Monday, April 14, 2008

"Bitter" Barry!?!?

"It was all good just a week ago."[1]

I knew the N.L. had to kick in sooner or later. Just last week, Obama had whittled Hillary Clinton's seemingly insurmountable lead in PA down to single digits. Some pundits were proclaiming for the first time, that it was within the realm of possibility that Obama could actually win the state. was breathing a preemptive sigh of relief, with the possible end of this Democratic nomination campaign within striking distance, I could take this blog back to doing what it does best.

And then, this sh*t happened.

Mr. Obama attended a closed-door fundraiser in San Francisco, a week ago yesterday, which someone tape-recorded. (Someone always does.) He was explaining to his audience why many working-class white voters, especially in rural areas, seem reluctant to support him.

He said that he regularly visited towns in Pennsylvania and the Midwest where the jobs had long since disappeared, and political promises of an economic revival had proved empty.

“So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” he concluded.
Here's the audio, which is barely audible, but you can pick out the above comment.

I've been a pretty ardent Obama supporter, and will continue to be. But this, in my opinion only of course, is his first really significant misstep of the campaign.

The "bitter" remark is nothing big. Bitter, frustrated, disillusioned, whatever you wanna call it, it's all semantics. The basic sentiment that people are pissed off about losing jobs, inflation, $4/gallon gas, foreclosed homes, high energy costs, and the proliferation of vocoders is real. You can't really deny that, even if you get caught up on one poorly chosen word.

On the other hand, there is no easy way to excuse the "anti-immigrant sentiment" portion of the statement. I know things can be taken out of context, and perhaps it's entirely possible the intent of what he's saying is being magnified, but on the surface, that sounds vaguely xenophobic, possibly even racist. While there are certainly lots of people who blame illegal immigrants for taking jobs, it's quite another to toss that out as a reason for why these very same folks won't vote for you. Because guess what, after this comment, there's a darned good chance they won't.

Obama's subsequent statements have attempted to clear up the whole "bitter" thing, and to clap back at Hillary Clinton for calling him "elitist" (code for "who does this uppity Negro think he is?"). I already addressed the bitter part. And Clinton (whose tax records showed $109M earned since she and Bill left Penn. Ave.) calling Obama (who just paid off his student loans a year ago) "elitist" has to be about the silliest thing I've heard of since my brother told me he actually bought Ray-J's album[2] this weekend. Pot, meet Kettle.

But the "anti-immigrant" thing? Well, Barry's still got some splainin' to do.

I'm no soothsayer, but I suspect this will harm Obama more in the longterm (ie: November) than the short (ie: next Tuesday). One thing's for certain though. He just gave the demonic imbeciles at Fox News one more log to add to the Rebb'n Wright/Proud Michelle/lapel pin fire of anti-patriotism they've been stoking for months.

And this will be a hard one to extinguish.

Question: How bad of a misstep was this comment for the Obama campaign? Do you think the comments were taken out of context or simply a very bad move?

Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter [HuffingtonPost]

[1] Name that tune.... again.

[2] Seriously, this is that piracy was invented for. I'm not sayin' steal it, but don't waste $15 on such a no-talent bum.

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