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Edward Klein’s Jeremiah Wright Interview Goes Wide with Swift-boating Proposal, and Sean Hannity’s Help

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics. – G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama, by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg

TOWNHALL RUNS with an “exclusive” from Mitt Romney with a headline blaring “Romney ‘Repudiates’ Conservative Group’s Planned Rev. Wright Attacks.” But before I could see the post, a pop-up ad for Edward Klein’s swiftboating screed against Pres. Obama blocks my view. Klein is the serial right-wing propagandist who Sean Hannity is hyping like a mad dog, which began with playing selected parts of Klein’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright interview for his radio listeners yesterday, followed by a performance on Fox News channel with Hannity last night.

“I’m not sure which is worse. Him listening to Rev. Wright or him saying that we must be a less than Christian nation.” – Mitt Romney, February 7, 2012

Of course, Romney “repudiates” is a gross exaggeration. Here’s the statement:

“I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity — particularly for those in the middle class of America. And I think what we’ve seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn’t the course of this campaign. So in regards to that PAC, I repudiate what they’re thinking about … It’s interesting that we’re talking about some Republican PAC that wants to go after the president [on Wright]; I hope people also are looking at what he’s doing, and saying ‘why is he running an attack campaign? Why isn’t he talking about his record?’”

“I repudiate the effort… I repudiate what they’re thinking about…” but Mitt Romney hopes people are looking at what team Obama is doing and “saying ‘why is he running an attack campaign.’”

Anti-Obama TD Ameritrade billionaire and Romney Super PAC man Ricketts has rejected the Hannity-pimped Jeremiah Wright swiftboating road, though that hardly means it won’t be deployed in places where playing the race card is thought could work. From Burns & Haberman:

“Joe Ricketts is a registered independent, a fiscal conservative, and an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration, but he is neither the author nor the funder of the so-called ‘Ricketts Plan’ to defeat Mr. Obama that The New York Times wrote about this morning,” Baker said in a statement. “Not only was this plan merely a proposal — one of several submitted to the Ending Spending Action Fund by third-party vendors — but it reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects and it was never a plan to be accepted but only a suggestion for a direction to take.”

It’s a long way from what Sen. John McCain’s choice, which was not to touch the subject. In fact, it just may be that because of McCain’s choice, team Romney will repudiate the “thinking” and the “effort,” but it will be unleashed anyway.

I’m not about to pretend that team Obama isn’t capable of the same. There’s an entire chapter in my book dedicated to the Axelrod-Plouffe strategy, which today Romney labeled “character assassination,” titled “Eating Your Own.”

Democrats have dragged everything they can up and over Mitt Romney’s candidacy, but Mormonism remains outside the acceptable for Obama and Democrats, while Republicans, including Mitt Romney, have no trouble invoking Rev. Wright and his religious ideas intending to adhere Wright to Pres. Obama.

Republicans are perpetually self-righteous, so feel entitled to go there, while Democrats are forever self-loathing after buying the right’s criticism that the left isn’t sufficiently religious. The entire faith competition having no place in American politics.

The problem with the Rev. Wright Super PAC ploy, if they manifest, is how the press will play it. That’s what will hurt Mitt Romney and his campaign, because if Chuck Todd’s reaction today is any indication Romney will be in for a brutal confrontation if he doesn’t make real efforts to stop the swiftboating of Pres. Obama through a Rev. Wright interview that dredges up issues of race, religion and 2008 issues that the press themselves didn’t see fit to focus on when they were relevant.

Pres. Obama was fairly elected, with the Rev. Wright discussed as much as the press saw fit to cover it, minus the dirt Edward Klein gets from Rev. Wright today, which Sean Hannity and his right-wing friends are too happy to regurgitate. Wright can’t get enough of the limelight after what he obviously sees as a betrayal by Pres. Obama, for not including him as his presidential pastor, though Wright’s behavior illustrates perfectly why the President did not.

The personal attacks on both Barack and Michelle Obama’s faith made by Wright in the Klein interview are particularly scurrilous and over the line. In the 21st century there are many ways to spiritually enlighten oneself, discover and even practice Christian faith that can go well beyond organized religion. Of course, that hits The Church, whatever denomination, in the pocketbook, which is one reason they fight against individual experimentation of faith so fiercely. The other is that most organized religions, including Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, believe women have no business leading anyone on issues of religion and faith.

As a feminist, organized religions leave very little freedom for a woman to own faith and participate equally with men. The Episcopal church has offered an open relationship for me, though that very much depends on the church, even if my main compass today is meditation.

The bribing allegation Wright asserts is not news at all. Given Wright’s hyperbolic rhetoric, the moneyed friends of any politician running at Obama’s level would have done the same thing.

Edward Klein’s charge that a black pastor told him that Hillary’s campaign allegedly wanted to pay him to say negative things about Wright is more of Klein’s swiftboating talent. It’s the same type of tactic Obama supporters utilized against Clinton in ’08, attributing a supporters actions to the campaign strategy itself, also covered in my book.

So far, the traditional and new media universe is buying the Romney “repudiate” campaign line.

One Politico post sucks it up: “Romney repudiates Jeremiah Wright plan.”

The New York Times headline reads: “Romney Rejects Using the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Against Obama.”

Jake Tapper’s headline: “McCain, Romney Camps Decry Super-PAC Proposal to Attack Obama on Rev. Wright.”

The Burns & Haberman blog, in a Maggie Haberman post, over at Politico put “repudiates” where it belongs: in quotes.

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50 Responses to Edward Klein’s Jeremiah Wright Interview Goes Wide with Swift-boating Proposal, and Sean Hannity’s Help

  1. Solo May 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Conservatives simply can’t help themselves. Push come to shove, they always fall back on the tried and true. Hate and fear!

  2. Rick Roberts May 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Bring it. Barack made his bed by hooking up with that fool for 20 years. Now he can lie in it. And let’s go after Mormonism too and any other kook religious group that wants to throw in. Let’s make the whole fall campaign about religion and its insidious influence on our politics. Perhaps then, more people will realize how ridiculous and medieval all of it is.

    Throw off the shackles, people. Come on into modernity with the rest of us. You don’t have to believe in imaginary friends anymore to explain how the world works. We mostly know how it works.

    • Sasha May 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

      This is about more than religion Rick.
      Not about race either.
      We shall see how it plays out.

  3. Sasha May 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Romney has taken a page out of Barrie’s own playbook. No reason to get dirty when you have others who will do it for you.

    Rev Wright was very close to the Obamas and Barrie in particular. I believe him when he says he says he has a box of evidence which will show us who Barrie really is. He is a respected and beloved preacher in his community and I believe he was really hurt by what happened between them. This is probably the only reason we haven’t seen the evidence yet.

    “Got Damn America!” was Rev Wright of 2008.

    Betrayed, educated and soft spoken is Rev Wright of 2012. with a box of evidence out there somewhere… :|

    • Solo May 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Classic Obama derangement! If someone told you President Obama was a 600 year old vampire you would believe it. I bet you believe in the whitey tape as well!

      • Sasha May 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

        I believe Rev Wright.
        I love evidence.
        Don’t get your panties in a bunch Reg.
        Save that for when the evidence is released.
        Although I do think cheap ass Barrie will raise the offer to Rev Wright.
        A $150K bribe is nothing from a man now worth millions and counting.
        Hell, I would give Rev Wright $150K today for the box of evidence.

        I always thought the whitey tape sounded contrived.
        Listening to the interview tapes, I wanted to give Rev Wright a hug, he sounded so sad.
        This is so exciting.
        Like Christmas! :grin:

        • Solo May 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

          Be careful, your horns are showing!

        • Solo May 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

          A person who makes broad declarations about the President based on nothing loves evidence?

          • Sasha May 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

            …based on more than you will ever know sweetie.


  4. Cujo359 May 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    . I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity – particularly for those in the middle class of America.

    There is probably no subject on which Democrats and Republicans disagree on less these days than that one. They both want to protect the finance industry and other rich patrons at the expense of the poor and middle class. The only difference between them is that the Democrats want to pretend otherwise.

    We might as well discuss religion, and any other irrelevant nonsense.

    • Solo May 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Do you actually believe the crap you say?

    • secularhumanizinevoluter May 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Holy guacamole and a jeebus fracking crispies thrown in to boot!!! Whitey tape indeed, there are some real ODS sufferes here ain’t there?!!!
      And that is spoken as someone who was TOTALLY against Obama in the last election, hell, sounded kinda like some of the folks here now…but then reality intervened.

      • Cujo359 May 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

        Are you even discussing my comment, secular.., or did you just hit “reply” at the wrong time?

  5. Ga6thDem May 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    I don’t really see this mattering a whole lot to most people. It was out there back in 2008 and I saw commercials featuring Wright back then too. IMO, this is more or less preaching to the converted.

    • whitepaw May 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      I agree… Much ado about nothing….

    • Marie205 May 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      Ga6thDem….I have to agree with you and whitepaw. Even though I don’t plan on voting for Obama or Romney this election year…I have to say the right wing bring back Rev. Wright just shows how desperate they’ve become.

      Rev. Wright and those awful videos of him where played repeatedly on TV in 2008. So, he is pretty much old news…sounds like the good Rev. still loves and misses the spot light…hmmm…I wonders if Fox News will give him his own news show…lol

  6. PWT May 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    At this stage of the game, these things are for the pundits only.

  7. Mark D May 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    more swift boating of obama going on drudge report today:

    Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama’s then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.”
    The booklet, which was distributed to “business colleagues” in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
    It also promotes Obama’s anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White–which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
    Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows (image and text below):

    Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
    The booklet, which is thirty-six pages long, is printed in blue ink (and, on the cover, silver/grey ink), using offset lithography. It purports to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Acton & Dystel, which was founded in 1976.

    the damage control is already out but this s going to shake the voters if it gets out bigtime…

    spin spin spin obama spin.

    at some point the whole house of cards is going to fall like taylor predicted before he was the democratic nominee.

    • Solo May 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      U actually believe what Drudge puts out? Wow!

    • Marie205 May 17, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      “Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. “-Mark D

      It does not matter if Obama was born on Planet Mars…his mother was an American. I know its hard for people who literally hate all things Obama to accept…but yes he is President of the United States and was born in Hawaii.

      If you “really” wanted Obama to not win reelection…than find something realistic to criticize him over. Because in order for me to believe what your suggest…I would have to assume Former President Bush and Vice President Chaney along with the FBI…handed over the most power country to an illegal alien January 20, 2009.

    • Ga6thDem May 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      Oh, good grief. It has been proven that he was born in Hawaii in 1961. Drudge has been repeatedly duped by conservatives but he continues to try to make himself important. He’s a one trick pony and that pony long ago rode off into the sunset.

      All i have to say is if this is what the GOP is pinning their hopes on their are either incredibly stupid or completely desperate. Take your pick I guess.

      • PWT May 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        It’s not whether he was born in Hawaii or not, he was. It is akin to the Elizabeth Warren dust-up in that perhaps Obama, like Warren made a claim of ancestry thaty may not have been true in order to bolster his liberal bonafides or otherness or whatever. However, when he bacame successful and no longer needed the Kenyan ancestry, he dropped it. More of a character issue if you can drop your partisanship.

        • Ga6thDem May 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

          Look everybody knows that Obama has no character just like Romney has no character. Neither have an ideological compass. So no one is going to care about this crap. It just makes the GOP look incredibly stupid.

          And if you had a clue, you would never have posted what you did because I am not a fan of Obama.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter May 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

        “Drudge has been repeatedly duped by conservatives but he continues to try to make himself important.”

        No he hasn’t. He is part of the rightwingnut sound machine and gets his marching orders.

  8. fairmindedindependent May 17, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    From what I hear, Sean Hannity can’t stop talking about Rev Wright, since 2008. So it does not suprise me that he would bring this up. I could care less about this issue, we have more important issues to deal like the economy. PS, sorry to hear about Donna Summers death, loved her music, and the song “she works hard for the money” really earned respect for working women.

  9. Sasha May 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Barrie may have bribed Rev Wright from what he says.
    The last time I checked that is illegal.
    Rev Wright told us in 2008 Barrie is a politician. As we all know some politicians get away with murder and others don’t. Just ask John Edwards. I would never say breaking the law is nothing.

    The promotional booklet just goes to show that he is a liar. He can always say that he has evolved and came to realize that he didn’t need to say he was born in Kenya to sound more interesting and exotic. Many can say they are mixed race, however few can say they were born in Kenya. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    This is only the beginning of the vetting that should have been done in 2008.

    In other news Barrie releases Hezbollah killer of 5 American troops in Karbala.

    • whitepaw May 17, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

      Yes — I think the booklet certainly does not prove that Obama was born in Kenya… It was likely something he was telling people to further himself and sell books. The Breitbart story (that I read, but not a site I typically visit), is very clear that they, too, do not think this should be put forth to further the birther arguments… rather to show that Obama is really just like all typical politicians… they will lie to further themselves. (I chuckle these days every time I think of “Change We Can Believe In”… It is as absurd as “Mission Accomplished”).

      It is possible that the person who wrote the bio had the details wrong…. but in my opinion, I doubt it.

      I also agree… Obama was NEVER vetted in 2008.. perhaps he will be this time around.

      • Rick Roberts May 17, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

        This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

        • Solo May 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

          This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Rick Roberts May 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Rick Roberts May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • T-Steel May 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

            Romney will win and do what all Big 2 presidents do:
            The state of the Union is STRONG! x4

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • secularhumanizinevoluter May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

          • Solo May 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

            This comment was off topic and has been deleted.

        • spincitysd May 18, 2012 at 5:41 am #

          Bwaah, ha, ha, ha, what a fun and ultimately pointless snark hunt this conversation between Solo and RR must have been! Off topic indeed; welcome to the outer limits!


    • Rick Roberts May 17, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Exactly. Let it come flow like a river.

  10. T-Steel May 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    I never understood the “never vetted” line when it came to Obama 2008. I mean COME ON! What is the ultimate skeleton in the closet that needs or will be uncovered now? What will Rev. Wright now bring to the table that wasn’t out there before? A new America damning? Eating children with Barack and Michele in attendance and cheering? Whateva…

    And let me break down this Jeremiah Wright dude since I was, emphasize WAS, a hardcore, Louis Farrakhan style black nationalist back in the day:

    See these Wright types are in every black community. They are the social extremists of the black community yet they are very charismatic. They frequently are the do’ers in the black community. They on the front lines of feeding poor, giving rides to the seniors, hyping up school accomplishments of black students, sponsoring the summer youth program, etc. And they are very good at promoting an up-and-comer in the community. But there is a price. And that price is their church and your attendance. My grandparents in Detroit attended services at a local Nation of Islam (Farrakhan’s church) mosque for 38 years. Yet they didn’t believe much of what was said. But the NOI helped them with cash assistance when their house burned down. And helped them when my grandfather needed a car for work. Helped my grandparents start a youth gardening program and financed it for over 18 years. But that price is for you to BE THERE. Clap when they raise their voices. And nod your damn head.

    See I get what Barack and Michele Obama did. I really do. See I hated those Barack and Michele types. I knew they weren’t down for the CAUSE. But I knew why they were there. So I took some perverse pleasure in knowing they had to bow down in the King’s Court. Barack and Michele needed help steering through the local BDE (Black Democratic Establishment). And boy oh friggin’ boy, Jeremiah Wright knew how to work it. And work it he did.

    So that Super PAC can do their thing. Some of y’all can keep workin’ the Wright angle. But all ya gonna find is a scorned man (Wright) who wants some payback for all the work he did for ol’ Barack “The Empty Suit but not really an Empty Suit more like a suit full of Calculated Moves for Himself” Obama. No more, no less.

    The Obamas need a way through. Wright provided. They sat in the church and did the do. And discarded Wright like a old, stale waffle when they got to the promised land. Sounds very politician-like, eh?

    • Sasha May 17, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      I agree with your post as it does give a very clear analysis of what I believe is true in the Wright Obama saga.
      They were very close at a time when Rev Wright had the power. Barrie had no idea to the extent of which the power would shift for him. I would even say Rev Wright recognized it before Barrie did. That is exactly why I believe that he has something. He is a very smart man as well and he understands the power that Barrie has, as there are people more powerful than both he and Barrie who have a great interest in seeing the President’s continued success. Rev Wright did that taped interview for a reason and it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Both men have burned bridges in their past, so enemies are plentiful.

      Don’t believe me?
      Just continue to watch Jamie Dimon.
      Another good friend at one time.

    • Cujo359 May 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

      The Obamas need a way through. Wright provided. They sat in the church and did the do. And discarded Wright like a old, stale waffle when they got to the promised land.

      I haven’t followed the tale of Rev. Wright all that closely, but none of this surprises me overly much. Black churches tend to be very important politically, and it sure didn’t seem like a coincidence that the Obamas picked the biggest church in the district he wanted to represent as his Sunday hot spot.

      I don’t expect much from Rev. Wright that’s newsworthy, but that’s pretty much what this campaign is going to be about – nothing worth discussing. My expectation in races where the candidates don’t differ much on issues is that that the race will devolve into a mud-flinging contest. Given all the money that will be spent in this campaign, plus the super-PACs, I’d be shocked if this one doesn’t.

    • spincitysd May 18, 2012 at 5:47 am #

      Thanks for the gouge T-steel. I always wondered what the hell BHO was doing in Wright’s church, and why he clung to Wright for so long. I learned something. Oh and I’m glad you got over that NOI phase of your life; sounds a bit hairy to me, hope there was no permanent damage.


  11. T-Steel May 18, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Black churches tend to be very important politically, and it sure didn’t seem like a coincidence that the Obamas picked the biggest church in the district he wanted to represent as his Sunday hot spot.

    100% on point Cujo. Actually drop the “tend” and just say “are”. The Black Church is like the medieval Catholic Church of old when it comes to politics. And that’s all I ever saw with the Wright “Controversy”.

    No permanent damage spincitysd. Just the occasional cringe when I hear New Black Panther Party or Wright types speak. LOL.

    • Lake Lady May 18, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      T-Steel~ perfectly explained. Thanks so much for the personal insight. It is what I always thought about the Rev Wright situation. Just another stepping stone on his path upwards.

      It does not matter a fig to me if Obama is Christian or whatever but I doubt seriously if he has any strong religious convictions. He seems way too intellectual to me to see it as anything more than one of the major religions. Of course he knows that in our current climate and with his background that it was mandatory.

      I think Obama believes in Obama. I believe he means to be a good president but has bought into our current form of croney capitalism to such an extent that he is incapable of really creating meaningful change.

      He also has an allergy to the messy granular work of political relationships.

  12. RAJensen May 18, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Gee Taylor;

    When are you going to stop the revisionist history and resume padding of your gal Hillary.

    1. Character assassination. Have you forgotten Hillary’s ‘Three AM commercial’ questioning Obama’s character and leadership.

    2. Have you forgotten when Hillary was asked if she thought Obama was a Christian, she replied In an interview with the editorial board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on March 25, 2008, Hillary Clinton commented on Obama’s attendance at Trinity United Church of Christ, stating, “You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.” Later the same day, during a press conference, Clinton spoke on her personal preference in a pastor: “I think given all we have heard and seen, [Wright] would not have been my pastor.”

    3, Your Hillary resume padding. You take Obama to task for accepting Wall Street campaign donations but fail to report that in the 2008 primary campaign Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was almost entirely funded by Wall Street CEO’s Hedge fund managers. It was Bill Clinton who rallied the same Wall Street crowd in funding Hillary’s primary campaign that funded his 1996 Presidential campaign. A favor returned because of Bill Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Seagall and complete de-regulation of Wall Street operators..

  13. Lake Lady May 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    RAJensen~ Do you think you have ever changed one mind on this site with your Clinton hate? if not why do you come over here? Just feel like being argumentative?

  14. StrideHyde May 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Can’t resist taking this on: 1. Looks like she’s taking the 3 a.m. calls. 2. Probably speaking a lot of minds in terms of a choice of pastor. 3. Hillary Clinton plays politics just like the others. It was Obama who claimed to be “new.” Now the chickens are coming home to roost.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong