I think Barack Obama asked Jeremiah Wright to say shocking things so that he (Obama) could then officially denounce them. Those two are extremely clever. Read this Slate analysis; the quips from Wright are priceless. (BTW I think Wright is awesome, the way I think Michael Savage is awesome.)
I'm just expanding on the Slate analysis now: Clearly the Republicans are going to use Wright against Obama. So better to get it out of the way now, so people can be sick of it during the general election. Sean Hannity interprets the latest events like this:
(1) Obama agrees with Wright and so doesn't denounce him in the beginning.
(2) Wright inexplicably goes on tour over the weekend, and says crazy stuff about AIDS at the National Press Club. He must be mad at Obama.
(3) Obama can't believe this treachery, and has no choice but to sever their relationship to save his presidential run.
I think the above interpretation is totally wrong. Wright would have to be one SERIOUSLY self-centered s.o.b. to sabotage Obama at this point, especially when Obama was incredibly, almost politically suicidally, understanding of Wright in his famous race speech. You can say a lot about Wright, but I don't get the sense that he would do everything he could to ruin Obama's run. (And for what, exactly? What did Obama do to anger Wright, Hannity?)
If I had more time I would get really into this and look at the primary schedule, when the Wright stuff first broke, etc. I mean look, Wright didn't give his crazy speech right before the Pennsylvania primary, right?
And you could say, "But if Wright is trying to help, why the crazy stuff? Why not be real moderate and say he got carried away in some of those sermons?"
Because (a) that would sound like BS and (b) Hannity et al. are saying Obama can't be president because he won't denounce Wright. Thus, the Obama camp must have decided very recently that the famous race speech wasn't enough, that the right-wing talk radio people were demanding Wright's head.
And so in order for it to make sense that Obama would give it to them, Wright had to say something "crazy," like the government was capable of giving AIDS to black people.