Slowly but surely, the halo is starting to getting knocked askew from Rock Star Barack. He's backpedaling more than a Vikings defensive back. Now Jeremiah Wright, who has been Obama's pastor for 20 years, is his "former pastor," and not just because Wright is retiring from the Chicago church that Obama has attended for 20 years. Apparently his friend and mentor, the man who Sen. Obama said brought him to Jesus, is a non-factor. Obama is also claiming that he never heard the incendiary comments that have been widely attribued to Wright. That should be easy enough to fact-check and I don't doubt that the Chicago media are already on the case. It's not clear who Obama's pastor is yet, but it appears the job is open. I'd like to nominate Uncle Ben for the job.
According to the reports, Sen. Obama is also re-evaluating his relationship with Tony Rezko, even as the evidence mounts that he is much more beholden to Rezko than he's let on. Apparently the total haul that Rezko provided to Obama is about $250,000, enough to pay Eliott Spitzer's personal services tab for at least a week.
It will be interesting if these two issues will blow over in the next few weeks or not. Those of us who noted that Obama came up in Chicago sensed that he would have a few stories he'd have a hard time explaining once scrutiny finally arrived. As Obama casually tosses longtime friends and associates overboard, he is starting to be revealed as less a transformational figure than a conventional politician. There's no particular shame in that. It also means that Obama has finally lost control of the narrative he has controlled throughout the primary season. He still has an excellent chance of winning the nomination. But now he will be judged on the merits, not on the narrative.