Obama responds to Wright

Barack Obama's campaign calls a press conference, and the candidate responds to his former pastor's latest forays into the spotlight.

By Alex Koppelman

Published April 29, 2008 12:21AM (EDT)

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is now apparently seeking to draw attention to himself, and as I noted earlier, I'm not alone in thinking he may deliberately be trying to hurt his former parishioner, Barack Obama. So it's smart of Obama and his campaign to deal with the issue head-on, and to pull out the big guns: Obama himself spoke about Wright at a press conference on Monday, and in doing so he seemed to indicate that his relations with Wright are frosty.

"I think certainly what the last three days indicate is that we’re not coordinating with him, right?" Obama said, according to the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny. "He's obviously free to speak his mind, but I just want to emphasize that this is my former pastor. Many of the statements that he has made both to trigger this initial controversy and that he's made over the last several days are not statements that I've heard him make previously. They don't represent my views and they don't represent what this campaign is about."

Earlier in the day, the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote, "My best information is that Sen. Barack Obama and Rev. Jeremiah Wright have talked exactly once since the first baubble of controversy in early March. The conversation was not especially pleasant." I can't imagine Wright's recent entry back into the national eye has helped the situation.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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