I have to say that the current flap over the Reverend Wright seems overblown in a lot of ways. Frankly, I think that Obama's answer, "Those aren't my thoughts and those aren't my words." ought to put the whole thing to rest. I mean, can we really hold politicians accountable for the acts and words of persons with which they have some association, no matter how indirect or remote? I for one wouldn't want to be held accountable for the words or actions of my friends and family, merely because I have some association with them. Jesus, can you imagine? If you want to run for high office, you restrict your associations to priests and nuns - no, even that might not be safe!
I understand the argument that there is some reflection of character in the friends and associates you keep. But, there is a large distinction between actively embracing someone's ideas, working with them to realize those ideas versus merely listening to someone spout racist or politically incorrect drivel and remaining their friend in spite of their flaws. This is a tempest in a tea pot.
Obama has a real opportunity here if he wishes to take advantage. He can use this entire episode to create a stark contrast between himself and the kind of stereotypical vision of black clergy that many whites have - the kind of thing that really does scare them in to voting against someone because of race.