
“If I had been in church those days, I would have objected fiercely to them and I would have told him personally,” he now claims.
Really? A reporter witnessed Obama nod his head in agreement during a July 22, 2007, sermon in which Wright trashed the “United States of White America.”
Here’s another whopper Obama tells concerning Wright: “He hasn’t been my political adviser, he’s been my pastor.”
Yet it turns out Wright quietly had a formal role in Obama’s campaign, and was only pushed out last week as a member of his spiritual advisory committee when the tapes hit the airwaves.
Spinning harder, Obama claimed Wright’s remarks are not “reflective of the church.”
Yet the videos clearly show fellow members whooping and thumping in their applause of Wright’s hateful rants. These weren’t just a smattering of amens and hallelujahs. They were standing ovations.
Point is, these are the folks with whom the Obamas worship and socialize. Yet we’re expected to believe Obama never heard the same incendiary remarks from them, either?
His plea of ignorance doesn’t wash. And if he were sincere in his outrage, he would have distanced himself from these haters at the first opportunity.
He wouldn’t be doing it as damage control only after the light is shone into the dark corners of his social and spiritual life.
Obama’s image as a man of integrity is starting to fade along with his carefully crafted image as a refreshingly race-neutral candidate.