First, I have to give strong credit to the NY Times. They posted Obama's remarks on Wright in full, without editorial. That's what I like to see. I can read it and make up my own mind. Read the story here.
Next, I have to give credit to Obama (someone give that conservative friend of mine some smelling salts, I think he passed out. The liberal friend can stay passed out. Liberals need the rest). He actually said some good things and I agree with him. I respect his position and hope that, in the same situation, I would do the same.
Several people will complain that Obama should have acted earlier, he stayed in the church for 20 years, etc. etc. I'm not disagreeing with that, but I don't see that as the point. Obama has said what needed to be said. Some may say that it's not genuine, but I have to trust the candidate until I feel that he has lied to me. So far I may not agree with some of his plans, but he hasn't lied to me. That deserves some respect.
Obama has been hammered lately because of Rev. Wright's comments. In the past, the senator supported the pastor even if he disagreed with his words. Today was different. Obama has specifically renounced the pastor. And he did it with a little sadness.
In the past, Obama may have disagreed with Wright, but he still supported the pastor. I respect that. I had a situation several years ago where a pastor was under attack. I never saw any proof of the allegations, so I stood by my pastor. Several good friends left our church and relationships were damaged, just as Obama/Wright's relationship has been damaged.
I believe that Obama is hurt by what he sees as a betrayal. Maybe Wright doesn't see it as a personal attack, but the presidential candidate feels let down. Most importantly, he feels that Wright has spoken loudly about things that he wants to change as president.
Sen. Obama sees Wrights comments as offensive. He rightly stood silent (or near silent) on Monday until he actually saw what Wright said. That gets him another count of respect in my book. For the same reason that I go to the source of the stories, Obama did not criticize (heavily) based on sound bites.
And above all, Obama wants to get back down to business. He sees the continued comments as a distraction from the real issues of this race. "People want some help in stabilizing their lives and securing a better future for themselves and their children. And that's what we should be talking about."
I may disagree with the Senator on what really are the issues and I may disagree with how to solve those issues, but I agree with his comments today.