Barack Obama has written a well-wrought and definitive statement on the Wright controversy for the Huffington Post. He condemns his former pastor and goes so far as to include the following:
The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.
I take Obama at his word.
UPDATE: Noam Scheiber at The New Republic had this to say:
Whether or not this explanation does the trick depends on two things, I guess: 1.) Most obviously, whether Obama has really never heard Wright preach this kind of stuff. If Obama is somehow placed at a sermon in which Wright went on one of his rants, it’s going to be a disaster. (Then again, it would have been a disaster without or without his HuffPo statement.) 2.) How plausible it is that Obama wouldn’t have known about Wright’s, er, greatest hits. Obama strongly implies he didn’t know his pastor had a habit of giving nutty sermons up until the outset of his presidential campaign. Is that believable? Is there any way to disprove it? If the answers are “yes” and “no” respectively, then he’ll weather this. If not, it could get uncomfortable.
It may be that Obama will regret ever opening his mouth. “Never complain, never explain,” as they old saying goes. Of course, in this case, it wouldn’t have been easy.
Now… what are they thinking over at Casa Clinton?