Strategists examine Wright's place in race

Nov. 3, 2008 at 5:25 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Some U.S. Republican strategists say John McCain would not have benefited from focusing on Barack Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

McCain's unwillingness to aggressively use Wright's racially incendiary comments are sure to be examined in hindsight if McCain loses the race for the White House, Politico reported Monday.

Obama's relationship with his pastor of 20 years ultimately mattered little in a race dominated by larger issues, said GOP strategist Stuart Stevens.

"This was a race that was about the economy and about change," Stevens said. "It really wasn't about anything else, and all the king's men couldn't make it about anything else."

Even if McCain had agreed to aggressively use Wright to cast doubt on Obama's judgment, his discomfort may have negated its effectiveness, said Terry Nelson, a former McCain campaign manager.

"John McCain has difficulty delivering those kinds of attacks," Nelson said. "It's better to not put a candidate in a position to do something they're not good at."

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