Apr 30 2008

Why The Silence From Reynolds And Clinton Regarding Wright?

Published by at 9:30 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Major Update Below – bumped to the top

I posted yesterday on the strange coincidences surrounding Jeremiah Wright’s gleeful torpedoing of Obama in a series of public forums which culminated in Obama having to schedule a news conference in order to stem the damage being done to his campaign. I noted the fact that the National Press Club (NPC) event was coordinated by a Clinton supporter, that the Obama campaign was totally caught off guard and the Wright seemed to be as happy as someone who had just won the lottery. All signs that maybe he was getting a hefty quid pro quo for his actions.

What I expected to see was a swift denunciation from the Clinton campaign regarding any arrangements in relation to the public back stabbing Wright performed on his old friend (Barack’s term for Wright not too long ago, not mine). What we have seen instead is dead silence from the Clinton campaign and Barbara Reynolds, the person who orchestrated the big media event at NPC with Wright:

Daily News columnist Errol Louis wrote that Reynolds — a journalist and minister who teaches at the Howard University School of Divinity — claimed in a blog on her Reynolds News Service Web site that she voted for Clinton in the Maryland primary as “my way of saying thank you” to Clinton and her husband for the Bill Clinton presidency.

“I don’t know if Reynolds’ eagerness to help Wright stage a disastrous news conference with the national media was a way of trying to help Clinton,” he wrote. “But it’s safe to say she didn’t see any conflict between promoting Wright and supporting Clinton.”

The column was swiftly picked up by bloggers who repeated the assertion that Reynolds was somehow in cahoots with Clinton.

Clinton’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment.

The personal blog where Reynolds expressed her Clinton support could not be found online as of Tuesday afternoon, and Smith said she doesn’t know whom Reynolds supports.

“It doesn’t matter (which candidate she supports),” Smith said. “I do not believe Barbara Reynolds has a political agenda … Even if she did, he’s a newsmaker that we’d want at our podium. It’s irrelevant.”

The “Smith” referred to in the linked article is a spokesperson from NPC, who is attempting to deflect the story brewing that Wright turned on Obama with influence, help or coercion from the Clinton camp. All NPC says is that they don’t know if Reynolds was trying to help Clinton out – not that she did not or would not or could not. It is the classic non-denial denial. Neither Reynolds or the Clinton camp are talking, which in itself is bizarre since this should be an easy story to squelch. Unless of course there is actually something to it.

The time that is passing right now has two positive effects for Reynolds and Clinton and Wright if this was an orchestrated PR hit on Obama. It allows the public’s attention to start wandering off, it gives the folks who may have been behind this time to gauge whether the story will blow over, and it gives time to make sure there is nothing out there that can tie the players together in the act. That is the beauty of the delaying tactic.

The other damning activity that shows that a cover up is being attempted is the deletion of a lot of Barbara Reynolds’ recent musings on her blog. In January she was happy to see two fine democrat candidates. But in recent weeks she was angry at how her friend Wright was treated. She has always leaned towards Hillary and admitted voting for her in the MD primary – clearly indicating she had made her choice.

Now someone has been able to find some of Barbara’s recent postings that have disappeared from the internet since the whiff of a coordinated hit on Obama surfaced (I had much of this as well in the previous post and links):

With most of my Maryland and DC friends beating the drum for Sen. Obama, I tried to join the parade. Usually I am a drum major, leading momentum, but not this time.

Like many African American women, I have struggled with the dilemma of selecting a black man or a white woman to go against warmonger Sen. John McCain. My problem was that both Senators Obama and Clinton are darn good.

Finally I voted for Senator Clinton. My first reason was that as seductive as Obama’s mantra of hope, the Clintons legacy of help is more substantive and stronger.

Hope by definition is not based on facts. It is an emotional expectation. Things hoped for may or may not come. But help based on experience trumps hope every time.

Traditionally, I have sympathized or cast my lot with the “underperson,” the one needlessly being picked on or ridiculed. Media treatment of Senator Clinton has been degrading.

Much of the news media have gone bonkers over Senator Obama, pandering and refusing to ask tough questions, while intensely and sometimes nastily grilling Senator Clinton. Pundits continue to stress that Clinton is “polarizing,” and that 41 percent of voters say they won’t vote for her as if to cement a self-defeating prophecy.

I also find it troublesome that so many influential Republican conservatives are confessing their love for Senator Obama. When people who are my enemies become friends of my friends, I am just naturally suspicious.

In any event, Sen. Obama, tall, brilliant, handsome, with a wonderful wife and a message of hope would make a good president, but I embrace Clinton because at the highest levels they have helped make life better for African-Americans. My vote for Hillary in the Maryland Primary was my way of saying Thank You.

This is from February 14th, 2008. Between her admiration for Clinton and her anger at Obama for his treatment of Wright we can see why Reynolds may have felt it was time to kneecap Obama:

And it is a sad testimony that to protect his credentials as a unifier above the fray the Senator is fueling the media characterization that Rev. Dr. Wright is some retiring old uncle in the church basement instead of respecting Wright for the towering astute father of progressive social and global causes that he is.

Whether you disagree or agree with Wright’s controversial statements it is a terrible disservice to ignore his contributions as a theologian, pastor, and educator. It is ludicrous that a pastor who has preached more than 207,000 minutes for the past 36 years at Trinity on Sunday, not to mention his weekday worship services, revivals and global preaching, should be judged by a couple of 15 or 30 second sound bytes.

While Sen. Obama may have to distance himself from his pastor to play the game of politics, it is unwise for any of us to burn the bridges that brought us across.

That post is from March 17th. So the progression was to Hillary supporter, then anger at how Obama treated Wright, to coordinating a killer PR event where Wright went wild on Obama’s character. So – why the silence? Why no comment from people who have been unafraid to speak their minds? Why no simple and immediate denunciation of the rumor?

Why? Maybe it is because to be caught covering up the facts surrounding this PR hit job would bring the scandal to full boil in the news media. Heck, the NPC can’t even get their own story straight! First they said Reynolds proposed Wright in 2006 but he only recently became newsworthy enough to host, but Reynolds notes she introduced him at NPC before this round and there is evidence that was in 2007. The excuses are crumbling under minimal scrutiny. They always say the cover up is worse than the crime itself. So Wright turned on his friend Obama to help Clinton and probably get something for his own causes? That’s politics folks – the kind Obama has campaigned to end if he was elected. And maybe that is the real problem for Hillary. If her camp did turn Wright and coordinate this event then she has shown herself to be everything Obama has campaigned against – and that will cost her.

Major Update: This is really sad to see. The ugly comments on Dr. Reynolds blog showing up in the last couple of days are sickening. I appreciate Dr. Reynolds was simply trying to do what she thought best in helping resolve the Democrat primary debacle. She was angry at how Rev Wright was treated by Obama and took action. She did nothing more than expose the truth behind the spin and PR charades. Here is a sad sample of the vitriol:

Wanda L. said…
I think your behavior, Ms, Reynolds, is suspect and will come back to haunt you. My mother always said, when you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.

April 29, 2008 12:16 PM
Zennie Abraham said…

You really should be supporting Senator Obama. To some people it looks like you set up this Press Club event to harm Obama and help Clinton. That’s going o hurt your reputation as you will be roundly trashed in blogs around the country. That has an impact.

April 29, 2008 12:21 PM
Anonymous said…



April 29, 2008 12:23 PM
Anonymous said…
God doesn’t like ugly, lady, and you will surely get yours for the sneaky, underhanded thing you did. Since you support a pathological racist liar, an uncle tom like yourself can’t see that what you did was wrong. What did Hillary offer you? Money? A position in her imaginary administration? You’re an affront to the AA community and a sell out. You pleased your massa Mrs Clinton real good. Everybody knows you were behind inviting Wright and that you knew it would cause a stir with the media. You are shameless and I hope you get what you deserve.

April 29, 2008 12:24 PM
Anonymous said…

You are about to become one of the most despised women in the country. The AA community will spit on you once word gets around about what you did. Enjoy your master’s appreciation while you have it because you’re finished.

April 29, 2008 12:29 PM

I do not find Reynolds to be driven by power like the Clintons – she made a decision and helped Wright do damage to her choice of candidate. Welcome to politics. And I don’t think she is on the right side of the issue by aligning with Wright. But I did say that the black community would splinter if Obama was taken down by the Clinton machine. This is why the democrat primary pitting two victim-groups (women and blacks) was a disaster.

The fact is to win in politics always requires some not-so-professional actions to survive the battle. Obama was stabbed in the back by his Pastor, and Clinton supporters (and the campaign most likely) agreed to the media events (you don’t do anything like this without getting a green light from the person you support and know closely). Politics is not bean-bag. What happened here is Clinton saw an opportunity to champion the radical black left and cripple Obama’s support – which she clearly did with Wright and Reynolds and many others I suspect. She had to syphon off some of the African American support from Obama, and by championing Wright she was able to move to the far left of Obama – who is to green to see it coming. The minute he rejected Wright he opened the door for Clinton to exploit his actions – which is why you don’t carry this kind of baggage into a presidential election campaign.

But this behavior is unforgivable. Fight the battle of ideas – don’t attack those who are in the fight.

17 responses so far

17 Responses to “Why The Silence From Reynolds And Clinton Regarding Wright?”

  1. WWS says:

    For the sake of discussion, lets assume your thesis is correct. (although I’m not sold on it yet, I can think of several reasons Wright would want to do this to Obama that have nothing to do with Hillary)

    But as I said, let’s assume that Hillary DID set this up. In that case, the best reason for her to keep quiet is that the mindgame between her and Obama is far from over! Think about it – if you, just reading publicly available info, can put this together then certainly Obama and his team can do the same, and they know a lot more through their contacts than any of us ever could. Even this afternoon, Obama pretty much said that he knew Wright was deliberately trying to sink him.

    So, if Hillary is behind this, Obama knows about it – but the pressure to do something isn’t on Hillary, it’s on Obama! Does he come out and claim she did this to him? That just makes him look like a whiner who’s grasping at straws to explain HIS bad decisions and HIS embarrasing friends. At a time when he’s already beginning to look very weak in the public eye, this kind of claim would only make him look weaker. How could he ever prove it unless Wright himself admitted complicity, something Wright would never do? But with no hard proof Obama would just look like some delusional crybaby.

    But the only other option is to say nothing, even though he and his team know what happened. Think about that – this would mean that Obama and his advisors know that Hillary just pantsed him on a public stage, that she’s sitting in her campaign HQ laughing about it, and all Obama can do is sit there and take the beating like some modern day step’n’fetchit. Can you imagine how humiliating and disheartening that would be to him. and to everyone around him?

    And to keep Obama in this quandary, all Hillary has to do is say nothing and do nothing. The pressure is on Obama to act, but no matter what he does to respond it will be wrong.

    Like I said, I’m not sold on this storyline yet, but if it’s true then it is a thing of machivellian beauty. Kind of like admiring the beauty and skill of some great bird of prey while it snaps the little baby rabbit’s neck.

  2. VinceP1974 says:

    I dont think Hillary was involved with Wright’s invitation.

  3. Terrye says:

    Well even if it is true, who cares? If Obama had not been hanging around with this guy for decades their relationship would not be an issue. And what is more you can be sure if Clinton had not zeroed in on this, the Republicans would have.

  4. Terrye says:

    Remember when Obama first ran for office and the Republican had to drop out of the race because somehow or other his divorce papers became public? And then the Republicans were forced to run Keyes? That is how Obama came to be in the Senate in the first place.

    Who do you think set up that Republican?

  5. CatoRenasci says:

    Terrye: you make an excellent point — Obama was openly behind several ballot challenges to his rivals for the Democratic senate nomination, and the Chicago machine/Obama was undoubtedly behind the exposure of the divorce papers — this may all amount to a case of “what goes around, comes around” and “if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas.”

  6. VinceP1974 says:

    The Borg

  7. missy1 says:

    I think the ballot challenges were against Dorothy Palmer who is now a supporter, go figure.

    His campaign was behind both the Hull(dem primary opponent) and later Ryan smear. A reporter from the Chicago Trib, the paper that pushed for the release of the divorce papers, admitted it.

    Axelrod, former employee of the Trib who was working for Obama, was rumored to have leaked Hull’s domestic abuse information to coincide with a press conference or speech(can’t remember which) Obama was giving on domestic abuse.

    Also, Axelrod was going to run Hull’s campaign at first so he may have known from that about what went on in Hull’s divorce.

    This is from memory, probably more details floating around about it.

  8. WWS says:

    re: those comments you posted from Reynold’s website:
    If we could look behind the “anonymous” tag, one would read:




    Your ex-friend, Michelle Obama

  9. VinceP1974 says:


    I. 1996 ILLINOIS STATE SENATE 13TH DIST. PRIMARY: Unopposed by challenging opponent’s petitions and having them forced off ballot.

    Obama won the 1996 primary unopposed after knocking four opposing Democrats off the primary ticket by challenging their petitions, including the incumbent, Sen. Alice Palmer who had stepped down to run for Congress, informally endorsed Obama, lost, and re-entered the race for the 13th District seat.

    A. Ruthless Technicalities.
    “The day after New Year’s 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city’s South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama’s four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.
    But in that initial bid for political office, Obama quickly mastered the bare-knuckle arts of Chicago electoral politics. His overwhelming legal onslaught signaled his impatience to gain office, even if that meant elbowing aside an elder stateswoman like Palmer.

    A close examination of Obama’s first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it.”

    B. Alice Palmer, et al.
    “Palmer served the district in the Illinois Senate for much of the 1990s. Decades earlier, she was working as a community organizer in the area when Obama was growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia. She risked her safe seat to run for Congress and touted Obama as a suitable successor, according to news accounts and interviews. But when Palmer got clobbered in that November 1995 special congressional race, her supporters asked Obama to fold his campaign so she could easily retain her state Senate seat.

    Obama not only refused to step aside, he filed challenges that nullified Palmer’s hastily gathered nominating petitions, forcing her to withdraw.

    Another candidate he eliminated, long-shot contender Gha-is Askia, now says that Obama’s petition challenges belied his image as a champion of the little guy and crusader for voter rights. “Why say you’re for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates?” Askia said. “He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?”

    In a recent interview, Obama granted that “there’s a legitimate argument to be made that you shouldn’t create barriers to people getting on the ballot.”

    But the unsparing legal tactics were justified, he said, by obvious flaws in his opponents’ signature sheets. “To my mind, we were just abiding by the rules that had been set up,” Obama recalled.

    “I gave some thought to … should people be on the ballot even if they didn’t meet the requirements,” he said. “My conclusion was that if you couldn’t run a successful petition drive, then that raised questions in terms of how effective a representative you were going to be.””

    “Had Palmer survived the petition challenge, Obama would have faced the daunting task of taking on an incumbent senator. Palmer’s elimination marked the first of several fortuitous political moments in Obama’s electoral success: He won the 2004 primary and general elections for U.S. Senate after tough challengers imploded when their messy divorce files were unsealed.

    And he defended his use of ballot maneuvers: “If you can win, you should win and get to work doing the people’s business.”” Source generally: Obama knows his way around a ballot, David Jackson and Ray Long, Chicago Tribune, April 3, 2007

    After forcing out his fellow Democrats in the primary, Obama was elected unopposed to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 representing the 13th District, comprising the university neighborhood of Hyde Park in south Chicago.

    III. 2000 U.S. Representative Primary: Lost against Incumbent.

    In Obama’s first real test as a politician, he lost handily (by approximately 30% of the vote) to the incumbent and fellow African-American Bobby Rush.

    Obama Adviser and former Congressman Abner J. Mikva was quoted as saying ““Bobby Rush had not been the most active member of Congress from Illinois, but there was no issue that made him particularly vulnerable,” Mr. Mikva said. “He hadn’t robbed a bank or beaten his grandmother or things like that. In that respect, I was concerned.” NY Times, September 9, 2007.

    IV. 2004 U.S. SENATE PRIMARY: Unopposed due to “late-breaking” scandal resulting from divorce records being unsealed.

    “In early polls leading up to the March 16, 2004, primary election, candidate Blair Hull enjoyed a substantial lead and widespread name recognition resulting from a well-financed advertisement effort.” Then ironically scandal took out Blair Hull. Obama was once again unopposed in the primary.

    A month before the primary elections a news story broke out regarding his divorce from his ex-wife. She had sought a restraining order against him during their divorce in 1998. Hull tried to keep the divorce records sealed, but pressure from journalists and his opposing candidates forced him to release them.

    The papers claimed that his ex-wife alleged that during a physical fight between them he had threatened to kill her, this led to his arrest for battery, however no charges were ever filed. Source: The Rise and Fall of Blair Hull, William Voegeli, The Claremont Institute, March 19, 2004

    V. 2004 U.S. SENATE GENERAL ELECTION: Scandal knocked out Republican candidate due to divorce records being unsealed.
    The Republican nominee, Jack Ryan, withdrew due to a sex scandal on June 25, 2004, and other potential draftees (most notably former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka) declined to run. On August 8, 2004 – with 86 days to go before the general election – the Illinois Republican Party drafted Alan Keyes to run against Democrat Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate.
    Ryan and actress Jeri Ryan divorced in 1999 in California, and the records of the divorce were sealed at their mutual request. Five years later, when Ryan’s Senate campaign began, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and WLS-TV, the local ABC affiliate, sought to have the records released. Both Ryan and his wife agreed to make their divorce records public, but not make the custody records public, claiming that the custody records could be harmful to their son if released.

    On June 22, 2004, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider, a Democrat, agreed to release the custody files. The decision to release these files generated much controversy because it went against both parents’ direct request and because it reversed the earlier decision to seal the papers in the best interest of the child. In those files, Jeri Ryan alleged that Jack Ryan had taken her to sex clubs in several cities, intending for them to have sex in public.
    At the time of the release, Jeri Ryan, issued had a conciliatory statement, saying that she considered her ex-husband “a friend” and had “no doubt that he will make an excellent senator.” She also said that “there was never any physical abuse in our marriage — either to myself or to our son — nor, to my knowledge, was he ever unfaithful to me.”

    The allegations were never proven, and in fact, Ryan was awarded additional custody rights at the end of the hearing, suggesting the allegations were not deemed reliable by the judge.

  10. crosspatch says:

    I believe that Wright carries a lot more weight with the Chicago community than Obama does. In a “pissing match” (excuse my lingo but that is what it amounts to) in Chicago between Wright and Obama, Obama is going to lose. This could end up costing Obama considerable support in the urban black community outside of Chicago, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Louis Farrakhan sees his enthusiasm for Obama to be somewhat diminished relative to what it might have been after the events of recent days.

    Among some people, Obama could be seen as having tossed a hero of the black community under the bus in order to appease the white vote.

    The fact of the matter is that Obama has surrounded himself with racists his whole life and he owes his current station in life to those racists such as Wright who have supported him in his local community. To ditch those supporters now, when he finds them an embarrassment at the national level, isn’t going to go over well in many communities.

    One way or another you “dance with who brung ya”. Obama was brought to the dance by people like Wright, and he is going to have to acknowledge that. His ditching of Wright and others of his ilk who have made many of the same statements and arguments (such as Farrakhan) is going to cost Obama dearly.

  11. crosspatch says:

    Oh, and I suspect the first black President will be, like Dr. Martin Luther King was, a Republican, not a Democrat.

  12. MerlinOS2 says:

    When Obama got much more successful in the race against Hillary than most had thought possible advisors and other realized the Wright issues could be explosive.

    So lets do a lot of stage play politics with high drama and have Obama kick the pastor to the curb.

    Just like he moved to a new city and started all over again as a virgin.

    He has now done his part and the teflon has been applied.

  13. Mata says:

    Exactly correct, Merlin. Congrats… so few are “getting it” accurately.

    AJ… love ya dearly and always enjoy your dissertations. But you and Anchoress are so barking up the wrong tree here.

    NYTs, one year ago today:

    Mr. Wright, who has long prided himself on criticizing the establishment, said he knew that he may not play well in Mr. Obama’s audition for the ultimate establishment job.

    “If Barack gets past the primary, he might have to publicly distance himself from me,” Mr. Wright said with a shrug. “I said it to Barack personally, and he said yeah, that might have to happen.”

    Distancing was necessary. How best to do that after stated undying devotion and admiration? Have a fight in the media.

    This is nothing but an orchestrated campaign play for political, staged by both players. HRC was coming up in the popular vote over the next primaries. BHO must win popular significantly or else the DNC is justified in handing Hillary the nomination – sans criticism – because of electoral college states.

    To the DNC, media and Dem voters, Obama is “brave”, “courageous”, and a wounded victim. This low poll numbers stuff is temporary. A dip that will reverse in a week or so.

    It’s planned, we were told about it a year ago, and yet still everyone wants to blame Hillary. Frankly, she’d be happier if that Wright-Obama connection were still intact…. as would the GOP. As long as that ideology was vague and in play, it was fair game.

    A public divorce between Wright-Obama benefits only Wright (book sales with controversial face time on air) and Obama (Wright becomes atonement instead of associate/radical).

  14. missy1 says:

    Thanks Vince, you uncovered the correct facts. I must have had Dorothy Tillman on my mind when thinking of Alice Palmer. They are both hooked into Chicago politics and are much the same, Dorothy is the one that does the hat thing.

    I’m just a great-granny, have those senior moments. But I do remember enough to know it was a dirty campaign and Obama and staff were up to their elbows in it.

    He’s got that new kind of campaign thing going though. Eyebrows raised.

    Mata, I have to congratulate you, I knew when Wright came out a couple of days ago it was to cover for Obama, posted it but never pushed the submit button, didn’t think anyone would believe me, wanted to support that P-something person in the other thread that had it right. Good going, know that you are also right. Been an Illinois resident for over 55 years, suffer through Chi politics all the time and am pleased to see others figuring this mess out.

  15. AJStrata says:


    Actually I am not missing the point – your missing the elegance of it all. Obama is clearly ticked off, and this is THE WORSE time for this show to go on the road.

    A good political operative would have seen this coming and used it to injure Obama at a key point in time determined by his opposition – not by Obama. The timing was set by Clinton and Wright – they triggered Obama’s plan to hurt him the most instead of letting him trigger it to help him.

    All it took was some quid pro quo for Wright to exact some revenge on Clinton’s time table. This is not helping Obama.

    Sorry folks, but DC politics is a very sophisticated and subtle game played by professionals. This why it is not something just anyone can dabble in.

    If Clinton does well in NC (and polls are starting to turn her way) she will have the big momentum and the popular vote and Obama will have to sit it out until 2012 or 2016. That is the Dem Machine plan now – to push Obama out of 2008.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  16. Mata says:

    Lawdy, this is so far down in the threads you may not even get this to your attention, AJ.

    INRE the “worse time” for the show, that could not be helped. BHO thought he had the Wright issue contained after his A More Perfect Union speech. Wrong… Instead it simmered constantly on the back burner thru the media, the blogs – slowly evaporating his credibility.

    Per the NYTs quotes from Wright, they probably didn’t think they’d have to do this… if at all… until the general against the GOP. But with Hillary’s “come back girl” progress, he couldn’t risk the nomination loss, and having cautious supers sitting it out to see what would come of the the Wright liability.

    Now the liability is gone with his public condemnation. It’s 48 hours after the Wright bomb and their public divorce. What has happened? One super switched his vote FROM Hillary TO Obama, and he picked up three more. Hillary picked up two. At the last count I heard, he’s up 4-2 on supers amidst the heat of the moment.

    Not bad results thus far. But we won’t know the true success or failure of the staged play until all primaries are over and all super votes are in.

  17. AJStrata says:


    I understand your point, I think things are snowballing on Obama. Personally I think Clinton is the easiest to beat. Once she destroys the bond with African Americans and America faced Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton they will all go McCain. Obama wasn’t expecting Wright to turn on him like this – and there is nothing the neophyte can do.

    The truth is the AA community sees this as the final knife in the back – it will hurt the dems across the board if Obama is outed.