Sunday, August 31, 2008

"New" Hurricanes Affect Presidential Politics: Gustav and Jeremiah Wright

While all eyes are focused on hurricane Gustav, slated to touch down in New Orleans and dramatically impact the Republican National Convention by raining on Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin's coming out party... another hurricane, by the name of Jeremiah Wright, re-emerged the same day and could drown out the presidency of Senator Barack Obama.

Just when the Republicans had thought the horrible Katrina debacle was finally behind them, Hurricane Gustav, deemed the mother of all storms, charged toward the nation's coast... intent on reminding Americans of how badly President Bush and the GOP legislators dropped the ball. Talk about awful timing.

Off in another part of the country and with far less media attention, Hurricane Jeremiah Wright––the fiery former pastor of Trinity United Christian Church where Obama spent the past 20 years as a member––swept through Houston, Texas, and mentioned Obama in his sermon, causing tongues to wag and re-opening Pandora's box. Talk about awful timing!

Hoping to damp down any potential negative commentary that the catagory 3 Gustav could bring to McCain/Palin's trek to the White House, the GOP hierarchy wisely scaled back opening day activities of the much 'ballyhooed' convention. Not wanting to appear aloof or indifferent to the suffering of the people of Louisiana, McCain and his new V.P., quickly journeyed to Mississippi to demonstrate their commitment and avoid a similar disaster such as occurred three years ago.

Meanwhile, team Obama, still feeling the effects of Rev. Wright's Greatest Hits tapes that were played incessantly on the internet and main line news outlets... and have caused his poll numbers to steady decline since March, did not need Wright to pop back up in the news, or associate himself with Obama at this juncture of the campaign. Even though Obama has distanced himself from his former pastor, Hurricane Wright's glowing comments during a sermon at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church Houston, seems to give a 'quasi-endorsement' of Obama's candidacy and opens the flood gates for a repeat of the incendiary tapes that turned off many white voters. Said Wright of Obama:
"The Lord turned the ordinary into the extraordinary. Y'all just saw it this past week. It was on national television," Wright said to applause. "This ordinary boy just might be, come November, the 4th, this ordinary boy from a single parent home with a daddy from Kenya and a mama from Kansas. This ordinary boy just might be the first president in the history of the United States to have a black woman sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania, legally."

How Obama's campaign reassures a 'skeptical' populace that he is really through with Wright, while thwarting the avalanche of negative publicity sure to follow these comments... remain to be seen.

In the meantime... two hurricanes, two campaigns... if not handled right, could disastrously affect the Presidential campaign of one of these camps, and determine who sits behind the presidential desk January '09.

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