Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Yesterday was a travel day for me -- I'm back east in CT with my parents for a couple of weeks -- and so I was unable to follow the fallout from Obama's "bitter" comments in real time. I think I'm all caught up now and my primary reaction is "what the hell was he thinking?"

The comments in question, spoken at a San Francisco fundraiser (of all cities...) are as follows:

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. 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.

OK, so, we all know what he meant and perhaps he felt he could be less guarded at an event such as a fundraiser, but come on, the optics of this are really bad. I thought Evan Bayh -- yes a Hillary supporter -- explained why Obama's comments came off as elitist quite well.

"We do have economic hard times, and that does lead to a frustration and some justifiable anger, it's true," Bayh told reporters after introducing Clinton in Indianapolis. "But I think you're on dangerous ground when you morph that into suggesting that people's cultural values, whether it's religion or hunting and fishing or concern about trade, are premised solely upon those kinds of anxieties and don't have a legitimate foundation independent of that."

Jonathan Martin explains why this is likely to stick.

Obama's comments play directly into an already-established narrative about his candidacy. Why did Hillary's Bosnian gaffe cut deep but McCain's Sunni/Shiite mix-up not seem to leave much more than a bruise? Because, fair or not, questions of honesty are the Achilles heel of the Clinton brand while McCain is perceived as strong and knowing on national security. One fit into a framework and the other didn't.

And much ink has already been spilled on Obama's primary shortcomings and potential general election challenges with blue-collar white voters. For him to an offer an inartful explanation of that which informs these people's lives and voting patterns only underlines his weakness with this constituency.

For me, this is just the sort of thing that raises doubts about the discipline of Obama's campaign and his readiness to run a general. Recently he's allayed many of my concerns and my confidence in him as our potential nominee has been growing; this episode has shaken that confidence. First he goes bowling when he doesn't actually know how to bowl and now he sounds as though he's talking down to those that vote on "guns, god and gays." The overall impression one is left with brings memories of John Kerry on a windsurfer crashing back. And this guy's running on judgment?

Now, I must say, as Marc Ambinder notes, Obama is no Kerry; he's more comfortable in his own skin and more surefooted and the way in which Obama has responded swiftly and forcefully to this controversy is better than anything Kerry ever did. You watch Obama take on the story in his stump speech in Indiana and you see how he's able to take lemons and turn them into lemonade.

But in the meantime he has a primary in Pennsylvania to deal with and Hillary Clinton is using Obama's remarks to portray him as elitist and out of touch and herself as in touch with middle American values.

Of course, predictably Obama partisans are slamming Hillary for using the ammunition that he gave her and are attacking the messenger in the comments to the original Mayhill Fowler story over at HuffPo. Funny, I didn't see Obama partisans complaining when Obama attacked Hillary on healthcare using rightwing talking points, but then again many are under the laughable impression that the Obama campaign hasn't attacked Clinton, so I guess that would explain it.

Look, I'm not saying Obama is actually an elitist or is out of touch with every day voters at all. Unfortunately, reality is often beside the point and perception rules and I suspect Obama is losing the perception war here. The fact is, he probably has a more credible claim to the feel your pain mantle than Hillary Clinton does, having spent years as a community organizer in Chicago, but then how has he managed to cede this ground to Clinton? How has he managed to fuel this perception of him that will be used by the right whether Hillary Clinton jumps on it or not? How has he managed to lose control of what for much of 2008 had been quite disciplined messaging? If this does hurt him, whether in the short term or long term, maybe Obama supporters should be looking to their candidate for answers to these questions. In the meantime, we know that this is going to be the topic du jour on the Sunday talkshows tomorrow and no doubt will come up at next week's debate in Philadelphia, so this iteration of this story probably has a good week left in it. It will be interesting to see how Obama deals with this latest speed bump; if he handles it as he did the Wright affair, he just might come out of it stronger than when he went in.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, Bitter, Democratic nomination, elitist, Hillary Clinton, Pennsylvania Primary (all tags)



Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Very fair analysis . . . and I support Obama.

You were able to do what many on MyDD are unable to do . . . openly discuss both candidates without selling them out.

by FOB92 2008-04-12 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball


by poserM 2008-04-12 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

couldn't agree more - but i am a HRC supporter...

by canadian gal 2008-04-12 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I don't think this has anything to do with the "feel your pain" mantle.  I think Obama is a genuine progressive and this was a not subtle enough attempt to nudge, or push, or batter, the conversation towards the real fundamental economic issues that relate to both the wellbeing of our citizens and our place in the world.  These social issues, only in the sense of whether they determine who we vote for, definitely not in the sense of what our personal beliefs are, have been overplayed in recent election after election, because the fundamental issues are too taboo and too "dangerous" to address.

by mady 2008-04-12 02:32PM | 0 recs
your resonse is

why this will take him down. I'm not trying to insult you, but the perception among his supporters that he simply speaks the truth will underscore that he thinks so too.  It's a kind of class divide, when you have no empathy for gun owners, or people whose religion is really interwoven into daily life, or those who have fears, whether or not they seem justified to you, or justified to anyone for that matter.  It's insulting to group people together as 'those kinds of people' who are poor, live in small towns, are bitter and look to guns, religion and prejudicial fears for solace.  It's damn insulting.  And it's completely inaccurate, only someone who knows no small town regular people could come claim such an offensive generalization has truth value, and his supporters agreeing with his class stereotypes is surely reason enough to hold him to account for even having such narrow thinking, let alone repeating such classist nonsense in public.  As far as comparing him to HIllary, what's that about? Why bring her into it at all, if he were running against Edwards would he have spoken differently?  Hillary has a long history of working with the most disadvantaged, and she comes from a small town, and she listens, and those three things should lead you to see her as someone who has taken the time to get to know regular people. Most of her supporters are lower wage earners, doesn't that tell you something?  Can't anyone defend him without saying that at least he's better than Hillary? Obama's first response to his comments being made public is that he looks forward to debating McCain on which one is more out of touch? Such a contest you look forward to?  

by anna shane 2008-04-12 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: your resonse is

I think he has very real empathy for gun owners, for non gun owners, for whites, blacks, men, women, etc. because he does not divide people by their social choices and their characteristics.  That is not the role of government.  He speaks to people in the context of what they should expect from their government in their own lives, regardless of their personal beliefs.  That speech was about how social issues become political ones as a distraction from what government represents. What their government, in effect, OWES them as citizens who need help.  If that is not respectful, I do not know what is.  I would much rather have a candidate think of me as a universal who has a right to expect responsive government, than think of me as a demographic to pander to.  

by mady 2008-04-12 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: your resonse is

He not only doesn't pander to people--he doesn't respect them either. His mean-sprited words have real meaning. He really doesn't like people who are not like him. Worse, he doesn't respect them. As a Gay man, I know his one America is straight. Gay Americans have had it much worse than other minorities in this country and I insist on a little pandering from Democrats for my money and votes.

by maxstar 2008-04-12 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

My goodness... he can't bowl!  How can we have a president that can't bowl?  If the people of the United States elect a president based on his bowling ability, then we really deserve the lousy government we get.

by LordMike 2008-04-12 02:33PM | 0 recs

Nice, fair write-up. Ambinder was on the money.

by Veteran75 2008-04-12 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

He hasn't conceded anything, yet...  This could be an opportunity... people are mad... Hillary is saying that they are not... so is McCain...  Both need to be challenged on that...

by LordMike 2008-04-12 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

"Funny, I didn't see Obama partisans complaining when Obama attacked Hillary on healthcare using rightwing talking points, but then again many are under the laughable impression that the Obama campaign hasn't attacked Clinton, so I guess that would explain it."

Umm, yeah they did... Go to Openleft's archives...

But, that is peanuts... Hillary is jumping on the "all democrats are elitists" bandwagon... of course, she feels that she is the lone exception...

by LordMike 2008-04-12 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

What pisses me off most about his original comment, is how he once again slips in the little dig on the Clinton administration and those horrible '90s.

No one ever seems to call him on this and he does it constantly.

My friend ms in la put together some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

All data from the US DEPT OF LABOR - Bureau of Labor Statistics:


The graphs of the 90's economic data are dramatic and telling, but the links and images all seem too buggy and don't travel well ... so this info gathered below is extracted directly from the raw data at the site, and filed here "for the record".  This is in direct contrast to Obama's memory of how icky horrible rotten depressing 90's economy was - specifically the midwestern manufacturing sector which has been so devastated during the Bush years. But NOT during the Clinton years-- contrary to what has been alleged by certain presidential candidates and supporters ...

You can search the site yourself, but it's not easily navigable to find the specific states' info. They make it hard to locate and retrieve the detailed reports for some reason. But with patience you can find those graphs and charts yourself - the visual has a much more stronger impact.





In 1999 the overall Unemployment Rate nationally was around 4%.

By 2003, during the Bush administration, the national Unemployment Rate had risen by 50% to approx 6%


Depending on the difference between the MANUFACTURING of durable vs non-durable goods- anywhere from 2 to 3 million manufacturing jobs have been LOST in the nation since 1992

Conversely, during the Clinton administration, nearly 1 million NEW manufacturing jobs were ADDED in the nation between 1992 and 2000.

Subsequently, from 2000 to 2008, during the Bush administration, there were approximately 2,250,000 manufacturing jobs LOST nationally.






In the period from 1992 to 2000, during the Clinton Administration, Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs were consistently at or just under 900,000. This figure holds steady through the period with no significant dips or peaks.

Just after 2000, a huge descent begins and continues throughout the Bush administration to 2008 in a steep decline - Around 300,000 manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania were lost during the Bush Administration thus far.

Sharpest declines occur between 2001 to 2004. By the end of 2001 over 200,000 manufacturing jobs have gone from Pennsylvania from the early 1990's numbers. The lowest numbers of manufacturing jobs in PA are found in the year 2008.


In 1998- the number of employed persons in PA is approximately 220,000 higher than it was in 1992.

In the same time frame the Unemployment Rate in PA went from 7.6% in 1992 down to 4.6% in 1998, or a 40% drop

By 1999- Employment in PENNSYLVANIA was at 62% and the Unemployment Rate was lower still at 4.4%

By 2002 Pennsylvania's Unemployment Rate was up to 5.7%



When Clinton took office, there were 5,000,000 employed persons on the rolls in Ohio. (16 yrs and older)

Each successive year through to 1998 (these stats offer only 92-98) approx 100,000 new people were added to the employed list
(*exceptions: 1996 only added about 50,000 and 1998 numbers held steady from previous year)

By 1998- at @ 5,400,000-- there were approximately 350,000- 400,000 more employed in Ohio than there were in 1992.

In the same period (1992-1998) the Unemployment Rate in OHIO went from 7.3% down to 4.3% - a decline of 42%.

In 1999 OHIO Employment was at 64% and the Unemployment Rate still at a low 4.3%.

By 2002 however,like PA, OHIO's Unemployment Rate had climbed to 5.7%

In 2003 the Unemployment Rate was higher yet at 6.1%



1998 shows @350,000 more employed persons, 16 yrs and older, in INDIANA than there were in 1992.

The Unemployment Rate declined in the same period from 6.6% to 3.1% -- representing about a 54% drop.

In 1999- INDIANA had 66% employment and the Unemployment Rate was at a low 3%

By 2002, during the Bush Administration, the Unemployment had already climbed to 5.6%



1998 shows @600,000 more "employed" persons in MICHIGAN than there had been in 1992.

The UNEMPLOYMENT RATE declined from 7.7% to 3.3% in the same 6 yr period - a 58% decline.

In 1999 MICH, like INDIANA, saw 66% employment.

In 2002 the Unemployment Rate spikes from the earlier 3% up to 6.2% - over 100% higher.

In 2003 Unemployment rate is higher still at 7.3%

In 2007 the Unemployment rate is hovering around 7.1%


SUMMARY: No-- the Clinton years do NOT represent the decline of jobs in the American labor force, or the loss of manufacturing jobs or general midwestern 'Rust Belt' jobs in America. Anyone who maintains otherwise is propagating more 1990's revisionist mythology and telling Fairy Tales...

by jen 2008-04-12 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

This is why he probably will not be able to unite the party. He can't seem to let go of the Republican memes when it comes to the Clintons.

by Ga6thDem 2008-04-12 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

He is right.  The Clintons were basically Republicans.  Just look at their record:  NAFTA, Welfare Reform, Capital Gains Tax Cuts, DOMA.  All Republican causes.  

by Toddwell 2008-04-12 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
i concur.
by alex100 2008-04-12 05:02PM | 0 recs
Raising the minimum wage...

...The Family Medical & Leave Act, expanding access to college were all part of the Republican agenda; so much so that the Republicans opposed it.

by Andre Walker 2008-04-12 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

which memes are you talking about exactly?  The one that implies that "free trade" is gutting this country's manufacturing industries?

Because the millions of people who have lived through the plant closings and joblessness and economic limbo that they still have not been able to climb out of, might take exception to calling that a "meme".

Clinton did a lot of good things in this country, but unfortunately free trade and telcom consolidation are not among them.  It serves no one to be anything less than honest about the good AND bad of his administration.

by DawnG 2008-04-12 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

He can't acknowledge that Bill Clinton did some good things.  As far as free trade goes, well, he supports it.

by Ga6thDem 2008-04-12 04:18PM | 0 recs
Many Blacks were worse off during the Clinton year

People don't want to admit it. Yes, the rich grew richer and the poor grew poorer during the Clinton years. More African-American men were incarcerated during the Clinton years because of tough drug laws that the Clintons passed.

It was a great eight years for upper to middle class white folks not us though.

by regina1983 2008-04-12 03:22PM | 0 recs

I'd like to see data to back up your claim that upper and middle class white folks were the only ones to benefit.

                          September 30, 1999      

*  The African-American Poverty Rate Down To Its Lowest Level on Record.

While the African-American poverty rate is still far above the poverty rate for whites, it declined from 26.5 percent in 1997 to 26.1 percent in 1998 -- that's its lowest level recorded since data were first collected in 1959. Since 1993, the African-American poverty rate has dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.1 percent -- that's the largest five-year drop in African-American poverty in more than a quarter century (1967-1972).

* Child Poverty Among African-Americans Down To Lowest Level on Record.

While the African-American child poverty rate is too high, it fell from 37.2 percent to 36.7 percent in 1998 -- its lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). Since 1993, the child poverty rate among African-Americans has dropped from 46.1 percent to 36.7 percent -- that's the biggest five-year drop on record.

* 4.3 Million People Lifted Out of Poverty By EITC -- Double The Number in 1993.

In 1993, President Clinton expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing a tax cut for low-income working families. In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million people out of poverty -- that's double the number of people lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993.

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/1999pres/1 9990930c.html

by jen 2008-04-12 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Many

And whose fault is this "More African-American men were incarcerated during the Clinton years".  Is this the clinton's fault. Is it the Clinton's fault the people commit crimes and as such they go to jail?  Tell me what about the victim of the crimes committed by people who end up in jail. What about them.  What about the people killed and raped and mugged and have had their things stolen.  But you blame the Clinton's.  Very interesting.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:16PM | 0 recs
Omnibus Crime Bill

Clinton did usher in the Omnibus Crime Bill which added literally more than two dozen federal offenses for which one could receive the death penalty and which significantly curtailed the due process rights of the accused and the incarcerated.  More broadly, that legislation has disproportionately impacted minority communities, particularly African Americans, exactly as was predicted before Clinton signed the bill.

by Trond Jacobsen 2008-04-12 04:34PM | 0 recs
Dubious claim

You might want to check some statistics about your claim Regina.  It is a dubious one you make.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 04:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

No, but there were some things done during the Clinton years to "go along" with the GOP, that helped lead to the financial crisis we are having now.  I'm not sure that many of his policies were that beneficial in the long run, although compared to the last 8 years of ruinous GOP rule they seem stellar.  One of the reasons it took me a while to come around to supporting Hillary in the GE (and happily if my candidate loses) is my misgivings about some of what Bill Clinton stood for or did not stand for in the White House.

by mady 2008-04-12 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
Yeah, the idea of ending your 8 year administration with 22 million new jobs, the first raise in minimum wage in decades, and a budget surplus expected to last through 2010 is certainly no way to run a country!
Sure you can knock him for NAFTA, that was a program started by George the First, and pushed by the Republicans, but you can't blame his adminstration for the mess the economy is in now, that is solely the responsibility of the Republicans.
by skohayes 2008-04-12 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

No, I was not talking about NAFTA.  I was thinking of some of the deregulation stuff he signed.  Also, on the other end of the spectrum, I don't think he addressed welfare "reform" in a helpful manner.  I think there are going to be repercussions from that bill in the recession we are in or almost in, as more people start bouncing down the ladder to poverty.

by mady 2008-04-12 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
Many of those program started by the Clinton administration no longer get money, or have had their budgets slashed by states faced with rising deficits(as a result of the Bush administration slashing social funding in the budget to pay for the tax cuts).
Don't blame what's happening now on Clinton when the jobs programs, Head Start, SCHIP and other programs have been cut, and thus the safety net for those who have lost their jobs or are having their homes foreclosed on no longer exists.
by skohayes 2008-04-12 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Clinton signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall .. that's not looking so hot now  .. is it?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-12 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

No, the Clinton years weren't a decline in jobs, they were a decline of living wage jobs.  

Take a look at Paul Krugman's graph on economic inequality... not going well in the 90's.

It was then that the joke developed that millions of new jobs have been created, and I got three of them.

Take a look at the auto industry, during that time, they cut union jobs from the big companies and shuttled them off to non-union small parts manufacturers at half the wages.

by labor nrrd 2008-04-12 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

What was the quality of those jobs? DId the percentage of jobs with good health care and pensions go up or down in those years? I know WalMart became the country's largest single employer some time in the late nineties. How about pensions? The gap between rich and poor?

I'm not saying the Clinton years were terrible or that Bill Clinton was responsible for these shifts in society and the American business model, but the picture is a bit more complicated than you present. Unemployment is pretty low right now, compared to the long term data.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:06PM | 0 recs
I was in college in the 90's.

And I'll never forget when I discovered the largest single employer in the nation was ManPower.  Says something about what was already happening to good jobs.

by GFORD 2008-04-12 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

You can cherry pick economic data.

One thing you left out is that wealth continued to migrate to the top 1% during the 1990s and manufacturing jobs decreased. So, sure unemployment was low but the jobs were poor and the rich got richer.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-12 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Little Dig

What pisses me off most about his original comment, is how he once again slips in the little dig on the Clinton administration and those horrible '90s.

Bingo!  Yet Hillary is the one who is constantly being blamed for dividing the Democratic party.

It made me mad to see Clinton lumped in with the Bushes.  That was low-down, dirty politics.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: good job!

Thank you for this information.  I hope you have time to put this in a diary of your own sometime soon.

It really bugs me when Obama continues to lump Clinton and Bush together.  It's the Reagan and Bush years that go together -- and thankfully  Bill Clinton interrupted those Bush/Reagan years.

Obama's supporters are saying in other comments that it's OK to put Bill Clinton and Bush together because BC didn't push the progressive agenda far enough.  How can they say that and at the same time be supporting someone whose plans for health care and the economy are the least progressive of the two remaining Dem  candidates?  Go figure.

by moevaughn 2008-04-12 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Good diary, bad title (imho).

I agree with you that it is all about perceptions. On that front, I think there is something that we should look for. Obama has two very good opportunities to address this issue with the same acumen that he managed the Wright controversy. One is the "faith and values" meeting on Sunday and the other is the debate (which, if I am not mistaken, will be on Wednesday). If he isn't able to take advantage of these opportunities, I think he will take a hit. If he is able to use these forums to get past these remarks and how they've played, expect him to come out ahead. It will point to his political ability and skills.

I grew up working class in a rural area. The people I grew up with voted for Reagan twice, voted for Bush, and, years later, when I was in Upstate NY these same voters supported Hillary (when she campaigned there and promised to bring 100's of thousands of new jobs to the region: a promise she not only never kept, but one she quickly dropped as soon as she won). This is precisely Obama's point. It's too bad he didn't make it more pointedly and, even, do so in relation to HRC's own policies and clear "about face" on trade.

Finally, as a citizen of San Francisco, I take issue with your (and the mainstream media's) depiction of my city. The neighborhood I live in is a lot closer to any other city in the country than you would think. While it has racial diversity, it also has white guys in wife beaters working on their cars in their driveways and listening to Rush on the weekends. This city is not a homogenous anything. That's what makes it so great.

by DrPolitics 2008-04-12 02:44PM | 0 recs
Oh, Come Now...

she campaigned there and promised to bring 100's of thousands of new jobs to the region: a promise she not only never kept, but one she quickly dropped as soon as she won)

No politician in their right mind (and certainly not one as savvy as Hillary Clinton) would ever promise to bring "X" number of jobs to a region, much less announce that she was dropping it after winning election.  I defy you to cite any credible source to back up either of these overblown contentions.  Oh...she didn't really "announce" it...but you're absolutely sure she dropped it?  This is blatant hyperbole and it costs you dearly in the credibility department.

Need you be reminded of Clinton's margin of victory in her last election?  Obviously the voters in her district do not see things the same way you do.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 04:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Come Now...

She had no real opponent in her last election. That may explain why some hardcore GOP areas in Upstate NY voted for her.

by elrod 2008-04-12 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, Come Now...

I would assume she "had no real opponent" because she was so popular the GOP knew it was hopeless to run against her.

I'm at a loss to know how this bears on my comment, though.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Clinton praises the voters and will fight for them to give them hope for their future.

Her economic policies will do just that.

Obama calls them bitter and disrespects them in front of a elitist group of large donors in S.F.

Then refuses to apologize.

This is a trend and the real Obama.

He will lose PA by 20 and the supers will go to Clinton.

Then we will unite to crush mcwar and get our country back in the right direction.

Lets not lose three in a row, lets win our country back.

by gotalife 2008-04-12 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Hillary is very good at making promises. She is constantly doing it for each segment of the population she appeals to when she campaigns.

She is bad at following through on these promises. And,  more often than not, doesn't even try or simply drops them once she gets elected. This, so far, has been her record. It is hardly the record of someone who fights for economically disadvantaged citizens.

If you think AA's are going to unite with HRC as the nominee . . . I will just say that I don't see that happening. People are, to put it mildly, "bitter" about the way HRC has run this campaign. Say what you will about how HRC has run this campaign (I know there are people on here who disagree with this assessment), but you can't say that the damage to the AA vote for HRC isn't real and, likely, long lasting.

by DrPolitics 2008-04-12 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

So do you mean like David Alexrod sending out a memo telling BO supporters to play up what the BO campaign considered racailly insensitive.  Was this HRC fault.  Like JJr saying HRC never shead a tear of Kitrina.  Like the darkened clip.  Saying using a white girl in the 3 am ad was racist.  The LBJ statement was racist and if so in what way.  I could go on and on.  Race was injected into this campaign by David Alexrod on the behave for BO so lits stop lying about this.

The Clinton's are popular in the AA community and this is just BO supporters bs.


by giusd 2008-04-12 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

We will not unite.  There is very little difference when it comes to Hillary and McCain and that will be the case once she is elected.  

by Toddwell 2008-04-12 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Wow. You honestly believe this. No wonder you O supporters hate her so much.

by jen 2008-04-12 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Um, comments like this are neither helpful nor true. We HAVE to beat McCain in the general election, if only to get out of Iraq and to get some new judges on the supreme court.

by gcensr 2008-04-12 03:12PM | 0 recs
HR'd For This Bald-Faced Lie
There is very little difference when it comes to Hillary and McCain

Won't even both to refer you to the voting records.  You're not worth it.
by creeper1014 2008-04-12 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: HR'd For This Bald-Faced Lie

Toddwell and mnicholson are the resident MyDD "my candidate or bust" posters. One for Obama and one for Clinton.

by elrod 2008-04-12 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: HR'd For This Bald-Faced Lie

Thanks for the heads-up on the other one.  Being an equal-opportunity troll-rater I'll keep an eye out for him/her.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
Maybe you should try saying something positive about your candidate, rather than bashing Hillary nonstop? Are you FOR Obama, or just AGAINST Hillary?
by sricki 2008-04-12 06:38PM | 0 recs
Do you ever wonder...

why you get tr'd and hide rated ALL FREAKIN TIME?

by aurelius 2008-04-13 02:48PM | 0 recs
Do you ever wonder...

why you get tr'd and hide rated ALL THE FREAKIN TIME?

by aurelius 2008-04-13 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

If I had a dollar everytime a candidate praised the voters, gave them hope for the future and promised that their policies were the best....I'd be....well I'd be one of the Clintons.

by hootie4170 2008-04-12 03:15PM | 0 recs
Hey gotalife

Visting from TPMMuckraker?  You'll find lots more sympathy here.

by GFORD 2008-04-12 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

How many times have you posted this same comment?

I guess your crystal ball is real warmed up.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-12 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Todd, I think you are wrong about the Wright incident. While Dem voters largely dismissed it and moved on it's still hanging out there with a lot of voters hence his dropping numbers vs. McCain in the general election. Now, he has zero chance of getting those voters in the general election even though his previous chance was small.

We'll see how this plays out but it breaks one of the first rules of politics: Don't insult the voters.

by Ga6thDem 2008-04-12 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Wright, Rezko, Farrakhan, no condition talks with Iran, and now this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95AEzyWZX 8I

get it?

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

hence his dropping numbers vs. McCain in the general election.

Pres '08
Apr 12 Gallup Obama (D) 46%, McCain (R) 43%
Pres '08
Apr 12 Gallup Clinton (D) 46%, McCain (R) 45%


by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Did you miss the AP numbers where BO went from 10 up to tried with McCain and on the other hand HRC is up 3%.  I think this i what he was referring to.  And lets remember the AP poll is one of the best and most consistant polls.  But lets not let the facts get in the way.


by giusd 2008-04-12 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Well, of course we all know that the polls that reflect the best on Clinton are the most reliable out there.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I said no such thing and you are putting words into my mouth.  What i am saying is these are the poll numbers that were referred too.  In addition, the AP poll that is done monthly is consider one of the best.  

And i know of no proof that the AP is somehow a pro-clinton poll.  Do you have an evidence about this and if so please link to it.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
There are polls all over the place of varying quality and numbers that reflect virtually every possibility. I was pointing out that the fantasy Jeremiah Wright was fatal to the Obama campaign simply isn't true.
I wasn't aware that Gallup had a shoddy reputation.
by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Well who knows about the gallop.  But i am old enough to remember 2000.  Five days before the election gallop had Bush up 11%.  11% finging percent and gore won the popular vote.  Rove went around for days saying how the Gallop shows it is over.  So i guess based on what must have been one of the worst poll number ever i dont think much for gallop.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I was referring to the AP poll. Obama supporters have been touting it showing how "electable" he is. Now it has him losing to McCain.

by Ga6thDem 2008-04-12 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

McCain's numbers are going up for reasons that have nothing to do with Wright .. watch Obama's numbers rise once the nomination is set(as long as it's set before Denver)

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-12 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Not if he doesn't change the way he has been doing things. Right now he is working extremely hard to divide the party.

by Ga6thDem 2008-04-12 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think you're very right (and thankfully evenhanded) in your analysis of the perception of his statements.

That said, I think he'll be able to explain his meaning reassuringly.  He's not saying that people turn to guns or religion out of something as trivial as bitterness, but that because the government has repeatedly failed them economically, they've written off any economic help, and tend to vote based on the other elements in their lives that are important to them -- their faith, their hunting, etc.

by ChrisKaty 2008-04-12 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

It will be interesting to see how Obama deals with this latest speed bump; if he handles it as he did the Wright affair, he just might come out of it stronger than when he went in.

At this point it has all been set in motion...just waiting to see how it all shakes out.

by Kysen 2008-04-12 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think he truly looks down on middle and working class whites. He sees them as not too bright and racially intolerant. He may have been a community organizer on the south side of Chicago, but that doesn't mean he understands the plight of people in rural America. You cannot insult people and then ask them for their votes. Insulting them in front of a bunch of San Francisco billionaires is even more degrading.

We will soon see the results of this in Pennsylvania, and I suspect also in other upcoming states as well.

by cc 2008-04-12 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Yeah ... I am sure he hates his mother too!!  This thing needs to end .. if for no other reason then all Democrats can train their fire on McBush

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-04-12 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

"Look, I'm not saying Obama is actually an elitist"
Then why even say this?

These typed words disappoint me..

Because of course you do not write he is not...
Is he a kinda elitist? A potential "elitist"
Between McCain, Clinton and Obama, who do ya think
last filled their vehicle with gas?

Mr. Singer..where you live...in you political lifetime..has there ever been a Republican opponent to you candidate who did not claim the Dem was elitist or represented a Party of elitists?

Tap yer toes

by nogo war 2008-04-12 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball


I can speak for myself and a few friends of mine and we find BO very arrogant and elitist.

Remember the NH debate when HRC was saying how it hurts her feelings that the press thinks she is not likeable.  Do we remember the sneering and condesneding way he responded. "people like you just fine".  I remember.  Or the OH debated when BO was asked if he toke HRC at her word that her campaign didnt put out the photo (which by the way no one has ever found anyone in the HRC was involved but no apology was given).

He said in the most condesending manner "I take you at your word".  There is a reason that working class voters and others find him elitist and arrogant.  And you are kidding yourself if you think this is going to disappear.  All of next week and in the fall we will be hearing about BO the nothern, elitist liberal who is pro gay marrage, pro-gun control, pro-government, who doesnt share the values of middle americans.

Look we can agree to disagree about this but the is no disagreeing to the total lack of connection that BO has made with Reagan democratics and the gallop poll clearly showed how many of these voters will cross over for McCain.  And this bitter flap will just make that worse.  BO got a free ride last time with the Wrigth flab but i doubt that will happen this time.  This will be on talk radio and fox 24/7 and the sad thing is BO just gave this to them and he is making it worse by saying this was just a bad choice of words.

The GOP has used the narrative multiple times to win the GE and they did this in 2004.  And they did this to a war hero.  Just saying.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Whining about lost Reagan Democrats is overrated. Rasmussen's polls the last couple of days, for example, show Obama crushing McCain in PA (by 8) at about the same rate as does Clinton.  And in NC, Obama is tied with McCain.

Working class white Democrats are not necessarily "Reagan Democrats." The 1980 election is a distinct historical event that bears no resemblance to 2008. Working class white Democrats - particularly women - may prefer Hillary over Obama, but other than older voters, no evidence shows they prefer McCain to Obama. The only determinant in the general election would be age, not class.

by elrod 2008-04-12 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

/Crushing McCain in PA (by 8)/

Crushing?   by "8?"   LOL.  That's practically within the MOE and it's an election two seasons away!


by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

by Kysen 2008-04-12 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

marc ambinder:

...but once again, this controversy is not one ginned up by Clinton. So you can't blame her for it.

we will see.

by campskunk 2008-04-12 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Really, what did HRC force BO to make this totally stupid comment at a private fund raiser in marion country.

what are we talking about here mind control.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Unfortunately, reality is often beside the point and perception rules and I suspect Obama is losing the perception war here.

Yeah, maybe, but maybe not.

Hillary's campaign posted the YouTube of her admonishment of Obama and it got 4 thousand views.

Obama's campaign posted the YouTube of his response and it has garnered 200 thousand views.

What this means is that Obama is presenting his side of the story directly to people, who are viewing and absorbing it. On the other hand, the pampered poodles of the press are presenting the other side.

by arubyan 2008-04-12 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I was thinking along those same lines, but Obama's always had the YouTube generation. Clinton's voters are more likely to get their info from TV than the 'tubes.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

So the Clinton supporters here aren't typical Clinton voters?

by skohayes 2008-04-12 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I'm just going by the broad trends I see reported. I'd be thrilled if those 200,000-4,000 numbers represented the party as a whole.

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

If Obama's popularity on youtube was indicative of his support versus Clinton, the race would have been over in mid-January.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

"I know what's going on, I know exactly what's going on".  That kind of I'm the smartest guy in the room rhetoric wins ZERO points with the constituency he offended with the original remark.  It's almost more condescending than the original.  This only helps him with people predisposed to like him, not the people he has to try and win over.  He seems to have a tin ear.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2008-04-12 03:15PM | 0 recs
I suspect Obama is losing the perception war here.

By here, I assume you mean MyDD.

by GFORD 2008-04-12 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect Obama is losing the perception war h

Exactly. Even CNN blasted this allegation that Obama is elitist out of the water.

So here we go again with a republican attack on Obama. It's almost the Checkers speech all over again.

For the sake of party unity, I noticed how a lot of Obama supporters were making a rapprochement with Hillary supporters (sorry for the elitist french word) and at then along comes a bump in the road, and out come the bad faithers "I always knew he was too elitist"

Obama is by far and away the least elitist of the three major candidates. But let's stoke this all up and create a mini flaming war and see what it does to Obama's ratings.

If he can tackle how there is genuine bitterness about the economy, which has been diverted by republicans into other issues such as gay marriages, gun licenses etc. then it will only help Obama.

In the meantime, let the hate swill around here some more. Lord sweet jesus. Some people seem to be full of it.  

by brit 2008-04-12 03:24PM | 0 recs
About feeling MY pain

The fact is, he probably has a more credible claim to the feel your pain mantle than Hillary Clinton does, having spent years as a community organizer in Chicago....

Personally, I don't think that Obama has a clue about MY pain.  I wonder about his knowledge of others' positions in life when on the one hand he talks about his church working in the community, meeting the community needs and on the other hand he makes a statement about Midwest and PA people feeling "bitter" and "clinging to religion".  

Religion teaches us to let go of bitterness, so I don't understand what he means about being bitter and clinging to religion.  I do understand being bitter, angry, frustrated and TURNING to religion as a comfort and as a place to find strength from the God we worship and the people, church family, with whom we associate.

I did see bitterness in the Rev Wright messages.  Maybe he thinks others take their frustrations and unhappiness to church and are validated in their feelings of anger toward others responsible for their pain.

I can relate much more to Hillary than to Obama - she didn't start off wealthy.  From HillaryClinton.com

Hillary's mother, Dorothy, the daughter of a firefighter, had a tough childhood. Her parents were young and felt unable to care for their children. So when Dorothy was just eight, she and her three-year-old sister traveled alone on a four-day train ride to Los Angeles. There they were raised by a strict grandmother. It was not until Dorothy was a teenager and worked as a helper to another family that she finally knew what a loving family could be. The stories of her mother's difficult childhood imbued in Hillary a fierce sense of justice and a belief that no child should be mistreated and that every child deserves to be loved.

by Southern Mouth 2008-04-12 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: About feeling MY pain

Your quote is about the childhood of Hillary's mother - not Hillary's childhood, which was comfortable upper middle-class.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-12 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: About feeling MY pain

"The stories of her mother ...."

Of course, the quote was about Hillary's mother.  I feel sure that Hillary learned a lot from her mother.  My mother lost her Mother at age 12.  That pain was a part of her and therefore shared somehow with her children, therefore I was acutely aware of the pain of a child losing a parent.

We ALL have sadness as a part of our life, some much more than others, but none are spared.

Hillary may have enjoyed a "comfortable upper middle-class."  She may have also been acutely aware that her mother had NOT enjoyed such a life.  I know I felt that way.  The life that my parents provided for me and my siblings was more "affluent" than their own; they lived through the depression.  And when I say affluent, we got to have an indoor johnny by the time I was a teen (a grand occurence) and we lived from the garden and cows and family.  Still, we were rich in family and home.  I've never been poor - because I am able to see those who have so much less, realize that I am blessed and that I should be a blessing to others.

Hillary has worked for others in her life, with a fire in her belly that comes from somewhere.

She has been painted with a broad brush that says she just wants to be President and is willing to do anything to get there - and it is said in a snide and hateful manner!  

Some believe that it is a burning desire to do for others that drives the woman Hillary Clinton.

by Southern Mouth 2008-04-12 05:46PM | 0 recs
Re: service to community

Plus I think both Hillary and Bill Clinton in their twenties participated in community service at least as much as Barak Obama did.

by moevaughn 2008-04-12 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: About feeling MY pain

Much of this post is over the top IMO.

religion doesn't eradicate bitterness. It, like any good parent to their children offers up solutions to certain obstacles and events. The fact is many use religion in ways that doesn't accomplish its upmost potential. And in many instances it becomes a dangerous tool to rail people against other types of people.

Therefore, bitterness lives in the lives of a vast majority of people. In some form or another. Obama's statements aren't well strung together (nor necessary within the context of this election) but there is truth to them. Unlike Hillary's oblique response about Obama being against small-town folks, and small town folks aren't bitter and Obama hates hunters, and hunters are good people from cities and rural areas and hunters are peace-loving creatures who love the USA *waving American flag*.

Regarding Wright. Sure he is bitter. Being in the minority, having lived through the civil rights era and seeing promises unrealized would make anyone "bitter". But if you really listen to his message, he's right on. Perhaps the semantics are off but the message is honest and true for millions of Americans. Especially those of us who are a minority grouping. Maybe that frustration makes you uncomfortable or maybe you believe that frustration to be an illusion on our parts? I don't know what to say to you if that's how you feel. I refuse to accept your simplification of the Wright topic however. It's not about validating anger. Not at all. It's about empowerment.

As a Latino, I do not know what it is like to be black in America but I do know about the underlying expectations of being a Latino (which I imagine to not be as difficult as being a black male). I'm supposed to like tacos and I'm supposed to be a hard worker (or is it lazy) and I'm supposed to be poor and somewhat uneducated. And because of that, people treat me differently. Whether they mean to or not.

And I think it's great that you can relate to Hillary moreso then Obama. That's what elections are for. For people to align themselves with a candidate that they can relate with and trust in more. For you the choice is Hillary.

by alex100 2008-04-13 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: About feeling MY pain
and brief write-up on Wright at Pincham's funeral today, courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/89201 7,wright041208.article

Escalating into full-preaching mode, Wright thundered, "Fox News can't understand that. [Bill] O'Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity's stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham's] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed."

At that point, congregants nearly drowned Wright out with a booming standing ovation.

Wright also referred to Fox News as "Fix News."
by alex100 2008-04-13 06:38AM | 0 recs
Thanks for your comment - let me share

I know bitter.  I've lived bitter.  I don't want bitter in my life.  It prevents me from enjoying every last minute of good in this life I can get.

I'm not black.  I'm not Latino.  I am a woman and have been "discriminated against" as such.  

But .... I learned about bitter from long-term childhood molestation and abuse.  This is a person who thought nothing of telling most anyone to f*ck off, who more than once ran headlong into redneck guys who wanted to "tame the beast", whose future looked bleak.  I fully believe that had I not had a spiritual experience, I would have long ago been knocked in the head and tossed in a ditch.  I was pissed off to the nth.

I was angry and I had a damned good reason to be angry.  I was more than angry though because the anger had become entrenched in my being.  

I chose to forgive the perpetrator AND those who did nothing - not particularly because they "deserved" understanding and forgiveness but because I wanted to live a better, not bitter, life.

You're right, religion does not eradicate bitterness.  Great statement!  God did not eradicate bitterness in my life - I had to let it go.  I came to realize that the perpetrator and those complicit had no earthly idea how much I was hurt, the damage that was done permanently - AND NEVER WOULD if I could find the words to explain the pain and years to do so.

And I agree that many use religion and "it becomes a dangerous tool" - we've ALL certainly seen this!

by Southern Mouth 2008-04-13 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for your comment - let me share

well it seems you have lived through quite a bit and learned from it.

i certainly see what my girlfriend goes through on a daily basis and it wears off on me. It's not easy being a woman, that's for sure.

but let's be clear. Bitterness can exist and not rule your life. No matter how you've handled your situations you can't but be mindful at how society shapes who you are as a person. I'm not going to try to measure who has it worse, women, or being a person of "color" (latino, black or otherwise) or a combination of those things!

I would think that you should be able to relate to Wright's comments and see the truth in them. How is it we live under a constitution that declares the freedom to pursue happiness and such yet we as a culture are still so discriminatory against all sorts of groups (same sex couples, atheists, blacks, immigrants)?

I don't think I'll ever be under the false pretense that if I was black I wouldn't be someone like Wright. Would losing the bitterness help Wright live a happier life? Perhaps. But that's not who he is nor is glossing over our societal problems gonna make things better. If that were the case, we might as well all follow the Bush mantra and learn to live happily under it.

That's not gonna happen!

by alex100 2008-04-13 09:31AM | 0 recs
I decided long ago

... when I was a kid, that life on this earth is basically bad.  There are just varying degrees.  That is another reason I believe in grabbing every good moment you can!

I do see that there are many injustices, of course.  I'm married to a Native American.  His great-grandmother couldn't  go in certain stores to shop and she was allowed to buy and sell just so much land.  Some of the limitations were put in place to keep white men from marrying Indian girls and then selling their land and skipping town.  But still, at one time her people roamed the continent - lived mostly in Mississippi.  They didn't believe anyone "owned" land.

And then the Europeans came.  White people are not the nicest people in the world!  They ain't the worst either.  Personally, I think cruelty and inhumanity comes in all shades.

by Southern Mouth 2008-04-13 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
I think we've seen the results of the You Tube generation in this campaign ( George Allen's "maccaca" moment being the big one), everything the candidates say will be recorded and parsed to death.
All polticians say things they shouldn't, people in this country have short attention spans for little stuff like this.
We're beating this rather silly issue to death, IMO (and I live in a rural town and I am a Hillary supporter), when there are a lot more important issues out there we can AGREE on.
by skohayes 2008-04-12 03:19PM | 0 recs
How he has handled it so far...

if he handles it as he did the Wright affair, he just might come out of it stronger than when he went in.

Obama did respond to the comment today, and basically reiterated the substance of the ideas expressed at the SF fundraiser.

I have tried to do a very careful analysis of both the original comment and the subsequent clarification in an effort to get at the substance behind what people are finding offensive in the ideas expressed both in the comment and in today's response.

Obama's Words That Matter - An Analysis [UPDATE]

If he continues to handle the controversy by reiterating that he believes that the rustbelt voters have their judgement clouded by stereotypical reactionary responses to bitterness, I think he will continue to have problems.

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 03:19PM | 0 recs
Lemonade out of lemons...

I believe that the Indiana speech is very telling about the mastery of Obama to respond quickly to a problem, and to create the perception that he has addressed the substance of an offense when in fact he is simply very good at deflecting and confusing the issue.

In the Indiana response speech Obama first mischaracterizes the controversy saying that people got upset when he called them bitter. In fact, the offense was taken to the idea that bitter people resort to stereotypical reactionary behavior and that's why they don't support him.

Then he basically reitierates the ideas expressed in the SF speech using more long winded and diplomatic language. But the substance is the same. He is still accusing the poor people of the rust belt of bias.

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

I love your use of the word 'analysis'. Full disclosure Mediafreeze - you've always been big on polemics, never objective analysis.

I thought most Dems were in agreement about this: how republicans have somehow managed to divert the anger and bitterness about economic hardship into religious or moral or states rights issues, and managed to get working class voter to vote for a party that gives tax cuts to the rich, and pursues policies that devastate their livelihoods. That's all Obama is saying.

Maybe you're not a Dem. Alternatively, you're so enthralled to making sure Obama loses, you don't mind taking the republican view of these things.

And don't even go there with the Obama is elitist nonsense. You know that's a framing device.

by brit 2008-04-12 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

how republicans have somehow managed to divert the anger and bitterness about economic hardship into religious or moral or states rights issues, and managed to get working class voter to vote for a party that gives tax cuts to the rich, and pursues policies that devastate their livelihoods

...and you are saying that this anger and bitterness is working in Clinton's favor now? That they see her as being more religious, moral and states rights oriented than Obama? That he is being disadvantaged because he is more progressive?

I certainly don't concede the point, but even if it were true, is this a very smart campaign strategy? To tell tell a whole huge block of voters that they don't know what's good for themselves, because they are confused and bitter?

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

If you read Obama's comments they were about how in general this anger had been diverted to wedge issues. He didn't explicitly link Hillary to this - but we all know the Clintons played to wedge issues.

So no, I'm not saying Hillary is behind the diversion of anger, anymore than she is behind racial tensions in the US. But I would say - from the evidence of this primary season - she will play the republican theme if she thinks it will help her candidacy.

As for the 'campaign strategy'. It clearly wasn't a strategy for the remarks to come out in this abbreviated and problematic way, anymore that it was his strategy to have the Goddamn America broadcast in a loop from Rev Wright's speeches. But beyond the control freakery of political campaigns, I actually think what Obama has to say on this, like his speech on race, will actually be advantageous to him.

It's not like the Tuzla tale, which was all about mock heroics, and only led to more misspeaking. This issue, like race, is incredible live. And if Obama gets on top of it, he will kill Hillary and McCain on the elitism issue

by brit 2008-04-12 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

I certainly did not suggest that you were saying that the diversion of anger was a Clinton plot. But you do seem to be agreeing with Obama that it benefits her over him. The question I have is why?

Here is more of the context of his remarks:

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...I think they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

So, his idea is that the places that are hardest for him to win are the places where people are the most cynical about government. He then says that the crux of his message is to not be cynical about government and believe that if he is elected there will be change. OK, so if you are more cynical about government that would make it a harder sell. I get it. It would be OK if he stopped there. I'm not sure what this has to do with wedge issues, except he then does say that a young black man has a harder time breaking through the cynicism. He goes on to enumerate the other wedge issues that disadvantage him without really explaining why they do.

Whether or not the generalizations are true, they are a political mistake, and I simply don't see how this is not an accusation of bias directed at this group of bitter people that are cynical about government.

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

To answer a fair point, put in a reasonable manner, I think Obama believes that because he's not a Washington insider, and has used a much more bottom up approach to his campaign, that he represents a change candidate better than Hillary.

The think about his name, his age, his thinness... well it was obviously an ironic remark given the laughter (this thing won't play for long without video) and it's his usual thing - if I can make it (given my strange name etc.) then I'm proving personally that America can change.

It's been his biggest selling point, both in the US and across the world, what a complex and different candidate Obama is. If you're saying this meme can get tired, and he can overuse it when on autopilot, we'll I'd agree with that. It's an unfortunate habit of a lot of politicians, and probably comes from all that campaigning and all those fundraising dinners. But I must say Hillary ('ready on day one' and 'no combat zone too dangerous') and John 'My friends' McCain repeat themselves much more often, and bore me to death when they speak. And at least there's an issue behind what Obama is saying.

by brit 2008-04-12 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

I have to wholeheartedly disagree with what you've written about Barack's comments.

He is not saying anything close to 'if I can make it' or 'America can change.' He is giving the reason he feels the people in small communities of "states like Ohio and Pennsylvania" aren't voting for him. It isn't an ironic statement on his part. And you brush over in your 'etc.' something that he explicitly states, those voters would be 'more skeptical' when dealing with a "46-year-old black man." That is condescending, and to me is far worse than his other comments about God and guns.

This will come back during a general election. You can be sure that Republican 527s will be playing clips of the audio, showing shots of the Getty Mansion where the fundraiser was held, and explaining to anyone who is watching their ads that Barack Obama looks down at people in America who aren't voting for him.

by joc 2008-04-12 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: How he has handled it so far...

One thing that has not come out so far in the press or even much in the blogs was that this thing was held at the Getty Mansion:

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That's pretty rich!

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 05:38PM | 0 recs
A bit of analysis

In his SF speech, someone asked Obama why he thought he was not doing well in Pennsylvania and he begins a winding answer .... "our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives."

What may be offensive could be:

(1) The accusation that people are "bitter", which has a different connotation than angry and seeking change.  Bitterness implies entrenched anger.
(2)  Saying that people "cling" to religion and guns ..... ?rather than turn to religion for solace and comfort and enjoy familiar recreations? ....  ?rather than choose someone who can make progress?
(3) Saying that people "cling" to antipathy toward people who aren't like them, to anti-immigrant or anti-trade sentiment .... ?rather than choose someone who can make progress?

What he seems to be saying is that people are not choosing to vote for him because they are too bitter to believe that he can bring progress, that they won't reach toward him for a future because they are holding onto the familiar patterns.

While he seems to offer an understanding of their frustrations, he seems to also criticize their methods of coping and living.

I know some (or all) Obama supporters will go ballistic and say that I'm putting words in his mouth.  Fact is: There is already a conception out there that Obama is angry at white people - because he sat under the teachings of a man who oft-times railed against whites.  These statements can confirm for some that he did indeed hold to those teachings.

I have read over and over that many AAs hold to Rev. Wright's teaching - saying to others that we just don't understand.

by Southern Mouth 2008-04-12 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

How soon we forget that Obama has taken on one of the most recognized and powerful political families in US history...and he's winning!  One year ago, no one, and I mean no one gave him a chance to even be competitive in this race (Super Tuesday predictions).  And now that he is winning all I hear is he can't close the deal....Did you expect the Clinton's to just roll over, they are using every resource and advantage that comes with the Clinton name and Obama is STILL holding his own... It says something about him.

by hootie4170 2008-04-12 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Anybody want to stop for a second and realize that what he's saying is pretty much true? People do vote on these wedge issues (guns, gay marriage), because they don't feel that true economic change is possible in Washington.

Granted his wording was not so hot (more the use of the phrase "cling to" than anything), but he's basically getting heat for telling it like it is.

Also, in a "change election" Clinton and McCain are going to have a hard time arguing that voters aren't frustrated and bitter.

by gcensr 2008-04-12 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

The issue is not that he said that people were bitter and angry. The issue is that he said that being bitter and angry made the resort to bias to explain away their frustrations.

It may or may not be true, but it's not one of those things you get to say on the campaign trail.

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Watching this unfold, it appears that the issue is completely framed in the public mind and the media as "He said we are bitter, and the press (and Clinton) says he is therefore elitist."

To this most people reply, "Yes, we are bitter." The part about clinging to religion and guns and antipathy is being completely ignored in the discussion. Therefore Obama comes off as a truth-teller rather than an elitist.  

by gert 2008-04-13 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
See, that's the problem people are having with Obama's statement. It's not true.
 Guns and God have always been a part of small town America, that doesn't change depending on economic issues.
People are frustrated, but that doesn't turn them into conservatives, they've ALWAYS been conservative.
by skohayes 2008-04-12 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

This is absolutely insane. Presidential candidates spend a good chunk of every single day making public remarks which are then parsed down to the last single word, and they're then pounced on when one of them is not chosen as well as it might have been (though in fact it was taken out of context and is actually quite reasonable). And we're aiding and abetting the stupidity by discussing it as though it were a meaningful issue.

I don't hate Clinton for hanging on and taking whatever chance she has, but I'm beginning to hate her supporters. To preserve the remote chance that Hillary might still be the nominee and might still be viable in a general election, you would pummel our probable nominee to death. Does your loyalty to the Clintons come before your loyalty to your party, or to your country? Or are you so deeply delusional that you believe that there exists some counting scheme that will put her legitimately in the lead before the convention?

by epenthesis 2008-04-12 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
This seems like a fairly angry reply to what I thought was a reasoned diary and fairly reasonable comments.
This issue has been way over exposed on this blog, but something else will happen Monday and it will all blow over.
I care very much about the party and this country, which is why I'm supporting Hillary for president and why I will support Obama if he wins the nomination. However, I stopped attributing the actions of Obama's supporters to the Obama campaign a long time ago.
Do you ask the "overzealous" Obama supporters if they care about the party?
by skohayes 2008-04-12 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think that in the end this will have little or no negative effect on Obama and may well come back and bite Clinton if the Obama camp can sell the fact that she hit so hard and disengenuously on it (see the "Hillary portrays herself as a pro-gun church goer" article in the Times). What he said was a plain truth about the attitudes of many blue collar workers in the rust belt. What she is doing is somehow trying to suggest that people are not bitter. I suspect that once the people who are actually being discussed on this issue (blue collar union workers in PA) think about the whole thing they may well concede that they feel embittered by the trade agreements that sold their jobs away and that maybe Clinton is a bit of a phony for hammering Obama on this by pretending that everything is hunky dory. Just a hunch, but if I was Clinton and her surrogates I would be very careful about not hitting this too hard and having it rebound. I don't suspect however that they will take this advice and I hope they don't. I would love to see Obama spin this whole discussion into the issue with which he closes the sale. Go Barack!

by wasder 2008-04-12 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

"they feel embittered by the trade agreements..."

And thus "cling" to religion, guns, antipathy, and become xenophobes.

I'd love being told that were I in the targeted demographic.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Well under your formulation nobody can ever make an analytical statement about any group of people anytime, thereby rendering all possibility of change moot.

by wasder 2008-04-13 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think the McCain-Clinton attacks on Obama are simply Nixonian in their intellectual dishonesty. His statement is true and is by no means condescending at all, and you and everyone posts here knows it. The tragedy and crime here is that so called perception is being generated by constant distortions by the MSM and unreflecting and hyper partisan participants in the blogosphere The fact is  that millions of people in this country don't vote on the basis of their fundamental economics interests and the real security of their families, because they don't believe that elections will have any real effect on their real problems. How often do we hear "there's not a dime's worth of difference" between the Democrats or Republican or "they're all a bunch of crooks?"  This is alienation. This is disaffection. This is cynicism and yes this is bitterness. the result is all conniving bastards have to do get elected is convince people that they're the only ones who "really understand them" because the other guy is an "out of touch elitist." There's no hope for any progressive change in this country as long as we allow that wicked and twisted meme to stand unchallenged.

by Reference Librarian 2008-04-12 03:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Did you just compare HRC to Nixon????


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think the poster only meant it in the context of Nixon's famous 'checkers' speech in the 50s. It was Nixon who somehow framed all Democrats as a rich elite, out of touch with ordinary people, while he and Pat lived ordinary lives.

I know. It's crazy. But it work. And W somehow managed to reinvent himself as the redneck Texas rancher, instead of the son of wasp dynasty.

So in this way, if Hillary keeps on going on about Obama being elitist, she is using a classic Nixonian line.

Though she clearly isn't like Nixon in other respects

by brit 2008-04-12 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Yes. I was sixteen when Tricky Dick took office so I am acutely familiar with his brand of smarmy rhetoric. Clinton's attack is as a dishonest and despicable  as anything I heard from Nixon

by Reference Librarian 2008-04-12 07:05PM | 0 recs
does it undermine Obama, really?

Question: How many rural voters did Obama have before this? Not very many - and most Dems in PA are urban and suburban who probably don't identify with those in small towns in the state.

So even if you assume that this hurts him in rural areas - and I'm not sure this is so - this is a group that he was not doing great in anyway, so if it does hurt him, it should have a relatively small impact.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-12 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: does it undermine Obama, really?

most Dems in PA are urban and suburban who probably don't identify with those in small towns in the state.

That's certainly not true. PA is a huge rural union state.

by MediaFreeze 2008-04-12 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: does it undermine Obama, really?

I am not sure how the poster missed the fact that between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, there are a lot of people in rural PA.  I lived in Pittsburgh for a few years and even it has a small town feel in many ways.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

The comments in question, spoken at a San Francisco fundraiser (of all cities...) are as follows:

I've stayed neutral during the increasingly ridiculous Obama/Clinton-fan internet crybaby flamefest, but now you've gone and insulted my city so here's where I draw the line:

You jackass, we're all on the same team. Those of us who call San Francisco home are some of the most reliably democratic people in the country. The idiotic scorched-earth "You're Either With Us Or Agin' Us" nonsense isn't winning any votes for your candidate, and is (as I have just learned quite viscerally) alienating people to no good end. Yes, out here slightly more of us prefer Democrat Barack Obama to fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton. That (apparently criminal) act hardly rises to the level of demanding the intra-party, election-losing civil-war which you seem so keen to start.

You really, really need to apologize for that crap, and then you need to stop pulling it. You sound - literally, exactly - like one of the countless horde of inbred republican dimwits that marched angrily across the teevee in the months leading up to the 2006 election... talking about Nancy Pelosi being one of those "San Francisco Liberals."

I think maybe it would be in the best interests of your candidates chances in November (should she win) if you just kind of stayed on the sidelines til we have a nominee and leave the front-page posting to people a little less arrogant and foolish.

by Chad Robinson 2008-04-12 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Obama's biggest faults over the past months - Wright, the PA comments, the NAFTA-Canada missteps, etc. are his own doing.

In other words, it strikes me as quite odd that he is almost campaigning against himself.  He generated his own negative talking points.

Wasn't it Obama that just said that supers should choose the candidate that runs the better election?  

With these types of self-inflicted PR blunders I'm not so sure that he is too far in the lead in this category.

by mjc888 2008-04-12 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Obama's biggest faults over the past months - Wright, the PA comments, the NAFTA-Canada missteps, etc. are his own doing.

And he's still winning. Tells you something, doesn't it.

Pres '08 (D)
Apr 12 Gallup Obama (D) 49%, Clinton 42%
Pres '08
Apr 12 Gallup Obama (D) 46%, McCain (R) 43%
Pres '08
Apr 12 Gallup Clinton (D) 46%, McCain (R) 45%

by BlueinColorado 2008-04-12 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Oh yeah Todd."gutterball"...I don't know you..perhaps you are in a current bowling league....
as for others...
You have no problem with Bill saying Hillary had a "senior moment"...

I understand 2000, 2004...
but in my darkest moments...I never felt compelled to attack a Dem opponent...like Karl R or Cheney/Bush would...
This "race" is over...
Ya all use all the Republican points ya want..
but some of still
tap yer oes

by nogo war 2008-04-12 04:09PM | 0 recs
In Touch With the People

he probably has a more credible claim to the feel your pain mantle than Hillary Clinton does, having spent years as a community organizer in Chicago

I think there's a difference between helping IN a community and being a part OF it. Obama's years in Chicago were a great service but his own personal experience certainly didn't parallel that of the members of that community.  He was still an outsider.

That's what made Bill so damn good.  He knew what it was like for a family to live from paycheck to paycheck.  He appreciated what a hit people take when gas goes up fifty cents a gallon.  He understood what life was like when your dad wasn't there.  He truly did feel people's pain because he'd experienced it himself.  I'd be willing to bet he even bowled.  

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 04:10PM | 0 recs

Obama's dad wasn't there.  He grew up poor, his mother didn't have any money.  What kind of nonsense are you talking?  

by GFORD 2008-04-12 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

You might want to check you facts here since they are not just wrong but dont match up with BO own book.  When his mom remarried their family was upper to middle class.  When he lived with his grandparents she was a VP at a bank and he was i cant rmember but he also had a good job.  He went to a private prep school.

So he grew up poor is pretty incorrect and his mother did have money and his grand parents had enough money to send him to private school.

Compared to most americans he was a child of wealth.  But why let facts get in the way.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Compared to Hillary and McCain, he lived in relative poverty.  But why let the truth stop you?

by brit 2008-04-12 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

First off the Clinton were not exactly wealthy at the same age as the Obama's when Bill was the governer of AK. You can check but i remeber he made less that 40k.  So give it a break.

But since you wrote this; how about this famous line but MO. "Still, Mrs. Obama complained about the amount of money she has to spend on piano, dance and other lessons for her two children and the burden of paying back student loans from her time at Princeton and Harvard".  

Seriously who could read this and not feel sorry for a family that made 1 million dollars last year.  I am just wondering about how those working class voters feel about the poor Obama's not having enough money to send there kids to private lesions for piano and dance.  

I am sure that working class voters working two jobs to support their famalies can really relate to not having enough money for dance lesions.  Bo an Elitist.  No way.

Seriously i want to make a seroius point here. Someone is complaining about not have monies for private lesions for their childern.  Do you see how maybe your average hard working middle american might not think to much of that.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Yeah, Bill had a tough background. Not very dissimiliar from Obama's (except without the time in Indonesia and the close relatives in Africa). Is Bill running for president?

Hillary had a much more privileged background, went to private school, was a Goldwater girl, a Yalie, and then made lots of money as a corporate lawyer.

C'mon. Apples and pears. Your say you have a serious point, but it applies to all politicians. I'm tired of repeating this, but Obama made 4 million in the last four years, mainly out of his book. How much did the Clintons make?

107 million

Go figure.

At some point Hillary supporters will see this typical Nixonian line backfires on their candidate.

by brit 2008-04-12 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

This is not correct "Yeah, Bill had a tough background. Not very dissimiliar from Obama's".  BO childhood was in fact much more like HRC than Bill Clinton's.  Are you really serious when you write this.  Bill come from a poor area of Hope AK and mom was poor.

BO went to private school. From Wikipedia.

Bo returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending Punahou School from the fifth grade until his graduation in 1979.

Punahou School, formerly known as Oahu College, is a private, co-educational, nonsectarian college preparatory school located in Honolulu in the U.S. State of Hawaii. With about 3,700 students attending the school, in kindergarten through the twelfth grade, it is the largest independent school west of the Mississippi River in the United States.[1]

Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, a bank vice president, and grandfather, Stanley Dunham, a salesman, lived in a two-bedroom apartment in downtown Honolulu and helped raise their grandson along with his mother until he graduated from high school.

Do let me get this straight. You are comparing the childhood of Bill Clinton form a broken home and one of the poorest area's in Ak to BO who lived in downtown honoulu and went to the best private school in the state.

Just saying.


by giusd 2008-04-12 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?


BILL is not running for president.

Got that?

Obama spent most his time at public school. He was brought up mainly in Indoneisa And yes, both from broken homes, with none of the privilege associated with HRC's background, Bill and Obama advanced to hold senior influential political positions.


And again

Bill is not running for president

by brit 2008-04-12 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: WTF?

Please note that I did not claim that same background for Hillary...only for Bill, though Hillary hardly grew up rich, either.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
"we find BO very arrogant and elitist'
Yep..I can see the empathy that so many here understand what is is like to grow up in a family where the father is gone..Like Sen. Obama you know that growing up in this environment leads to elitism.
I understand that those offended are from a "mixed race" background....of course I support your valid observations.
can we agree on this?
Tap yer toes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ODJHUX_ EM
by nogo war 2008-04-12 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball


This is a joke right.  First i know what it is like to have a single parent.  Second BO mom remarried and his family was by the standards of most americans wealthlly.  This is from his own book.  He also lived with his grand parents and she was a Bank VP and he was a (Ok i dont remmeber the exact job) also succussful.  His family had enough money to send him to a private prep school.  He went to princton and harvard and as far as i have read did not get scholarships to off set his cost.  so lets get it straight. And by the way i went to city college since my family did not have the funds to send me to private school.

And to this "I understand that those offended are from a "mixed race" background" you are being a jack ass but BO supporters have a long history of using race to address the differing views of other democrats that dont support BO.


by giusd 2008-04-12 04:41PM | 0 recs

He went to princton and harvard and as far as i have read did not get scholarships to off set his cost.

In my research into Obama's financial circumstances as a child I learned that he attended the prestigious Punahou Academy in Hawaii as a child.  Fairness compels me to note that there were references in the material I found to his having received monetary assistance, referred to variously as either "financial aid" or a "scholarship" but there were no specific details of the aid in any biography.  I can find no indication of financial aid when he was attending either Columbia or Harvard nor does there seem to have been any such assistance for Hillary Clinton at Wellesley or Yale.

Bill Clinton, of course, would never have made it past high school without having qualified for scholarships throughout his college years.

I did find this tidbit on Hillary's Wikipedia page: "That summer (1969), she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez (which fired her and shut down overnight when she complained about unhealthy conditions)."

I've often wondered why she felt that she could identify with the working stiff.  This may explain it.

by creeper1014 2008-04-12 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Sounds like in quitting the day job, you began a new one Todd; shill for Hillary Clinton!

by reggie44pride 2008-04-12 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

ah...you claim I am a "jackss"
 ah...I you not know me and of course I do nt know you...
However is it too much to ask that provide a few links?
ya know..it must be a hard thing to be a part of Young Republicans on a campus where all your profs are commies...but hang in there,,,ok?

tap yer toes...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ODJHUX_ EM

by nogo war 2008-04-12 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
of course..this is a cool tune too..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2sWjouB1 YA&feature=related
by nogo war 2008-04-12 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

First off you are the one who put up the "I understand that those offended are from a mixed race background" so maybe you should think about what you say.  And BO childhood is well know and outlined in his book so how about you doing some research before asking me to.

Second, i am 47 years old and have voted dem in the GE since Carter.  So you make yourself look foolish.  And when you have been a democratic as long as i have you will know not to question the political views of other dems.

And i am not one of the student i am one of the professors and as a rule we dont discuss politics in the lab or when teaching.  But someone of your years of experience should know this.


by giusd 2008-04-12 05:10PM | 0 recs
Unfortunately, reality is often beside the point

"Unfortunately, reality is often beside the point and perception rules..."

I'd forgotten why I'd stopped coming to MyDD, thanks for reminding me.  Anyone who cites such a truism without railing against it is, in some deep sense, already on the dark side.

by brackdurf 2008-04-12 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Keep on speaking the truth Obama.  Just because the vocal minority are getting the majority of the press and trying to twist your words, doesn't make what you said wrong.

Each and every day I grow more disgusted with the Democratic party and the MSM.  Absolutely sickening.

by RussTC3 2008-04-12 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Religion could yet do Obama in. An American values position would be to say nothing about people's use of religion.

Religion has been a major curse of people and nations for millennia. But people don't want to hear that.

Obama should hold a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind" as expressed by cannabis-smoking Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

Obama did not do well among rural voters in Ohio. He may well have cut off his nose in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky where religion holds a major sway over how people vote.

If Obama is the Democratic nominee, his religion remark could put Ohio in the Repug column.

McCain likely will carry Kentucky. Indiana, being traditionally Repug, will probably go for McCain too.

by Hempy 2008-04-12 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

There was no verbal gutterball - only a sleazy response from Clinton. She can't win so she'll apparently do anything to stop Obama from winning. Her prevarications, hideous dismissive laughter when asked legitimate questions and outright churlishness have made certain that she will never, ever be the Democratic standard-bearer. Listening to her is like waiting for a train wreck.

by Shiloh 2008-04-12 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

if Hillary had made these same comments, these boards would be flipped with whom support/disdain her. Obama folk would say what an insensitive candidate she has become, many Clinton folk would declare her comments to be honest and words from a "fight'n woman!".

personally, I kinda agree with Obama and kinda don't. Such is life.

However, after watching the Hillary video Todd posted, I could not get over what a hack she has become. She used one hyperbole after another to make her point. Did she say hunters? Something about them being doctors, lawyers, city folk and tomato farmers?


by alex100 2008-04-12 08:02PM | 0 recs
The problem is that the situation is reversed

Clinton and McCain are out of touch not Obama. My grandfather lost his job when his steel mill shut down. He was bitter till the end of his days. He didn't become a wedge issue voter because he was African-American but many of his coworkers did.

So it's clear that the people who think this was a bad thing to say have no idea about how working class folks feel.

by RLMcCauley 2008-04-13 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Todd, you're saying "blame the candidate"? How does this help? We know well that McCain can and does say far worse things, but because he isn't being hammered for it on all sides, it doesn't hurt the Republicans. Bush made far, far worse verbal screwups in 2000, but wasn't hammered for it, so it didn't affect his campaign.

It's NEVER what the candidates ACTUALLY SAY, it's who reacts, and how in the parties and the media that determines the result.

Hillary is saying things about the 90%-likely-nominee that she can't take back. She has a responsibility to campaign in such a way that does not harm the long-term prospects for Obama in the general. Not to reinforce McCain's likely avenues of attack - that's Lieberman's job.

by lexluthor 2008-04-13 06:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

I think we all just need to stop being so god damn offended at every little thing.

by 08AMA 2008-04-13 06:46AM | 0 recs
It only "offends" the true believers

that would vote for McCain anyway.

I don't see the "Gods and Guns" crowd voting for an AA candidate over John McCain.

The democratic support in this election will come from those of us that are a lot more than bitter - we're mad as hell. And it will take a lot more than a tactless slip up such as this to vote Republican.

And yes, this might hurt Obama in the primaries. But again, while the rural vote might choose Hillary over the black guy, I don't see them voting for her over McCain either. Not in a million years.

by Sumo Vita 2008-04-13 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Poor Clinton supportors are grasping at air. Obama said what needs to be said - people are fed up with government - they are bitter. Our own government spends our money on useless wars and sends our jobs overseas so the big companies can make more profits. Clinton voted for the biggest gift to credit card companies - the bankruptcy bill. She may have a health care plan - but she won't get it passed. She voted for the biggst mistake of all - Iraq. She voted for cluster bombs. She missed the key vote on telecom immunity.

Sorry - she has lost the ability to speak as a consistent voice for the little person. This "bitter" stuff is just so pathetic - Obama sure isn't the elite one. Clinton grew up in the priviledged home - not Obama. Clinton has had access to the Presidency and the big corporate donors. Clinton votes the wrong way on issues for the little people. That was an "elite" statement?  NO - that was a statemnet of how things actually are. Anyone who doesn't get that needs to get out of their home and talk to real people.

by correctnotright 2008-04-13 10:46AM | 0 recs
Obama and Healthcare

Funny, I didn't see Obama partisans complaining when Obama attacked Hillary on healthcare using rightwing talking points

Should I have jumped up and down a bit more, and waved my hands more vigorously?

Because I did in fact complain quite a bit at the time, and it's one of the reasons I still have some pretty nontrivial reservations about Obama.

And it's also one of the reasons I'm quite glad that John and Elizabeth Edwards decided not to endorse Obama.  This stuff's important, and hopefully their unwillingness to endorse him, despite their deeper dislike of Hillary, sends something of a message.

by RT 2008-04-13 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

Obama has again illustrated that he understands what is going on. The problem is that he has not learned that you can't tell the truth. People want to live in denial. They want to be told that everything will be OK against all evidence to the contrary. They do not want to be told that, if they want things to be OK, they had better do something. They don't want to do anything.

People feel better if they can rage about their rights whether they have them or not. You have the right to bear arms unless the government decides to declare martial law and take them from you. You have the right to a fair trial unless the government decides to declare you a terrorist, lock you up and not give you one. You have the right to privacy unless the government decides to spy on you. The Constitution is the law that guarantees your rights unless the government decides to ignore it.

So, cling to these rights and don't let the elitists tell you that you don't have them.

by websmith 2008-04-13 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball
gutterball? I find it pathetic that dems like you are trashing obama for saying the troop.
Bitter is a mild work.
How bout "pissed"? How bought "mad as hell"?
by kareng 2008-04-13 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Verbal Gutterball

sorry, 'truth', but you knew that.

by kareng 2008-04-13 02:46PM | 0 recs


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