Everyone (and by "everyone" I mean those strange bedfellows, Hillary Clinton and the conservative commentariat) seems to think that the various extreme claims made by Senator Obama's pastor, the Rev. Wright, hurt Obama. I'm not sure I see that. The fight right now, and probably in the general election, is for the moderate middle. If I'm right that the entire justification for the Obama candidacy is racial reconciliation ("A black president will help heal our racial divide, and I'm the only candidate who can deliver that promise"), doesn't Rev. Wright's extremism help Obama with the moderate middle?
When moderates contemplate reconciling radical and alienated blacks with the majority culture, what they want is for blacks to come to the middle -- for Rev. Wright to become (in tone and temperament) more like Senator Obama. They certainly don't contemplate changing themselves. In other words, for moderates Wright's extremism makes the work President Obama would do, just by being president, that much more urgent.
I understand that mine is a minority view, but it might be shared by the Obama campaign. OJ comes close to the truth by (almost) noting that the campaign is using the Wright kerfluffle as cover for what could be truly damaging admissions about his relationship with Tony Rezko.