Barack Obama had a press conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., a short while ago. He distanced himself from his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
I only caught the last few minutes of Q&A. But from what I saw – and what I’m hearing in the after-analysis – Obama didn’t do enough to shut this thing down.
He said he considered Wright’s performance yesterday at the National Press Club “a show of disrespect to me.”
That “made me angry,” Obama said, “but it also made me sad.”
But his tone – again, as much as I saw of it – was chilly, detached. Which only feeds into public perceptions of Barack Obama as “aloof.”
I’ll post the full video here as soon as I can find it, and I will unpack my thoughts throughout the day regarding this latest turn in the campaign...
11:54 a.m. (Pacific Time) – CNN will replay the Obama news conference in full a few minutes from now... at 3 p.m. Eastern time, noon Pacific...
12:37 p.m. – Having seen the full news conference, I can now put my finger on what seemed so ineffective about it.
It’s the cold legalism with which Obama phrased things. He said Wright’s remarks yesterday “don’t portray accurately my beliefs” and are “antithetical to my campaign.”
Yes, Obama clearly denounced Wright’s words yesterday as “appalling,” “divisive,” “destructive”... “a bunch of rants that aren’t grounded in truth.”
But the manner in which he did so, in my opinion, didn’t allow him to connect emotionally with the American people.
This is important, because he’s in a contest with Hillary Clinton, who in recent weeks has put forth an emotionally compelling image of herself as a “fighter.” Hillary showed heart.
Obama’s news conference today wasn’t about his heart. It was all intellectual.
7:21 p.m. – You guys should check out Kellybelle’s “Five Stages of Dis-Obamallusionment.”