When the prayer that Barack Obama inserted into the Western Wall was made public, I had an unworthy thought: the prayer sounded suspiciously as though it had been written for public consumption. For Obama, embarrassed by his association with Jeremiah Wright and increasingly tagged as arrogant, the prayer seemed to touch all the right bases, including a plea to "help me guard against pride." But any suggestion that Obama had planted the prayer with a view toward having it published seemed churlish.
Now, though, it is being alleged that this was just what happened. Ma'ariv, the paper that published the prayer, says that "Barack Obama's note was approved for publication in the international media even before he put in the Kotel, a short time after he wrote it at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem." Ma'ariv's claim may have been backed up by Israel's most popular daily paper, Yediot Aharonot, which says that it too had a copy of the note but decided not to print it. It isn't clear, though, whether Yediot Aharonot got the note from the Obama campaign or after the fact, from the student who apparently removed it from the Wall.
It isn't yet clear what happened here, but it is fair to say that if anyone would leak a prayer, it is the all-politics-all-the-time Barack Obama.