So, what will be the impact of Jeremiah Wright? For Obama, clearly not good, as most polls are indicating. The question, then, is whether it is short-term or more permanent.
Personally, I'm undecided on that. The Conventional Wisdom would say, "Of course it is fatal." And it may well be. Perhaps many whites will simply no longer listen to him, questioning his judgment and "authenticity" (more on that in a second). If so, President McCain should get his cabinet in order.
On the other hand, Nov. is 6 months away. If this primary marathon has taught us anything, it is that a TON can happen in a few months. Will voters, after a time, get tired of seeing "Wright this, Wright that" dominating the political discourse? Possibly, depending on what element disturbs them most about the story.
Do people simply think this was a matter of poor judgment to not "disown" Wright yrs. earlier, while fully understanding that the Senator does NOT, in fact, believe in any of the nuttiness? Or do some now think he really IS a closet black radical?
If it is the latter, well, that is a shame, and unadulterated bullshit. Even a cursory, objective look at Barack Obama's life and career shows the total opposite. To believe he's some sort of stealth candidate means that you have to believe that the last 20 yrs., from community organizing to Harvard Law, ending in politics, experiences in which he was known for getting along with others, esp. those with whom he disagreed, was a complete act. Folks, no one can possibly be that stealth.
Still, if these facts are presented, I think you can turn some voters back around. The judgment issue, from a non-racial POV, is harder to tackle at first blush. To some extent, the dye has been cast: It either is a deal-breaker or it isn't. The only positive might be this: Time healing wounds and voters deciding there are more important issues to decide this on. I think this COULD happen.
I'll close with thoughts from other Gen Y'ers, from Sullivan. I think THIS might overstate things a tad, but in spirit, absolutely. If the thing that takes down Obama is Jeremiah Wright, it will be a true shame. Beat him b/c he's "too liberal," "not ready, "wrong on issues." All legitimate.
But don't let Stupid Old Politics, with Wright, be what takes him down. That risks alienating an entire generation, waiting for something new.
No, Obama is no saint. Most of us know that (see the Ethanol pander), but he is the best thing to happen to U.S. politics since Reagan. To defeat him over this will, in time, be seen as one of the saddest chapters in politics.