UPDATE, October 13, 2008: Louis Farrakhan calls Barack Obama "the Messiah."
"You are the instruments that God is gonna use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking."
Louis Farrakhan loves Barack Obama.
He considers Obama to be a savior, literally.
The 74-year-old Farrakhan, addressing an estimated crowd of 20,000 people at the annual Saviours' Day celebration, never outrightly endorsed Obama but spent most of the nearly two-hour speech praising the Illinois senator.
"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."
Farrakhan compared Obama to the religion's founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father.
"A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he told the crowd of mostly followers. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall."
Will Obama brag about Farrakhan's support?
Will he list Farrakhan on his website as a supporter?
Said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton: "Sen. Obama has been clear in his objections to Minister Farrakhan's past pronouncements and has not solicited the minister's support."
Obama has distanced himself from Farrakhan in the past.
Posted by Shailagh Murray, on January 15, 2008:
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign moved quickly today to quell another race-related flap, this one involving Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan.
Columnist Richard Cohen stirred the pot this morning in an op-ed column in The Washington Post, writing:
Barack Obama is a member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan.
Cohen chronicled Farrakhan's long record of inflammatory statements, from denigrating the Holocaust, to accusing Jewish people of victimizing African Americans. He did stipulate, "It's important to state right off that nothing in Obama's record suggests he harbors anti-Semitic views or agrees with Wright when it comes to Farrakhan." But, he suggested, "Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him."
The column spread like wildfire around the blogosphere -- especially on the right -- and, this afternoon, the Obama campaign responded with an unequivocal statement on it from the candidate himself.
"I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan," Obama said in the statement. "I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."
He doesn't need Farrakhan's praise. That's no boost for him.
It's much more problematic than a photo of Obama dressed as a Somali Elder.
"America must be burned! America is no good at all. "