by Max Brantley
Barack Obama's associates -- his provocative pastor and the dubious businessman Rezko, with whom he's now admitted repeat lapses of judgment -- have finally become a generally accepted news story, even his most ardent press supporters have been forced to acknowledge. A Politico columnists explains this, sounding somewhat regretful, in the case of the preacher. The mainstream reporters who tried to ignore the story once again had hands forced by alternative media and late-night comics.
You do not have to hold these associations against Obama to understand, again, that it was at best naive for Obama and his admirers to think such subjects could be declared off-limits because Obama was a self-declared new paradigm politician. See Newt Gingrich's comments in the Politico column before blaming this reality solely on Democratic opponents. The fall will be a tough fight. Obama, if he is to be the nominee, must be able to counterpunch.