Barack Obama, in the wake of his much-discussed treatise on race, said today that the controversy over his former pastor that led to the speech has reminded him of the audacity of his White House bid.
"In some ways, this controversy has actually shaken me up a little bit and gotten me back into remembering that the odds of me being elected have always been lower than some of the other conventional candidates," he says in an interview to air tonight on CNN.
He declined to speculate whether the hullabaloo will hurt him.
But most of the early reviews have been glowing for Tuesday's lengthy speech on America's racial history and challenges. Newspaper editorial boards across the country and many commentators effusively praised the speech, saying that Obama had tackled the thorny issue of race with an honesty and complexity rare for a politician.
Another measure of the speech's impact: It has been viewed on YouTube more than 1.6 million times and counting -- far more than the snippets of Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s sermons on Sept. 11, Hillary Clinton, and other topics that stoked the controversy.
But other pundits said Obama's speech still had not completely resolved his relationship with Wright and predicted the issue could still hurt Obama, especially among white working-class voters.
And a new national poll out tonight hints that the Wright issue might have hurt Obama.
Clinton led Obama 49 percent to 42 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters in Gallup's daily tracking polling conducted this Sunday to Tuesday -- while the controversy was in full bloom. It was her first lead in six weeks, following her strong showing on Super Tuesday.