03 June, 2008

The Damage Done by the Trinity Church

Barack Obama's (D-IL) supporters keep claiming that leaving the Trinity Church is (was) unnecessary. They point to poll numbers showing that it wasn't a factor in many people's decision to vote against him.

But there's no denying that his rocket ship to the White House stalled when Reverend Wright appeared on the scene. He had unbelievable momentum up until that point.

His problems are twofold, and aren't improved by leaving the Church.


Ok, let's try to look at things objectively.

  1. One would be naive to assume that these controversial statements just started coming out of the church since Obama declared his candidacy for President.
  2. Obama has been a member of the Church for 20 years.
  3. One must therefore assume that Obama has heard a great many of these and similar statements before.
  4. Obama didn't leave the Church when he left them.

Why? Two options. Neither are good for Obama

  1. He heard them and didn't have a problem with them. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people believe this and immediately brand him as a racist. This is obviously not a good thing for a Presidential candidate.
  2. He was an up-and-coming politician in Chicago. And Chicago politics, even more than most cities is all about who you know and who you're "in with". There's no doubt that Reverend Wright and the Trinity Church are "players" in Chicago politics. It's very likely that Obama ignored their controversies out of political necessity. The same political necessity that now requires Obama to leave the Church. As I've said before, for a person who has based their entire campaign on being a "different kind of politician", this is extremely bad. It turns his entire campaign message into a lie.

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