I also really respect the fact that he didn't just throw Rev. Wright underneath the bus.There's a lesson here. Republicans have a reputation for standing by their friends through thick and thin. It's a reputation that may or may not be deserved (they usually find ways to quietly get rid of their albatrosses once the cameras move on), but their public posture is almost always to defend their allies, attack their enemies, and insist that they won't abandon their friends. And people respect them for it. Most of us prize loyalty even if we don't always admit it, and most of us recognize politically motivated firings for the cowardly acts they often are.
This is one reason that it was a mistake for Obama to allow Samantha Power to leave his campaign. Obviously there are times when someone really does need to be fired, but Power's conduct was nowhere near that threshhold. On balance, I'll bet most voters would have thought better of him if he'd defended her instead of casting her loose.