Wednesday, April 30, 2008
“April is the cruelest month,” wrote T.S. Eliot, and it’s difficult to imagine that Barack Obama and his people would in any way disagree. For the past 29 days, Obama has suffered through the rockiest stretch of his bid for the Democratic nomination — a period in which he rarely won a news cycle, as a series of blunders and controversies made it seem increasingly as though he was losing control of the narrative of his campaign and of his public image. Then came his extraordinary press conference yesterday, in which Obama sought both to make a clean break with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and, in the process, regain a grip on his destiny. Did he pull it off? If you believe the conventional punditocratic wisdom, the answer is an unqualified yes. Indeed, there are even those who believe Obama accomplished something greater: that he pulled off what constitutes his own Sister Souljah moment.