Barak Obama did what he needed to do. He unequivocally denounced the Reverend Wright's statements. Will that be enough? Who knows. Hillary has had her own problems with the Bosnia sniper fire fiasco among others. McCain has not benefited much from these negatives. The polls show him roughly even with Obama and behind to Clinton. What's he doing wrong? Should he respond to the Wright controversy? If so, how?
First of all, on Wright, I think he's doing right by staying out of it and stating that he's going to take Obama at his word when he says he doesn't share those views. He should not, however, scold others for bringing up and evaluating the issue for themselves. It's not up to the candidate to tell the voters what is and isn't proper to take into account when deciding who to vote for as leader of the free world. McCain should continue to engage the African American community and communicate how free market principals can benefit them, and to listen to their legitimate, specific concerns to see how free market solutions might be applied.
He needs to make some news of his own, not by spotlighting the faults of his rivals, but by getting aggressive about the message of lower taxes, less regulation and market based solutions for health care and entitlements, as well as continuing to communicate his strategy for dealing with Iraq. To date, his problem isn't the message itself, it's his delivery. Often he sounds sheepish, almost apologetic for his stance on such issues. If he's not passionate about his own viewpoint, how can we be?
If he presents a clear alternative to higher taxes, surrender in Iraq and a more socialist United States, he could win by a landslide. So far, he's not been very convincing about his conviction on these points, except perhaps on Iraq. A coalition of conservatives, capitalists and libertarians could get behind a strong candidate, but they wont carry one or drag one to victory kicking and screaming. They're looking for a leader, not a spokesmodel.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: You can't win if you wont fight.