March 20, 2008
Categories: Bill Clinton
Jeremiah Wright was White House guest
The recent coverage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright has often cast him as a marginal, almost fringe figure, but Trinity Church is a major Chicago institution, and Wright has long been a prominent pastor on the American scene.
And an anonymous blog set up to defend his church offers some compelling photographic evidence of this: A photograph of Wright and President Clinton, which it says was taken on September 11, 1998 -- the date of a White House gathering for religious leaders.
[UPDATE: The blog seems to have taken that item down; here's the full image that was posted.]
Hillary Clinton, according to her recently-released schedule for the day, was present at the gathering. Al Gore also appears in the picture.
"In the course of his two terms in office, Bill Clinton met with, corresponded with and took pictures with literally tens of thousands of people," Clinton spokesman Jay Carson told Politico.
That's where Clinton reportedly told the assembled clerics, at the depth of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, that he had "repented."
As CNN reported at the time:
"I have been on quite a journey these last few weeks to get to the end of this, to the rock-bottom truth of where I am," Clinton said in his most emotional and dramatic statement since the affair with Lewinsky became public. "I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned."
Agreeing with his critics that he was not "contrite" enough during his initial Aug. 17 statement, Clinton said, "It is important to me that everybody who has been hurt know that the sorrow I feel is genuine. First and most important, my family, my friends, my staff, my cabinet, Monica Lewinsky and her family and the American people. I have asked all for their forgiveness."
His comments were the first time the president has publicly apologized to Lewinsky. Clinton went on to describe the journey he has been on during the weeks since his first public admission, saying that he has finally repented.
"I have repented," Clinton said. "I must have God's help to be the person that I want to be. A willingness to give the very forgiveness I seek. A renunciation of the pride and the anger, which cloud judgment, lead people to excuse and compare and to blame and complain."
UPDATE: The New York Times later this evening posted the same photograph, and said it had been provided by the Obama campaign. And here's a screenshot of the photo on the anonymous blog, before it was removed. Curious things, these anonymous blogs.