Was Obama in church on July 22, 2007?

Ronald Kessler draws attention to Jim Davis’s report on Barack Obama’s attendance at a Jeremiah Wright sermon on July 22, 2007. In the sermon, Wright blamed the “white arrogance” of America’s majority for the woes of the world. Davis noted that Wright emphasized the point by referring to the United States as the “United States of White America.” According to Davis, Obama nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made. Displaying the theological erudition that Obama has continued to tout in Wright, Wright attributed the cause of the Iraq war to “Bush administration bulls—-.”
The Los Angeles Times blog reports the Obama campaign’s denial that Obama attended the July 22 service; it states that Obama was in Miami that day. (Davis’s story was originally posted in August 2007; the Obama campaign apparently did not take notice of it until yesterday.) In fact, according to a Washington Post listing, Obama was scheduled to address the national council of La Raza’s annual conference on July 22, 2007. The time of Obama’s scheduled appearance is listed as “n/a.” Mickey Kaus has posted a La Raza press release listing Obama’s scheduled appearance at 1:30 p.m. There is also video of Obama’s appearance. As Kaus says, the ball is in Kessler’s court.
UPDATE: Ronald Kessler has issued the following clarification:

The Obama campaign has told members of the press that Senator Obama was not in church on the day cited, July 22, because he had a speech he gave in Miami at 1:30 PM. Our writer, Jim Davis, says he attended several services at Senator Obama’s church during the month of July, including July 22. The church holds services three times every Sunday at 7:30 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central time. While both the early morning and evening service allowed Sen. Obama to attend the service and still give a speech in Miami, Mr. Davis stands by his story that during one of the services he attended during the month of July, Senator Obama was present and sat through the sermon given by Rev. Wright as described in the story. Mr. Davis said Secret Service were also present in the church during Senator Obama’s attendance. Mr. Davis’ story was first published on Newsmax on August 9, 2007. Shortly before publication, Mr. Davis contacted the press office of Sen. Obama several times for comment about the Senator’s attendance and Rev. Wright’s comments during his sermon. The Senator’s office declined to comment.

The clarification implies that the sermon in issue may have occurred on a Sunday in July 2007 before or after July 22. Although Davis’s August 9, 2007 report carries the authentic voice of Jeremiah Wright as we have come to know it, Davis or someone else should be able to nail down the date in issue.


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