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Should Hillary Have Played Wright Differently?

As long as we're doing what-ifs, John Heilemann has an interesting one in his latest column:  

What if Clinton had gone magnanimous on Obama and the Reverend Wright?
The GOP strategist Alex Castellanos offers an intriguing theory about how Hillary might have reacted differently, and more effectively, to the issue that threatened to swallow Obama. “After the Reverend Wright controversy, Obama was suffering the worst press month of his campaign,” he says. “Hillary had a choice. She could have gotten bigger, more presidential, less political; she could have risen to defend Obama, saying, ‘This is outrageous and has no place in politics.’ Instead, she chose to become smaller, more political, less presidential. She diminished the value of the attacks on him by making them hers. Her instincts betrayed her. What if she had chosen to soar above a weakened Obama? That was her moment. And I believe she missed her last great opportunity to win this race.”

Not sure I believe going magnanimous on Wright per se would have helped much. But I think going a little more magnanimous generally during the last two months would have helped. I thought one of her worst moments was when she piled on Obama while he was already getting pummeled by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. She didn't advance the Ayers story a lick, but she did make herself look profoundly unlikeable.

--Noam Scheiber