Despite Barack Obama’s attempts to distance himself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright, former Bill Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis says three “unanswered questions” remain regarding the controversial Chicago pastor.
In an Op-Ed piece in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, Davis writes that the three questions are:
Given Rev. Wright’s extremist views, why did Obama remain a member of his congregation?
Why didn’t Obama speak up earlier?
Why did he give Rev. Wright a position in his presidential campaign even after knowing about his inflammatory comments?
Davis in particular pointed to three excerpts from Rev. Wright’s sermons, in which he accused Israel of “state terrorism,” referred to “the United States of White America,” and declared: “God damn America.”
Davis writes that Obama “said for the first time a few weeks ago that had Rev. Wright not recently resigned as pastor of the church, he would have withdrawn. But that only reraised the same question: Why didn’t he act before the resignation?...
“Furthermore, after knowing about some of these sermons and having serious problems with some of their messages, why did Mr. Obama still decide to appoint Rev. Wright to his official presidential campaign religious advisory committee?”
Davis observes that if many progressive Democrats are troubled by the Rev. Wright issue, “then there must be even more unease among key swing voters.”
If Obama doesn’t show a willingness to answer the questions now, John McCain and the Republican “attack machine” will surely press him on the issue if he wins the Democratic nomination, Davis notes, “but by then it may be too late.”
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