The Rev. Wright resurfaces, which helps buoy Clinton's chances.

Down and on the way out.
April 28 2008 3:44 PM

The Hillary Deathwatch

The Rev. Wright resurfaces, buoying Clinton's chances.

The Hillary Deathwatch is now a widget. Add it to your Facebook page or blog.

With every new sound bite, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright bails another bucketful of water from Hillary Clinton's campaign dinghy. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is being pegged as a liability for Democrats in congressional races. Clinton's chances float up 0.5 points to 12.4 percent.


By the time Wright took to the stage this morning at the National Press Club, he had already made two high-profile appearances, on PBS and at an NAACP dinner in Detroit. Even though his rhetoric was calmer today than in Detroit, he managed to keep his name in the news, and, combined with his earlier remarks, he's sure to dominate the cable-news cycle. The conventional wisdom says that every time Wright shows up on a television screen, it hurts Obama, which we're inclined to believe for now. There's an outside chance that by going public with new comments, Wright can drown out the older, more inflammatory ones. But that's a nuanced view, and if this primary season has taught us anything, it's that nuance doesn't win elections.

But even if Wright wasn't making appearances in the flesh, he'd still be showing up on TV screens in some markets. A Mississippi Republican is using Obama and Wright in a new ad to attack his Democratic challenger for Congress. Obama has endorsed the Democratic candidate, Travis Childers, and the ad scolds Childers for not distancing himself from Obama after Obama didn't distance himself from Wright. This plus an earlier adfrom the North Carolina GOP featuring Wright and Obama may make some superdelegates skittish about supporting the senator. Picking a nominee isn't just to ensure your party controls the White House but also to help your party pick up seats in Congress. If Obama and Wright become a liability down-ballot, then Clinton may be seen as a better alternative.

With all of this bad news for Obama, we should note that the entire country doesn't hate him quite yet. A new Newsweek poll reports that more people have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton than favorable. Obama and McCain, meanwhile, both have favorable numbers above 50 percent and unfavorable ratings in the low 40s. Interestingly, both Democrats' favorability rankings have gone down considerably since March, but McCain's has stayed relatively level.

For a full list of our Deathwatches, click here. For a primer on Hillary's sinking ship, visit our first Deathwatch entry. Send your own prognostications to



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.