Barack Obama just held a press conference in which he finally strongly condemned Jeremiah Wright. At various points in his opening remarks, he described himself as “saddened,” “outraged,” and “offended” by Wright’s performance yesterday. He said that Wright’s “divisive and destructive” comments contradict everything his campaign stands for, in fact, everything he has stood for his entire adult life. He also got specific, saying Wright’s statements praising Farrakhan, equating U.S. military actions with terrorism, and linking the government to AIDS, were “ridiculous.”
Obama previously gave Wright the benefit of the doubt, he said, but now there are “no excuses” for him. He insisted that the Jeremiah Wright who spoke yesterday was not the same as the man he met 20 years ago, and that in hindsight, perhaps he didn’t know Wright as well as he thought he did.
This is exactly the way Obama should have addressed the issue to begin with instead of letting it linger. This is about as good as he could have done under the circumstances, but I still think Obama has major credibility problems on how he could have been so blind for so long about Wright.