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June 02, 2009

Obama's Secret Meeting with Wright

Renegade: The Making of a PresidentAccording to the new book, Renegade: The Making of a President, Barack Obama held a secret meeting with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright towards the end of the 2008 presidential primary season. The goal was to get Wright to end his public appearances which were believed to be hurting Obama in the battleground states of North Carolina and Indiana.

"It was time to talk directly to Wright. Over the next week, Obama's friends at Trinity tried to talk their pastor out of his comeback tour. But by now the church was deeply divided between Obama supporters and Wright supporters, and the conversation was going nowhere. So the candidate decided to go see Wright himself in secret, in Chicago. First came the dance over where to meet: one intermediary suggested a neutral location, but Obama said he was happy to go wherever Wright wanted. They ended up talking at Wright's home, and Obama tried to adopt the tone of a concerned friend giving advice. He did not want to tell his former pastor what to do, but he did want to nudge him in the right direction by making him aware of what was about to happen. Wright wasn't heading for vindication; he was heading for vilification."

Obama ultimately wasn't successful in getting Wright to stay quiet, but he did end up winning the North Carolina primary by 15 points and losing the Indiana primary by just one point.


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