April 30th, 2008
03:04 PM ET

Candidates have let surrogates define them - and damage them

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/30/art.obama.clinton.gi.jpg caption="Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are statistically tied in Gallup's national tracking poll."]

Faye Wattleton
President, Center for the Advancement of Women

Presidential politics is a rough game, intensified by the instantaneousness of the information age. Not for the faint-hearted. Thus, it’s hard to understand why Sen. Barack Obama didn’t unequivocally disavow Rev. Jeremiah Wright a month ago,leaving ambiguous the lines along which this minister influenced his perspective on race in America.

Mr. Obama had the perfect opportunity to make a clean break with the incendiary “black liberation” theologian, when he gave his widely-televised speech at Constitution Hall on the state of race relations. Instead, he chose to explain him and even grant him kinship as a cantankerous “uncle.”

Mr. Obama finally renounced his pastor, after the commotion triggered by Rev. Wright’s bizarre and stereotype-reinforcing minstrel performance. Sen. Obama’s belated outrage will likely generate public skepticism and add credence to the reverend’s characterization that he says, “what he has to say as a politician.”

Perplexingly, Mr. Obama missed another opportunity. While he emphatically declared that Rev. Wright’s messages are “antithetical to our campaign,” Americans are still awaiting to know what his presidency will be about on the issues of our daily lives, if he wins the nomination.

Sens. Obama and Clinton have failed to harness the distractions of their surrogates, allowing them to fill in the gaps on sensitive social issues they're not addressing.

In Ms. Clinton’s case - most prominently, strategist Mark Penn and her husband. Instead of a constructive, beyond-the-slogans debate about race, gender and class and how their presidencies will to lead to greater unity - which Americans want to hear - valuable campaign time is given to damage control, undermining their credibility and stoking the fires of cynicism about all politicians. 
All Americans and the future direction of our nation are shortchanged. Especially shortchanged are the issues about which women want answers -  pay equality, domestic violence, affordable healthcare, educational opportunities, reproductive rights - not on their websites, but spoken as plainly and directly as they do when they defend threats to their political ambitions.

soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Terry

    I came here in search of contact info for Faye Wattleton so that I might send a note of support for her argumentation today. In my temporary lapse, I thought I would commend her for her stance on the critical contribution of 1960's radical voices in the Civil Rights Movement vs. her White colleagues who argued furiously for the illusion of "post racial" Black people.

    But, I come here only to find Ms. Wattleton's referencing Rev Jeremiah Wright as a "minstrel" suggesting Ms. Wattleton has a socio-cultural-political split-personality.

    This glaring inconsistency is further evidence of what many of us knew – that is, the perpetual unwillingness of cable news agencies to seek Black cultural thinkers who are steady in their positions and whose thinking is well connected.


    June 8, 2008 at 5:51 am |
  2. Jeff Duperon

    Why does Faye Wattleton refer to sitting U.S. Senators as Mr. or Ms its as if she has no respect for addressing Senator Obama or Senator Clinton by their rightful titles.

    June 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Tracy Pattin

    As President for the Center for the Advancement of Women, why why why do you insist on referring to Hillary Clinton as MRS. CLINTON????? I don't get it. And I'm not a HIllary supporter (go Obama) but I do think, Faye, you should refer to Senator Clinton as just that... SENATOR CLINTON......
    Rethink this please and start giving her some respect apart from being married to Bill.

    June 4, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  4. frank

    Just wait until the American voting public realize just how political Obama really is!

    Without his connection to the black community through Trinity United, he would not have such a large following amoung black voters. Wright became enraged when he realized that Obama was not a believer of "Black Liberation Theology" but was using his association with him and his church to gain support from the community for his political ambitions.

    May 2, 2008 at 2:28 am |
  5. Nick

    How long is CNN and other news hungry channels, going to play this "guilt by association" bit with Obama and Wright? If you plan to scrape the bottom of the barrel ,then is it true that Hillary is a " sex addict and a liar" because her husband was? Is Cheney a latent homo sexual because his daughter is? and all those who keep inviting foul mouthed Coulter to spit out garbage, as deep as her in the gutter? CNN's bias to-wards Hillary is becoming shameful. Comedians should keep to comedy and not show political bias. I can no longer watch Jon Stewart. Political satire should be evenly distributed, until they become president, then there is only one. MSNBC has shown more neutrality than any other channel. CNN used to be the respected channel where even the CIA and FBI looked for accurate information, what happened?

    May 1, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  6. becky

    eight years ago is a long time ago,i do beleive that the clintons remember what happened then and what needs to be done now,jut like they say it took one clinton to cleanup after one bush and it will take another clinton to clean up after the other one,and we all know its a lot worst now and it will take a lot of know how to do it. mr obama should have thought about all of these things before he put himself into the public eye and just as president clinton found out the hard way and rep. spatter him all over the news,but as a president he still done us agreat job as our president and myself i feel like he hasn't been our only public figure that has done this he just got caught.i do beleive hillary can and will make us a great president and not because of bill but i think she can handle it she knows what it take to get us through this mess that bush has got in and if she needs a little help she has it on hand [if].most of the people that the clintons have put into the places where their at now should take a few moment and think about what their doing because its going to take a lot of people to help ,and with all these so-called-supporters that are jumping ship the voters could look down on you someday if you need them,god with friends like some of you i would not turn my back.

    May 1, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  7. Jan, Raleigh, NC

    I'm disappointed in CNN. They are "beating this dog to death". Your tabloid journalism is reminding me more of Fox News. Aaaargh!!

    Blacks and Whites both are exhausted of this topic. It's almost like...BRING BRITTANY BACK!!! Understand that the majority of voters are concerned about health, education, was, taxes, gas and jobs. This is fluff journalism and you used to be better than this.

    You spur this tit for tat and luckily, you haven't fooled all of us. I turn you off now at 10:00pm.

    Last word on Rev. Wright – report if you must how he was Bill's spiritual advisor when he was doin' Lewinsky. Bet Hillary joined his church that Sunday!

    May 1, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  8. TYPICAL WHITE MALE from Michigan

    AS an EX-SUPPORTER of Mr. Obama I just cannot believe what you Obama supporters say in these blogs. Obama brought all of this on himself - he had to know at the beginning of his election that the Wright Issue, William Ayers, and Razko were going to be a big problem. He just figured with some luck the American people would not find out, and I will bet in a million years Obama never figured Reverend Wright would go on a TALKING TOUR and put Obama in his place. Reverend Wright said it correctly - that Obama shares Wrights views, but he is a TYPICAL POLITICIAN and has to speak what the American people want to hear. That did it for me - Obama will not get my vote now, and if he by some miracle becomes the Dem. Nom. I will vote for McCain. Just way, way too many interactions with undesirable people. I really think that Obama used all of these people coming out of his closet just to climb the Political ladder. I really think we have only scratched the surface with Obama - many more things will come out. Those SKELETONS in the Closet are really getting RESTLESS, and speaking of closets what is this deal between Obama and Larry Sinclair that is all over the Internet? Everyone should just Google Larry Sinclair – Obama. VERY INTERESTING............The White House just cannot hold all of Obama's Skeletons. Also the interview with Michelle was a real FLUFF - BORING - BORING.................Just remember American People– Obama is not the Pied Piper. Also what is this Obama Cult following????????????

    May 1, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  9. maria

    To "Rosie" hispanics are not an "homogenous" group and the majority have already supported Hillary Clinton.
    Obama has argued that he is "not responsible" for Rev. Wright's comments, views, actions; however Obama is measured and judged by his OWN comments, views and actions: member of this church for 20 years!; views such as "clinging" to faith.... ; description of Wright's as his "spiritual leader", as an "uncle" and now as "antiethical to the campaign"??! Obama should have denounced and disassociated from his pastor a long time ago....He could have attended any other protestant black church emphasizing the fundamental christian message of love and tolerance. This is what really defines him as a person and his character....

    May 1, 2008 at 1:01 am |
  10. Trudi Martin

    I am constantly amazed at how so many are missing an important fact . Barack has shown so much strength when he did not disavow the pastor for the sake of making those with issues of their own happy. His pastor has just made it possible for him to finally, once and for all, state that Wright's views were not synonymous with Barack's campaign of unity and moving this country toward greatness. It is also interesting that commentators incessantly rant about his 20 year membership in a church and say ,"How could he not know...?" One of the most stand up people against the war in the senate was Robert Byrd. He was, I am told, associated with the KKK in the past. He has changed. But should one distance himself/herself from him today? Barack did what he had to do when he had to do it. So far, he has demonstrated that he is a man of integrity and intelligence. He possesses family values, is not impulsive and believes he can help change the way government operates. We all know that needs to happen. Best of all, he is not tainted with the "experience" that got our America into the mess we are in today. During this campaign he has conducted himself with the dignity we need in a president. All the while, pundits are calling for him to show toughness. Shoddiness in tactics in a campaign might be entertaining but it is not toughness. You were right on time with the Wright issue, Obama. Continue to use good judgment. Maybe the media will let you tell us more about how you intend to move us forward with truthfulness and vision. Heaven knows we need it.

    May 1, 2008 at 12:46 am |
  11. Denise

    Now that the media has judged Obama's character on the words of Rev, Wright, how will the media judge Hillary's and (Bill's-oops we found over eight years ago... very little) character with a convicted child molestor as a minister.

    April 30, 2008 at 11:14 pm |
  12. Dalys Gilling

    Why hasn't anyone talked about and attacked Sen. Clinton about the conviction of her pastor, WILLIAM PROCANICK, on sexual abuse of a seven year old? This man was convicted on March 31, 2008 to 3 years in prison and the media made NO MENTION of it, being too busy crucifying Sen. Obama. This is a blatant inequality in which the media must bear all the blame. Fair is fair. I am really disappointed in the way the media had jumped ont he 'attack Obama' campaign when it was said they were going too soft. REPORT THE FACT!! Equally and fairly. That's really what most of us want.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:39 pm |
  13. Al (Ohio)

    Michael Moore was trying to align 2008 with 1959. How old was Michael Moore in 1959? As out-spoken that Mr.Moore is, I just can't imagine him staying 20 years or even 20 days in a church pew with someone showing hatred towards his country. Loved his movies, just can't understand his comments tonight. Can they be a little skewed. OOPS being a little synical – wait that's Michael Moore style.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  14. Shirley Willhide

    I am from Florida, and I don't care if they count my vote at all, because to me it is meaningless. This election has already been decided by CNN. Obama gets all the publicity, and Hillary gets made fun of by Campbell Brown, and Jack Cafferty. I don't know who they think they are. She is still a candidate, and should be shown just as much respect as Obama, who doesn't deserve our respect because of his 20 years with a pastor (and I use the term pastor lightly), who preaches hate to whites and damns America.

    Shirley Willhide
    Kissimmee, Florida


    April 30, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  15. Hyperbrain

    because he is in the lead Arizona Jim. If he was not in the lead right now he would have been forced to drop out.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  16. Kent, Illinois

    It is amazing how easily led the American public is. Why are so many people swayed by such ridiculousness. I guess we have to wait til the fall for McCain to have to explain his own crazy religious leader. But by then, we will be in yet a third war and everything else will be forgotten.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  17. Cara

    I agree with all who really blames the MEDIA for a lot of this mess. Many times I turn the TV when Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper ( who was one of my favorite anchors) come on. I really hate when I hear comments liike 48% of Democrats say, Or 56% of Americans say...this is bull. I never voted in any poll. We need to call the media out on this type of reporting that perpetuates lies and mud slinging.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:19 pm |
  18. Annie Kate

    Republican ads are already appearing against the Democratic candidates – both Clinton and Obama need to define themselves more fully now rather than let the GOP do it for them. I'm more comfortable with Clinton right now because I know her record; Obama remains a big question mark – a question mark he has needed to answer for months but hasn't. Obama should have already been talking about the specifics of his plans and goals – just like he should have dealt with Reverend Wright 6 weeks ago. I'm tired of the distractions and the surrogates; they aren't running for office – Obama is. I want to hear it from him.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 30, 2008 at 9:16 pm |
  19. Martha, Washington State

    When the press starts talking about the Clintons' association, we'll find out the real meaning of "shaddy."

    April 30, 2008 at 9:14 pm |
  20. Kent, Illinois

    Arizona Jim............

    Why would the frontrunner of the three candidates left running for president be asked to pull-out? He wins across the board against either Hillary or McCain. Everyone better get used to it..........Obama will win in November.

    April 30, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  21. Tell the Truth Again

    Uhm Arizona Jim he's leading in this race, why would you ask someone who's winning a race to quit? You must be a quiter? That's like asking someone who's about to graduate from school to drop out, come on now jim.

    April 30, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  22. Tell the Truth Again

    The funniest thing about this race for the presidency is that John McCain(REPUBLICAN) was accused of having sexual relations with an intern just like bill clinton and he comes to stage and gives a half azz apology and no I never did such a thing to the american people and we eat it up and let him slip under the radar but bill clinton(DEMOCRAT) gets air play for almost his whole term in office almost to the point of impeachment after his affair with monica lewinsky. Second, hillary clinton was also affiliated with some controversial figures in her past she gets a free pass and BS the american people we look away like it never happened. Barack Obama(DEMOCRAT)(BLACK MAN) goes to church like any other american and says praise the lord when there pastor says something exciting regardless if he or she doesnt agree with it and he's getting burned for affiliated with his pastor that has to answer to god alone, my question is, americans are we that narrow minded, stupid and gulible? Also, if life and your success was based on your affiliates many american people should loose their jobs because I'm sure just Barack Obama you sat in that same chair and said praise the lord after your pastor said something stupid but because he serves the lord and what he says is based off his relationship with jesus we never challenge them in life.

    April 30, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  23. Arizona Jim

    A question rather than a comment:

    When one of the Democratic Candidates is asked to "pull-out" of the race it is always Hillary that is asked . . . I have never heard anyone ask Obama to pull-out of the race . . . why is this ?

    April 30, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  24. Rosie

    On behalf of hispanic people. We are voting for Barack Obama. He is a bettter candidate than Hillary. I think Hillary is dishonest and she is a follower,not leader. I think McCain has no voice and no one is taking note of his ties to prejudice in this country. I also think the media is prejudice. All they want to do is attack Barack and make sure they do all they can so that he won't get elected. Also, Reverend Wright is no reverend. He is a social tyrant. He does not speak for black people. He speaks for himself. No reverend uses profanity in a house of the Lord. I wish the media would stop judging Barack based on this Mr. Wright...they are misleading the voters.

    April 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm |
  25. Veronique Vollans

    If there really was a seperation of Church and State, this entire waste of time on Rev Wright should have never been an issue to start with. And why does nobody seem to really LISTEN to Sen Obama? I hear many comments in the media about what he ought to do and say, but that's exactly the old, dirty politics he's trying to change and get away from. Enough fighting and negativity already.

    April 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  26. Steve H.

    I thank the Reverend for helping me make my decision. Obama has had ample time to "deal" with the destructive impact of Rev. Wright's sermons and speeches. Obama committed political suicide by giving the Reverend the "benefit of the doubt" and by waiting to defend himself and his ideals. Wright dealt him a nuclear missle. Watching Obama's "delayed reaction" I have got to ask myself – "Is this the guy I want answering that phone at 3am?". With this level of decisiveness? No Way.


    April 30, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  27. Rob Canada

    it's not necessarily the surrogates that define the candidate, all they do is spew some spun information – it's more what the main stream media pundits do with it. Nothing will grow legs without the help of the so-called journalists out there and I've yet to see one media outlet show some integrity and say it like it really is. Unfortunately the media is market driven and they aid and abet this drivel instead of focusing on the real issues.

    April 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  28. xtina, chicago IL

    Barack Obama has other surrogates from which to distance himself; why not more coverage on his connections with Tony Rezko and Wm. Ayers?

    April 30, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  29. A McMillan

    I am angry that the media has spent so much time focusing on Rev. Wright. Had Sen. Obama terminated his relationship with Wright, when the his comments initially came into the public domain, Obama not doubt would have been characterized as “not tough enough” or “one who is a fair-weather-friend.” The morning headlines would read, Obama terminates, important relationship, when trouble arises.

    Now Sen. Obama is being battered for holding onto a relationship too long. LIke we all have not done that in personal and professional relationships. Yet President Bush is praised and characterized as a loyal for stubbornly sticking by embattled friends/colleagues even when Congress, the media and the American people call for their dismissal, i.e. Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Gonzales to name a few.

    I would submit the damage done by Bush, Rove, Cheney and others
    will impact America from longer and profoundly than Rev. Wright ever will.

    April 30, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Susan


    All we citizens can do is evaluate each candidate on their OWN merit according to what we feel in our heads and hearts. The media nor the surrogates are running for President, Senator Clinton, Senator McCain & Senator Obama are. They are the ones we should listen to and evaluate. They are the most important.

    Surrogates are spinmisters for their candidates. How can you be so surprised when you hear them speak? They are going to give their opinions. Not always the facts!!!!!!!

    The media reports the news. They can not be blamed for reporting all these sideshows. The media seems damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    In the end we have to make the best informed decision possible. USE OUR HEADS. It really matters!!!!!


    April 30, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  31. Concerned American

    All this hoopla over Barack Obama's ex-pastor and statements and not nearly as much media hype over Hillary Clinton's pastor being convicted of child molestation and sentenced to 3 years? And the media isn't attacking her character or judgment? Will the media not make this as huge an issue as the over Pastor Wright's comments? Child molestation vs. spoken words? Hmmm...There is such a double standard in American media. Where is the fire for this story oh noble journalists?????!!!!

    April 30, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  32. Joyce-Houston

    Obma is not running for vice president he is running for the presidency of the united states of america .
    Hilliary had a lot nerves to ask him to be her vp when he is the one who is should be asking her.
    How can someone in second place ask the front runner to to be vp-please get real.
    Unless they are planning to steal the nomination from obama.
    The media is all about damage control.

    April 30, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  33. Larry

    The same surrogates will continue to do as they do once the nominee is elected President; you don't actually think that they do not have a vested interest in seeing their candidate win do you? There are some plum positions awaiting the surrogates.

    April 30, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  34. D Macon

    I would like to know why the media has not commented on the remarks made by Pat Buchanan following Sen. Obama’s speech on race called “A Brief for Whitey”. I am really offended by his comments. If something like this came out of Rev Wright’s mouth, we’d never hear the end of it. I don’t agree with the remarks of Rev Wright either, but I don’t think the media should be talking about one group of hateful statements from an African-American without giving the same time to a prominent white man’s comments. We’re talking about a man that at onetime wanted to be our commander in chief.

    I am an African-American woman who has never used any welfare programs. I served my country proudly for 20 years in the Air Force. I am currently a section-8 housing inspector. I know for a fact that the program has people from every race. My daughter goes to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I am paying for her tuition cash. The majority of her white friends are getting through school on student loans and Pell grants. For him to suggest that only African-Americans are using these programs is appalling!!!!! The whole thing is loaded with things that should be talked about on the news just as much as the Rev Wright issue has. I believe you guys (the media) have beat that horse to death. Here is a section of some of the most offensive parts of his column.

    “Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the '60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream”

    April 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  35. D. Boulton

    I pray the super delegates do change their minds about Obama. Rev. Wright does sound like a racist and has been Barack Obama’s spiritual leader for twenty years. No one continues to support a church if they don’t feel an affinity for the leader of that church. Obama’s repudiation of his pastor’s comments is much to little much to late. Rev. Wright is correct about one thing Obama is just saying what he needs to say to get elected.

    April 30, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  36. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Let's face it, the information age has an awful lot of rumor to it. The candidate's supporters are slinging facts and fiction all over the place. Are we going to spend the next four years in a constant state of damage control? Looks that way. I'm beginning to believe we will stay divided. So far, I've seen nothing to make me believe, that any of the candidates will hit the ground running on day one. They will never please everyone and those information age " everyones" will make the President's job next to impossible to carry out. Too bad wishful thinking is all we have right now to solve America's woes. I hope I'm wrong.

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  37. Ddonald J.

    I think Obama messed up big time. He listened to all the hipe and didn't
    take the chance to sit down with Clinton and offer her the VP. He not only hurt himself, he is hurting all of us, by giving the election to McCain.
    He let people tell him that it would not work. GOP was and still is afraid of that ticket. Obama got to big headed. I don't need Hillary, I'm Obama.
    He should have known he was being setup. Barack what do you have to lose now. You and Hillary go sit down over a coke and talk this thing out.
    That would blow the GOP's mind. Let's see if you really want to be my president! Do the right thing for the people who believe in you and Hillary.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  38. Chantay Courtney

    Pitting blacks against blacks is the way I am calling it!

    April 30, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  39. Keith

    I have never been more interested in a presidential election as this one and as a result have found myself reading far more and as a result have come to this conclusion "its the media who do the greatest diservice to americans". I long ago realized that they will air anyones commercial without any concern for the legitimacy of the company paying for the time. This is sad because many americans grew up trusting that the media represented the truth and that any responsible radio or television network would take care to protect us.

    What we have seen in this election is even far worse...take the Wright issue. This started with comments taken out of context were played over and over. In the Walter Cronkite era of reporting we would have been advised by the news that this is a snippit and explained how it was intended rather than use it to fuel almost nonstop coverage. We would also have been given some context of the church and the man so that americans would be able to be informed and make ration rather than emotional decisons.

    Here's another example...recently McCain and Clinton have come out for a gas tax holiday and Obama is against it. A news organization interested in us the public would provide real analysis of these plans and the impact to us.

    As for Ms Wattleton's assertion that the canidates have not spoken about the issues...hogwash. Both Clinton and Obama have stated theri positon on these issues on numerous occasions and what we all know by knwo is there is not enough diffeence between these canidates to make a decison that meshes with our views on the issues. So we are left with all of these distractions and the media's unwillingness to step up and report facts instead of innuendos.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  40. EBC

    I think only FOOLS think that Rev. Wright defines Sen. Obama. The media has played a MAJOR role in bringing this "stereotypical" stigma into play.

    It was the MEDIA who continued to play ONLY the snippets, NOT the whole sermon for people to make an informed judgement on. It was the media who kept playing the Rev. Wright speeches over and over. Sen. Obama DID NOT create this foolishness. IT"S the media who created this monster and NOW they want to BLAME Sen. Obama and HOLD him accountable for anything and everything his former Pastor does.

    That's just downright lunacy. It's speaks to the deplorable accountability of the Media. They created this chaos and now they sit back and point their fingers at everyone but them.

    Go figure... nothing like having more "gossip mongers" reporting the news.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  41. Debbie from Texas

    If you are talking about Rev. Wright – Rev. Wright has defined himself. THE MEDIA HAS DEFINED THE CANDIDATES INCLUDING YOU AND CNN. You people are disgusting.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  42. Janet, USA VIA Toronto, Canada

    Unfortunately, yes, negative actions and words from those whom we have been in places of worship, can be agree or disagree with.
    There are some teachers of all faiths, especially fundamentalists leaders. Past and Present.
    Reality on the indidivudal, to educated ourself to separate what we fell is negative or positive, in searching further outside that domain.

    Regaining the momentum of the campaign and addressing concerns that will define the indiviudal candidate, by which a voter can go beyond unnecessary distractions. With appropriate credibility and definition within the critical issues surrounding all Americans.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  43. Fay, CA

    Obama might have handled the Wright crisis a lot better than he did, but it's going to be difficult for him to move away from it now if Wright's speeches continue to be heavily covered by the media. Obama has explained where he stands with Wright twice now and people will either accept it or they won't, but he should have an opportunity to talk about the other important issues and problems that this country currently faces.

    April 30, 2008 at 3:26 pm |

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