Obama's "race" speech
Obama's giving his big speech on race today in order to counter the ill effects on his campaign due to his former pastor's hate speech from the pulpit. (Polipundit has some of Pastor Wright's greatest hits here.) Drudge has the transcript of the speech here.
Given recent polling information about how Americans feel about those comments, maybe we should call this Obama's "Save my Bacon" speech. From Rasmussen:
Pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has become part of the national political dialogue in recent days, is viewed favorably by 8% of voters nationwide. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% have an unfavorable view of the Pastor whose controversial comments have created new challenges for Barack Obama's Presidential campaign.
Wright was Obama's Pastor until he retired last month, but Obama has repudiated the preacher's comments.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters say that Wright's comments are racially divisive. That opinion is held by 77% of White voters and 58% of African-American voters. In addressing the issue, Obama warned against injecting race into the campaign .
Most voters, 56%, said Wright's comments made them less likely to vote for Obama. That figure includes 44% of Democrats. Just 11% of voters say they are more likely to vote for Obama because of Wright's comments.
Not good numbers for Barack. And maybe just the kind of doubt in the minds of super delegates that Hillary needs to pull off her coup at the convention. (At least that's what the nutroots say it would be) h/t Wizbang.
From Dave Brody:
Let me be clear. From the feedback I am getting through emails here at The Brody File and from talking to DEMOCRATIC strategists (not Republican) I can tell you that this pastor controversy has the potential to wipe out Obama's campaign. Everything he has worked so hard for, all the speeches, all the masterful organizational campaign structure, all the passionate energy and inspiration he has brought to this campaign could all go up in smoke if he isn't able to control this controversy. This isn't a passing Drudge headline. This is a whopper of a problem for him€¦and he and his campaign know it.
No doubt, it's a whopper of a problem. Not just because you've got a campaign supporter seen as guilty of hate speech and race baiting, but because this type of thing runs counter to the whole image Obama's built for himself. Not to mention it reflects on his judgement, (given that he's been a member of that church for 20 years).
Obama's greatest strength's have been his rhetoric and the fact that he's a blank canvas...and supporters are able to portray what they want in a candidate onto his canvas. Now we've got something real on that canvas that would be supporters see and reject.
On a related note, Right Wing reminds us of the ruckus the "mainstream media" made out of Bush's visit to Bob Jones University in 2000.
Newsbusters has an open thread on the speech.