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.

Advertisement

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 hillarydeathwatch@gmail.com.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?