Michelle Malkin

Barack Obama looked pale and wan at what he called his "big press conference" about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on Tuesday afternoon. Numb. Chastened. Defeated. Extolled for his eloquence, Obama stuttered and stammered his way through the question-and-answer session. It appeared he was having an out-of-body experience.

Who knew that the greatest threat to his presidential campaign would come from the preacher who married him, baptized him and prayed with him? Barack Obama should have known. That's who. Take that judgment and shove it on a pretty campaign poster.

"Yes, we can"? Try "Yes, you should have."

For the past 24 hours, Obama's campaign too slowly grappled with how to handle the aftermath of Wright's whirlwind tour of hatred this weekend -- from Dallas, where he decried his "public crucifixion," to Detroit, where he entertained NAACP bigwigs with impersonations of white people, mockeries of classical music and "white" marching bands, and lectures on racial brain theories, to the National Press Club, where he preened, strutted and head-wagged his way through an hour of bitter black liberation theologizing.

At first, Obama downplayed Wright's public appearances. But Obama now tells us he had to wait 24 hours to convene a press conference to denounce Wright's National Press Club speech because he "hadn't seen it." After all this time on the campaign trail, we're back to the Obama-as-clueless-naif narrative again. When he finally did view the Washington speech, Obama explained, he was "shocked" and "outraged" and "saddened" because "the person I saw was not the person that I'd come to know over 20 years."

What a load of pure unadulterated horse manure. Anyone with eyes can see that Wright's performances are finely honed, time-tested acts. His anti-white, anti-American, "imperialist"-bashing shtick was not developed overnight or over the past few years. He's been peddling AIDS conspiracies for decades. He's been grievance-mongering about slavery for decades. He's been flirting with the Nation of Islam, which provided security for his speeches, for decades. He's been a shouting left-wing radical for decades.

Obama's best-selling "Audacity of Hope" is named after the first sermon of Wright's that he heard -- decades ago -- in which the pastor of racial resentment inveighed against an environment "where white folks' greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere." Yet, only now has Obama concluded that Wright's sermons are "a bunch of rants that aren't grounded in truth."

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Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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