Damage Control

Posted by Mike Merritt in Election 2008, Politics on

When the big stories hit, I prefer to sit back a little.  This allows me to view the whole range of messages, and gather my thoughts.  Then I can go back and have a completed, thorough, piece to present.

The situation I speak of right now is, of course, Wrightgate (if it hasn’t already been coined). What did Obama know, and how long did he know it?  Does he really not agree with Wright, or is he just pretending?  Is he right to not have left the church, or is staying okay?  Why add Wright to his campaign?  Is it actually an issue?  The last two questions are my own, and I’ll get to them toward the end.   I won’t go into the nooks and crannies of the whole thing, since they have been covered elsewhere.

Look, it’s no secret, I think, that Obama’s gotten a pretty clean ride so far in the media.  I won’t go as far to say, “Oh, that liberal media,” but I don’t think people can deny this.  Sure, he’s gotten a few things thrown his way.  There was the pamphlet thing, and NAFTAgate, but otherwise, he hasn’t gotten much flack.  Compare him to the other two candidate, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain, and he was looking pretty good before this, in terms of negative media coverage, anyway.

Well, it’s full court press now, isn’t it?  I’m going to take a skeptical approach, though?  Besides the clips we’ve seen, was Reverend Wright saying all this crap about how white people are responsible for all the ills of black people every Sunday?  I doubt it.  Saying this is like saying that every Christian right church is espousing the evils of abortion or homosexuality every Sunday.  I no more believe that than I do about what’s being said at Trinity.  And before anyone says, “Mike, you don’t go to church, so how can you know?”  Well, I doubt people who go to Trinity all the time can really know, either.  I’m just taking my best educated guess, going on what I know about churches.  And my best guess is that mostly, they’re all talking about accepting Jesus Christ in to your heart, or some related topic.

So, is it going to be a problem for Obama?  A lot of conservatives or Clinton supporters seem to think so, but consider this.  After the whole Ferraro incident, a lot of people thought it was the end for Clinton, as many times they have said before.  Also remember Shoutingate after Pamphletgate, where Clinton lost traction…and then ended up winning Ohio and basically tieing in Texas.  My point is, these things come and go in phases.

Understand how the media works.  A big story comes along.  It floats around for a while, and is debated by everybody.  Then a new comes along, pushing the old one out of the way.  Keep in mind that a couple weeks ago, McCain was getting pounded over the maybe-sorta-probably not affair with the lobbyist, and whatever unethical actions he might have had there.  Now, most people probably don’t remember it.

So, I predict that within a week’s time, something new will come along, and probably for one of the other candidates.  There’s six weeks to go before Pennsylvania.  If Clinton can recover after losing 11 states, I think Obama has a good chance of re-gaining ground in the next six weeks.  So, is it an issue?  Right now it is, but the media moves quickly.  In six weeks, it might not be such a big deal.

Only time will really tell…

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