Pastor Strife Forces Obama to Get Tough

Forceful break with Wright signals change in tone at crucial juncture
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2008 6:09 AM CDT
Barack Obama folds his notes after speaking at a news conference in Winston-Salem N.C., Tuesday, April 29, 2008, about his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's angry break with his former pastor marks a dramatic change in tone for the Democratic hopeful—and the party's superdelegates are paying close attention, the New York Times reports. Obama's forceful handling of the furor has impressed many but the revival of thorny racial issues ahead of next week's primaries is causing some to fret.

“I’m a little surprised at how much traction it is getting," said one undecided superdelegate. "I do believe it is beginning to reflect negatively on Senator Obama’s campaign." Another said that he'd never seen a winning candidate get through the primaries without trouble and that Obama was getting better at dealing with it. "It’s challenging to him," he said. "I see this as a learning experience.”