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Postcard From Latteland

Mike listens to right-wing talk radio on his long-haul overnight truck routes. I listen to NPR during the 10-minute morning drive to my son's day care.

This morning one of the hosts on the Boston NPR affiliate was gushing about Jeremiah Wright. Over the weekend she'd caught his interview with Bill Moyers and his speech to the Detroit NAACP. The host was particularly impressed by the pictures of Wright in his Marine uniform and of Wright as a doctor in the operating room with LBJ that ran during Moyers's program. She had a whole new respect and appreciation for him. Indeed, she said that Wright might be poised to be the "next Billy Graham." 

Last week, John and Noam had an interesting debate about what was behind Obama's poor performance in the Philly suburbs. Noam thought it was because of Ed Rendell; John posited that it was because college-educated voters and voters with post-graduate degrees were turned off by Obama's association with Wright.

John's argument reminded me of Kurt Schmoke's troubles in Baltimore, where, as I explained in this old piece, his white liberal supporters ultimately abandoned him because they were unwilling to accept the various things that he, as a black mayor of a majority-black city, had to do. I started to wonder whether, in the case of Obama, white liberals were going to be similarly unaccepting of the things he did (or maybe had to do) in order to make it as a black politician in Chicago.

But if they're now talking on NPR about Wright as the next Billy Graham, it sounds as if at least some white liberals have moved past mere acceptance and all the way over to celebration.

--Jason Zengerle