“‘He would not have been my pastor,’ Clinton said. ‘You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend.” With Snipergate currently gaining traction in the media and footage and transcripts now showing that Clinton had repeated this lie several times, the Senator herself (along with a member of her finance committee) tries to change the story back to Jeremiah Wright. A valiant attempt by Senator Clinton, I suppose, although as noted the other day, her choice in pastors is rather questionable too. His repellent views on AIDS aside, I’ll take Jeremiah Wright’s commitment to social justice any day of the week and twice on Sunday over the virulent right-wing nutjobs of Clinton’s so-called “Family” (which, contrary to what she says above, she did in fact choose.)
But, anyway, back to the main story today: Clinton’s first response to Snipergate: “I have written about it in my book and talked about it on many other occasions and last week, you know, for the first time in 12 or so years, I misspoke.” After it came out this wasn’t a one-time exaggeration, her response then became: ““So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation.” (Note the use of that old standby, the victim card.) Either way, a mistake — like a misstatement — happens once, Senator. If it keeps happening, it’s called a lie.
Update: Clinton brings up Wright again, this time reading from prepared remarks. I’m with TPM on this one: “You can always tell when a scandal story has peaked and is ebbing, almost down to the minute: when your political opponents start to raise it explicitly against you.“
“Clinton fell in with the Family in 1993, when she joined a Bible study group composed of wives of conservative leaders like Jack Kemp and James Baker. When she ascended to the senate, she was promoted to what Sharlet calls the Family’s ‘most elite cell,’ the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, which included, until his downfall, Virginia’s notoriously racist Senator George Allen.” From the gander to the goose, Barbara Ehrenreich looks at Clinton’s own questionable religious ties with an ultrasecret conservative bible study group, The Family, about which a book is due in May. “This has not been a casual connection for Clinton. She has written of Doug Coe, the Family’s publicity-averse leader, that he is ‘a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God.’”
“Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.“
In response to the burgeoning controversy over remarks by his pastor, Sen. Obama discusses his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright at
Update: “‘I think there was recognition that he’s obviously on the verge of retirement, [that] he’s taking a sabbatatical and that it was important for him to step out of the spotlight in this situation,’ Obama said.” Wright is officially out. With all the bodies dropping in both campaigns now, I’m reminded of D’Angelo’s chess lesson in The Wire: “Pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick, and be out the game early.” (Although I guess, in this case, Obama lost a bishop.)
Update 2: Sen. Obama also addresses the Wright issue on a new Youtube video going around.