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Obama Dumps Wright

Having caught the second half of the presser and read quotes from the rest, it seems to me that Obama did a skillful job today in denouncing Jeremiah Wright. The one thing I wonder about is whether Obama showed enough passion. With the caveat that I did not see his initial opening statement, there was a certain coolness to his remarks. I know it's not so hip to cite David Gergen, but I thought the man had it right on CNN last night when he said Obama needed to show real, visceral anger at Wright--and I didn't see much evidence of that (although Obama did say twice that he was "angry"). On the other hand, Obama took a long series of questions without demonstrating any of the defensiveness or irritation he showed at the ABC debate in Philly.

The first big question now is whether Wright comes back at Obama, painfully prolonging the story. If he doesn't, the press might be willing to let it peter out. So the second big question is how hard John McCain pushes it--and, finally,  whether Hillary dares pour some fuel on the fire.

P.S. One interesting footnote: A reporter asked Obama what he thinks of black liberation theology and why he chose a church that espouses it. Obama didn't want to touch it, saying he was "not a theologian."

--Michael Crowley