But here he is now coming on strong, clear as a costly portrait and sounding for all the world like a gifted professor of music or history, an orator of quick wit who can, oh, also speak in tongues.
Today here he was, Rev. Wright, holding forth at the National Press Club in Washington, without the thoughtful and hesitant-sounding uhs of his best-known former congregant, one Barack Obama.
"This is not about Obama, McCain, Hillary, Bill or Chelsea, this is about the black church," Wright said.
As you might imagine, he said quite a bit more than that, said it funny and said it with devil-may-care assurance. (Okay, devil may not be the right word.)
Why not see it for yourself?
For a transcript of it, click here.
Actually, the Detroit discourse was a bit, let's say, freer, in the black preaching sense of the word.
Here's a portion of it.
This is all part of a venturing forth that began last week with the Reverend's appearance on PBS where he was interviewed by Bill Moyers. Then it was over to Detroit, with leaders of the NAACP, and then the Press Club in Washington, and then a symposium on black religion.
This is, indeed, in its total, a sanctified, pentatonic version of Obama's much-praised oral take-out on race a month or so back, a speech that itself was a reaction to crescendoing criticism from Hillary C., McCain and others, who pronounced themselves outraged, simply outraged, that a man of the cloth could carry himself with such scant feeling of affection for his country.
Of course, among the loud critics, only McCain ever wore the uniform of his country. Rev. Wright spent two years in the Marine Corps and four in the Navy.
This stuff is almost too good to be true, folks.
But it is, which is why the last two posts have been on the reverend.