The irony. Barrack Obama makes some honest and intelligent observations and he’s treated as if he has personally cursed the voters as morons. The offending quote:
“You go into 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,” he said.
“And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations,” he added.
This is not just unarguably correct but shows that he has some political and social awareness. Obviously the last qualities that you want from a President…..
The irony is the condescension of Hillary Clinton’s attack:
Mrs Clinton said her rival’s comments had been condescending and suggested voters in Pennsylvania did not “need a president who looks down on them”.
“I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America,” she said on Saturday.
“Senator Obama’s remarks are elitist and are out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans, certainly not the Americans that I know.”
So, it’s demeaning to the voters to understand what motivates them but not to flatter them? Obama is elitist? She hangs around depressed small-towns around America with the long-term unemployed. She props up the Sports Bar or eats in Hooters or hangs round the gun club, then?
McCain obviously jumped on the populist “Obama is elitist bandwagon”
An adviser to Mr McCain, Steve Schmidt, said his candidate believed the statement was “nothing short of breathtaking”, and that it was “hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans”.
No, “breathtaking” is when you realise the contempt that political candidates really do have for the voters. Politicians who treat voters as pawns to be manipulated for their votes, to get the big bucks their backers will pull in after the election – while assuring them they really love and respect them – are acting in a way that would be seen as “gold-digging” in the private sphere.
Poor Obama has had to rephrase his speech but he does seems to have stood by its content. I doubt that “regime change” will make much difference to the US. Still, I’m increasingly daring to hope that Obama could actually achieve something.