Axelrod defends Jeremiah Wright
This would be a huge gaffe - if it were ever given wide publication. David Axelrod, as canny and smart as any political operative who has ever worked for a national campaign, has inexplicably resurrected Rev. Jeremiah Wright and brought him back into the national political conversation.
Rather than dismiss any mention of him in connection with his boss, Axelrod actually defended Wright, saying his words were selectively edited.
David Axelrod, chief political strategist for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and former White House political adviser, defended Jeremiah Wright on Tuesday evening in a speech in Thousand Oaks, CA.
Axelrod described the initial news reports in 2008 on Obama's long-time family pastor and mentor as "ninety seconds of vitriol plucked from thirty years of sermons by some enterprising opposition researcher."
The claim that Wright's sermons were selectively edited by Obama's political opponents contradicts what is known about Wright's preaching and the radical, racialist creed of the Trinity United Church of Christ, to which Obama belonged for two decades and to which he contributed a large amount of money.
Axelrod's claim is also contradicted by Obama himself, who has cited Wright's enthusiasm for radical politics as the main reason he was attracted to the church.
Axelrod brought up the Wright controversy during a lecture recounting his role as the "architect" of Obama's rise from the Illinois state senate to the presidency. Axelrod praised Obama's infamous "race speech," contrasting his media skills to those of GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
The lecture was part of the Distinguished Speaker Series of Southern California, and was delivered before a largely friendly audience.
Recording was not permitted in the Fred Kavli Theater, but Axelrod's remarks on Wright are an exact quote, written down and tweeted immediately upon delivery. Axelrod's tone was somewhat bitter, a brief flash of passion in an otherwise relaxed presentation.
What makes this such a big faux pas is that the Obama campaign had successfully buried the Wright issue and convinced the press that it wasn't worth pursuing. For a guy who is generally recognized as a genius to bring this up - even at an event that wasn't being recorded - is stupid. His defense of Wright is ridiculous on its face. Even the narrative advanced by the Obama campaign -- that Obama didn't hear Wright's wildly anti-American, anti-White invective - never used this defense to try and bury the Wright problem.
Can the radical preacher be resurrected and used as a club to beat the president? Not likely. It is a measure of the lap dog press that such inconveniences are simply "non-stories" and disappear down the rabbit hole.