“Early [on the morning of April 29], after a long day of campaigning, aides showed Barack Obama extended excerpts from Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s jaunty and freewheeling press conference in Washington,” Marc Ambinder writes in a blog at theatlantic.com.
“Obama, the aides said, was deeply, visibly angry. Two said he ‘insisted’ that he hold a second press conference [April 29] to unequivocally denounce Rev. Wright’s conduct and sever himself from Wright’s fulminations. Obama did not want to let Wright hijack his campaign any longer. Five days was enough.
“Judging by his square jaw and his posture — rigid — and his tone of voice — elegiac and sad at points, and hard and resolute at others, Obama felt aggrieved and disrespected, especially by Wright’s implication that Obama’s speech on racial politics in Philadelphia was mere politics,” Mr. Ambinder said.
He added: “Obama has used the power of his rhetoric to end controversies before, and the cam- paign hopes now that Obama’s angry sound bites will now replace some of Wright’s more radical utterances on the cable news. The campaign won’t say whether, in their North Carolina tracking polls, they discovered any fall-off among white voters. The bet they’re making is that by extending the active phase of a story for at least one more day, they can prevent its long tail from influencing too many votes [on May 6].”