Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Pfleger a headache for Obama. Axelrod documentary on Pfleger.


WASHINGTON -- The Rev. Michael Pfleger's "I'm white! I'm entitled ... black man stealing my show" outburst about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton from the pulpit of the Obama family church, Trinity United Church of Christ, created a political problem for likely Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama that won't disappear.

Pfleger's crusades against guns, prostitution, porn and tobacco have made good copy for years for a fairly admiring local press corps hooked on cheering for the underdog, the poor and the powerless.

Pfleger is the subject of a documentary being made by Chicago-based David Axelrod, Obama's top strategist. On Friday, Axelrod told me in an e-mail that the film project has "been dormant for much of the last two years due to other commitments."

Pfleger -- a headline-making household name in Chicago -- steps onto a national stage at a time an international press corps is making trips to Chicago to dig into Obama's life to learn more about the man who may be president.

As the song goes, everything old is new again. CNN just did an "investigative" piece on how Obama knocked former state Sen. Alice Palmer (D-Chicago) off the ballot so he could run for her seat in 1996 without opposition. That Pfleger welcomed Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to his St. Sabina Church on the South Side -- of interest to out-of-town reporters -- hardly caused a stir in the city because Farrakhan has long lived in Chicago and, well, he's part of the scene, having preached from his own mosque for decades.

With that context, consider the headache Pfleger created for Obama, whom Pfleger told me last April he has known since Obama came to Chicago as a community organizer.

• • Pfleger's divisive comments about Clinton come as Obama has been trying to reach out to working-class white voters who in the later primaries have trended toward Clinton. Pfleger's emergence as an issue comes as Obama's team is trying to close the gap.

• • Pfleger spoke from the Trinity pulpit, of all places, where the inflammatory Rev. Jeremiah Wright preached for decades. Pfleger creates an excuse to revisit the Wright controversy. A GOP strategist told me they will use Pfleger from now until November as an Obama "troubling connection."

• • The disrespectful treatment of Clinton by Pfleger comes as some Clinton backers are trying -- at least for now -- to drive a wedge between women and Obama. In Milwaukee, presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain said, "I think that kind of language and that kind of treatment, of Sen. Clinton, is unwarranted, uncalled for and disgraceful."

• • Chicago's Cardinal Francis George muzzled Pfleger at a time when the Obama campaign is also trying to win over Catholics.


Thanks for the context.

Lynn, I seen you on Fox News last night after the O'Reilly factor. I live in Chicago and I am a Catholic and a Conservative Democrat.

Phleger will never learn is lesson and I don't believe in his apology until he is kicked out of the church. Obama needs to stand up more to his simple remarks. This will definitely come up in the General Election.

Regarding Axelrod, I don't trust him on anything. Axelrod is "Daley's guy". Phleger attended recently at a City Hall stop the violence meeting, marched with Daley. I hope Daley removes Phleger in all appointments that he put Phleger in, I believe one was with the Chicago Police Department.

With all said. Phleger like Wright needs to go. I hope Obama has or will learn his lesson one day in dealing with these kinds of individuals with hate.

Phleger needs to go to confession.

The middle class and working class are always very good at sniffing out the character of presidential candidates. That's why the majority of them don't vote for Obama.

Obama is just not trustworthy. He would deny until evidence is practically shoved it in his face. We have seen the pattern with Rev. Wright when initially, Obama blames Americans for taking things out of context until Wright made a liar out of Obama. Then Obama said that after 20years of listening to Wright, he does know any of these things said by Wright and is surprised. With his church, it is the same pattern. He blames people for blaming the church and now we see the people attending that church clapping and cheering this anti-white and anti-american teaching.

It is way too late! The 91% blacks and the DNC who steal the American's votes in Florida and Michigan will regret that they may claim to have the first AA as their party nominee but it will also be known as the year that the dems will loose that election that they are supposed to win!

Write in Clinton or vote McCain!


Religion & politics - pulpits and showbiz - if you find true spirituality in the darkness of these circus arenas, you can find it anywhere. Grandstanding from the pulpit is a grotesque abomination.

** ALL CATHOLIC PRIESTS SHOULD BE VETTED ** and thoroughly screened for pedophilia ... victims are still surfacing.

No longer does a white collar warrant automatic respect and/or deference. Anyone in a position of authority needs to have a spotless record, especially if they are involved with children.

• • Chicago's Cardinal Francis George muzzled Pfleger at a time when the Obama campaign is also trying to win over Catholics.

The Cardinal has NEVER been able to muzzle this man

Where's the Beef?

I was going to support the Democractic candidate at the beginning of the primary season, whoever it was, though hopeful it would be Clinton. I just wrote Pfleger that as a Catholic, White Woman, I would not be voting for Obama but it would not be because of his race. I did not judge Obama on things others have said and did but on what Obama has said and did. Before I am judged too harshly, please remember that no less than Michelle Obama said many months ago when asked if she would support Clinton if she won the nomination, she "would have to think about it." Will you expect more from me than the wife of a Democractic senator? There are many reasons I don't like Obama but the main one is when he showed his "backside" to Clinton after the Kennedy endorsement. If he wanted me to believe that he didn't want to be seen as gloating, he should have gotten someone with a better "poker face" than Senator Claire McCaskill to back him up. Pfleger has not only caused problems for Obama but others. I did not like Dick Durbin's comment. "Mike is a friend and he went overboard." That's it? Has this man forgotten what we women did to Alan Dixon? If the Republicans in IL have any brains, they will support a woman in the next race against him and remind IL women of his comment. Cardinal George also will look bad if he looks weak. No religion is a democracy. You can vote for the president of the country but you don't get to vote for your pastor. Churches just don't work that way.

Obama is "deeply disappointed" by Pfleger's remarks? That's the best he can muster? A man who is associated with his campaign just denigrated all white people, and women in particular, and he's "deeply disappointed?" He should be shocked, appalled, disgusted - not "deeply disappointed" by Pfleger's remarks. Even McCain did better by saying the remarks are disgraceful. I am "deeply disappointed" in Obama, and he may have just lost my vote.

In his/her shouting--IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THE
FUTURE PRESIDENT CAN DO FOR YOU?--vote4thebest raises a good question.


And, by the way, he didn't denounce anything and he hasn't really left the church.

He simply said there was a "cultural and stylistic gap." Translated: He just doesn't take the wife and kids there anymore, but he agrees with them, though he'd say the racist, mocking, sexist, hate-filled excrement that Wright and Pfelgar spouted--and which TUCC allowed and condones, evidently--differently to a non-black audience.

And, yes, there is something soon-to-be-elected President McCain can do.

If the Dems are stupid enough to actually nominate Obama, then McCain and his supporters can press every one of Barack Obama's lies, distortions, flip-flops, etc.--as well as his empty legislative record, his affilation with his Marxist mentors, his anti-Americanism, his ignorance of history and economics and international relations, his naivete, his disdain for the working class and the unborn, and his demonstrated lack of partisanship in the U.S. Senate and elsewhere, his affiliation with Tony Rezko and more--into the public's consciousness.

And they can do that non-stop until the hour that the first vote can be cast in the November's election.

Then we'll all see how much of a whiner Obama is--and how little testicularity the leftist, liberal, narcissistic, inexperienced junior senator from Illinois has--and how truly unfit and unqualified he is to be anything more, than, say, junior senator from Illinois.

A While back I read an article that stated Axlerod had got
a public relations firm to clean up "image" of Wright's church....his friend JIM TERMEN of Jascula and Terman did a
pro-bono job for Wright's church and this church gives the good reverand a million $$$ home...let's get real!!!and then i see why...Axlerod is listed as a Chair-person of the Michael Pfledger's church...gee... Chicago is not a big of city as thought...are all these radicals member of same chamber of commerce????

i think the rnc, the fbi, the cia and other agencies should investigate barack obama, something smells really bad here. the aa's and the eggheads can not win this election for their annointed obama. he doesnt have the white vote, latino's, women, seniors, catholics, jews, and joe lunch bucket's. when the dnc ruled sat., all of the world and our country saw what happened...30 people, decided how millions of voters had already decided. they must have flunked history and the constitutional classes i remember taking in the 8th grade ! 15th and 19th amendments,one vote,a constitutional right !wtf ?? how embarrasing to watch on national television.

Interesting info about the Axelrod documentary. I hope everyone wises up. Obama is a racist. From what I saw on FOX it appears as if the TUC parishioners believe Obama is "leaving" the church for political reasons. In my opinion, it looked like they believed he was just telling the media he quit the church so he could no longer be held responsible for all of the hate and bigotry of the black liberation theology at TUC. Members appeared to believe he was still a member and his leaving the church was just a ruse. I hope the Stone statements on Geraldo are true and they release the alleged video of Michelle Obama calling whites "Whitey." Hopefully, that would help American's to really wise up.

By The People: The Election of Barack Obama-saw it on HBO but want to DVD which comes out TOMORROW

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 31, 2008 11:23 AM.

McCain says Pfleger slam on Clinton is "unwarranted, uncalled for and disgraceful." was the previous entry in this blog.

At Democratic Rules and Bylaws meeting Plouffe speaks of delegate "gift" for Clinton. Ickes: "Concession? Give me a break." is the next entry in this blog.

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