by Max Brantley
Pitiful any way you look at it. I know he can't stand by Wright now, though it would be refreshing. But maybe, just maybe, the real shortcoming was in his failure to see this coming. That's the electability thing again.
Note: My original headline said "Obama grovels." I meant the word in the sense, as the dictionary says, of giving oneself over to something base and unworthy. He'd defended Wright, if not his rhetoric, and Wright didn't say much different this week, substantively, even if he was intentionally provocative. But, in retrospect, perhaps Obama was honestly enlightened for the first time about Wright. Either way, it's a sad day to be forced to retreat so completely by someone you'd counted as a friend and influential mentor.
UPDATE: I'm not saying it's right (in fact, I think irrelevant things have driven vote after vote on both sides), but it would appear (link fixed) Obama is in something near free-fall at the moment, with only a 5-point margin in North Carolina according to the latest Survey USA poll. He's been over 20 points ahead in some past polling in that state.