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Obama Fundraising Off Wright-Race Speech

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Sen. Barack Obama's latest fundraising drive -- own a "piece of history."

And by history, the campaign means a DVD copy of his speech on race.

It's an interesting tactic, since the speech was given to respond to the political fury that erupted over his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Here's the note from the Obama fundraising page, which starts with a $30 donation but allows folks to give the maximum $2,300:

The April fundraising deadline is this Wednesday.

Many will judge us by the money we raise, but we know our strength comes from a different number.

To celebrate the 1,500,000 grassroots donors who are funding this movement, we've created a special gift.

Make a donation of $30 or more before midnight on Wednesday, April 30th, and receive a DVD and limited edition print of Barack's "A More Perfect Union" speech on race in America.

Wright, who is at the National Press Club today as part of his ongoing publicity tour, also spoke to the NAACP last night. Here is our coverage of that speech and here is a piece Joe Curl and I wrote for Saturday's paper about how presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain is handling the Wright issue.

Obama adviser David Axelrod said on MSNBC's Morning Joe today the campaign obviously "can't control" Wright's tour.

"Reverend Wright speaks for Reverend Wright. He doesn't speak for Barack Obama," Axelrod said. "There's not a thing we can do about it. It's a free country, he's exercising his right to speak."

He also blasted the network, which plans to run the Wright speech live: "You're exercising your right to give him a huge platform."

Axelrod added he was "surprised to see 3 hours of coverage last night" on another network.

"With all that's going on in the world, it's an enormous platform to give Reverend Wright or anybody," he said. "He's taking advantage of it."

Finally, when asked how close Wright and Obama are, he said: "It's pretty clear from the last few days the relationship isn't that close."

Christina Bellantoni is a national political reporter at The Washington Times.

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