Aberdeen, South Dakota – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said yesterday that, though he doesn’t know why, “inflammatory and controversial pastors just have a thing for me.”
Mr. Obama quit Trinity United Church of Christ after video surfaced of Rev. Michael Pfleger mocking Hillary Clinton during a guest sermon there. The video quickly gained momentum on the internet. This was in addition to the already damaging controversy surrounding videos of statements made by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and it proved to be the last straw for Obama and his relationship to the church. Following a campaign stop, he spoke to reporters about why it might be that pastors who make such statements seem to gravitate towards him.
“I don’t know why it is, honestly,” Obama said. “I mean, I must have some kind of look or something that says, ‘Hey, bat-shit crazy pastor, come to me. Over here.’ I don’t know. Michelle thinks it’s maybe my cologne. But I don’t think so. I think it’s more a feeling. Like a tractor beam. A tractor beam for loopdie-loo pastors.”
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on the new controversy surrounding Obama, saying to reporters while campaigning in San Jian, Puerto Rico, “Well, I think after a while you have to start asking what it is about this man that attracts these kind of pastors or religious leaders or what have you. I mean, you don’t see pastors of mine on YouTube saying these crazy things. Now, granted, my spiritual mentor is Billy Graham, and he’s around a thousand years old, but still…”
Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate for president, also chimed in on the issue. Speaking to reporters on his campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express, McCain said, “Well, again, I don’t know these people personally, but I think it reflects on the person himself when figures who have been a part of his life, or endorsed him or something like that, make these kind of inflammatory remarks.” Reporters then reminded the senator that he recently rejected the support of not one, but two pastors, for inflammatory comments of their own. “I did what now? You’re saying I rejected someone? When? When did that happen? Last week? No, no. Impossible. Last week, I was… I was on vacation all week with my wife. In Tahiti.” Joe Lieberman, who appeared at McCain’s side seemingly from nowhere, then whispered in the candidate’s ear. After listening for a moment, McCain said, “Actually, uh, I wasn’t in Tahiti, on vacation, last week, as you all know. And I know. I mean, obviously I know I was campaigning last week. In America. Somewhere…in America. Because I’m running for president in America. So clearly I couldn’t have been in Tahiti. But wherever I was in America, you can be sure I wasn’t rejecting the support of any pastor or religious figure who said anything offensive. I can assure you of that.”
Once again, Lieberman whispered in McCain’s ear. McCain listened, then turned back to reporters and said, “Uh, of course, you and I both know that I did reject the support of two pastors last week. You and I also know that I was kidding just now when I said I hadn’t, just as I was kidding when I said I was in Tahiti a minute before that. I do…I do a lot of kidding. It keeps the campaign light. And fun. I am still campaigning, right? It’s not November, is it?”