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Monday, March 17, 2008

Reverend Jeremiah Wright comments are not uncommon in many churches

By David Edwards and Chris Tackett

Michele Norris, host of NPR's All Things Considered, told a panel of guests on Meet the Press that the tone used by Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, is not uncommon in many churches. Norris noted that many Americans find some agreement with Rev. Wright's sermons. She said, "When Jeremiah Wright makes these statements the Amen chorus in that church was very loud. His words resonate with a large number of African Americans and the blunt language that he used makes people uncomfortable. You know, when he talks about America's inglorious record on race. And yet, many people find something that they relate to in those words." Another panelist, David Broder of The Washington Post, said "[Rev. Wright's] tone seems so far removed from the tone that Obama has tried to strike, not just in this campaign, but throughout his political career, that it raises the question in my mind, what was it about Reverend Wright that attracted Obama when he had as a newcomer to Chicago he had any number of churches or pastors to go to?"Norris responded by saying, "You're talking about a tone and not his words. The sort of 'fire from the pulpit' is not something that is unusual in an African-American church. That is something -- in fact in many churches in america." She continued, "It's not all together different from what many people are hearing at this moment in churches all across America."

The exchange can be seen below:

Transcript via closed captions:: david broader, talk about events happening, you had the situation with geraldine ferraro that i talked with nita lowey and bill bradley with reverend jeremiah wright, tony rezko, the fund-raiser for barack obama. on friday, senator obama went to "chicago tribune" and chicago sun times and sat down with both editorial boards and reporters for an hour and a half at each place and went through his relationship and the money he raised. here's one of the headlines, "obama says rezko played a bigger fund-raiser role." with reporters and editors obama disclosed rezko raised more for obama's earlier political campaigns than known, gathering as much as $250,000 for the three offices he sought, state senate, house of representatives and senator. obama collaborated on previous statements about his private real estate transactions with rezko saying they were not mistakes of judgment because rezko was under a grand jury investigation, mistake was not just engaging in the transaction with tony rezko because he was having legal problems, the mistake because he was a contributor and somebody who was involved in politics. david broader, does that issue create difficulty for barack obama? :: i think it's not a big issue at this point. but this trial is in the very early stages and we don't know what will come out. it appears that mr. rezko's real connections were down in springfield with governor rather than with obama, but the one thing we know for sure, tim, is that between now and the first day of the democratic convention, there will be events and they will impact on these candidates. :: we have bill bradley calling for bill clinton to release the list of $500 million in contributions to his library and foundation. the clinton tax returns post-presidency, which will be some significant income, and the archives information about hillary clinton's role in the clinton white house. all that might be fertile ground for journalists, perhaps for voters. :: this is a campaign that's not about policy. More HERE

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