Tomorrow, Barack Obama is going to Philly to give the speech of his life to save his candidacy.
Now, it might be that Obama can survive the superdelegate game and still win the Democrat nomination. But in this Feiler Faster 24/7 newsuniverse, his 20 years as a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's congregation have hit the fan.
With the pivotal Pennsylvania primary another 5 weeks away, Obama is already looking at a substantial defeat. One poll had him down to the lovely and talented Hillary Rodham Clinton 55-36, and that was before the nation started learning about Rev. Wright's jeremiads against "white" America: "White greed" makes the needy world suffer. 9-11 was a justifiable payback. The white US government used AIDS as a weapon against the browner people on Earth, to kill them off just on general principles.
Dude's wack, the black equivalent of a Kennedy assassination theorist, a UFO believer, an anti-fluoridation activist, and a guy who sends Elvis a card every year on his birthday.
Sen. Obama, who's had his path to the presidency strewn with garlands and rose petals, has to negotiate his way around the biggest turd in recent electoral memory.
As Mickey Kaus, a leading proponent of the Feiler Faster Theory asks, what if Obama loses Pennsylvania by 20 points? Who knows? It could be worse than that. Rasmussen, admittedly an outlier, shows some ominous numbers: since Rev. Wright hit the sleepy consciousness of national fan, Sen. Obama's national negative rating has leapt to 50%, and 54% among white voters.
Now, the actual fact is likely that the young and politically ambitious Barack Obama found a power center in Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, and you go to church where the votes and kingmakers are. Who's listening, anyway? Just shake some hands afterward, cut a lunch date with a potential contributor, throw a few smiles to the crowd and get home by noon for the Bears game.
Now, the sentiments on the left [and the Obama campaign] are that talk can solve everything, whether with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the American electorate. Barack Obama gets his chance to talk. I suppose he'll say he disagrees with "some" of Rev. Wright's rantings.
But although I expect some world-class eloquence tomorrow that'll satisfy some, I suspect there is a critical mass of voters who will not elect him president until and unless he tells us which one rantings he does disagree with.
And if and when he does, he'll lose some of his strongest supporters.
Because, as it turns out, not all talk can be talked away with more talk. It's gotta be this or that, quoth The Duke. There are fundamental disagreements in the American polity, and although George Washington was elected by unanimous vote, it has not happened since, nor will anyone ever be again.