Obama hands Hillary an early Christmas present

Posted by: ST on April 11, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Will these comments, made in front of a gathering of uber-rich supporters in San Francisco this past weekend, cause Obama’s poll surge in Pennsylvania to reverse course? (emphasis added)

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.

Tom Maguire correctly points out these remarks sound a lot like the Mrs.

Ben Smith has the audio, and probably the best explanation for clueless liberals as to why conservatives are up in arms over the remarks:

The quality isn’t great — it’s best listened to with headphones. The context doesn’t really change the substance of the remarks, which came as he discussed on his work to connect with working class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The reason that Obama’s critics are jumping on this is that he seems to be speaking diagnostically about people’s beliefs — their attachment to religion or guns — casting their sometimes-conservative politics as symptoms. Which is rarely how people like to view their own beliefs.

The McCain camp has hit back on the comment. Hillary issued a direct response here:

The BO campaign is fighting back, but rest assured this soundbite is going to be used against Barack Obama from now until the PA primary on April 22nd – and beyond. Talking about people being discouraged and “bitter” about their economic situation is one thing, but asserting that the frustration “causes” them to “turn to guns and religion” is insulting, and also makes it sound like being a gun enthusiast and/or being a believer in God is a bad thing. And to say it in front of a crowd full of the elitist of the elite – well, that just raises the Ickometer even higher.

Check out tons more blogger reax via Memeorandum.

RSS feed for comments on this post.


  • Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy trackbacked with Quote of the day...
  • 28 Responses to “Obama hands Hillary an early Christmas present”


    1. from swimming freestyle:

      “Barack Obama is a remarkably eloquent man and turning into a remarkably capable politician. But if the Senator believes it’s smart to insult voters from a state critical to your success, he’s hit one of the worst false notes yet in his campaign.

      Yeah, I know what his campaign said, and that may have been what he meant. But a sophisticated candidate doesn’t refer to voters in language that can be construed as derogatory or insulting. Obama asserted Pennsylvania voters are bitter and so simple and lacking in maturity and intelligence that they address their frustration by clinging to primitive and reactionary crutches rather than addressing their problems in constructive ways.

      It’s divisive. And not the way to attract the voters you need most”

    2. Great White Rat says:

      Jim Geraghty has the perfect retort to Obama’s narrow-minded view of small-town Americans:

      Boy, I’d hate for people to get bitter, and to cling to antipathy to people who aren’t like them because of, say, a religious leader… You know, somebody preaching hate from the pulpit or something like that. Good thing Barack Obama is always on top of circumstances like that, and would never stand for that…

    3. DavidL says:

      BO is projecting. Pensyvania isn’t bitter. BO is bitter, exhibit one his minister, exhibit two his wife.

    4. Tom TB says:

      Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! I’m not bitter; just amused that Barry and Michelle are so uncomfortable with the true Americans in this country, as they pander for their vote.

    5. Lina M says:

      I’m still not 100% sure on who I will vote for, but I’m not going to vote based on race or gender. I would love to hear something that pertains to black on black crime and helping black men succeed after being incarcerated. Not necessarily giving black men any handouts, because you have to suffer the consequences of your actions whether they are positive or negative. However, like the king of Soul, James Brown, once said, “I’m not asking for any handouts,” “Just open the door and I’ll get in myself.” If you are willing and able to prove that you can be a law abiding citizen after paying you debt to society, you should be given the chance to do so.

    6. Foxx says:

      Barako, Barako, BarakoObama
      Barako, Barako, BarakoObama
      Barako, Barako, BarakoObama

      Something silly to add to the can of stupid that Obama just open up in San Fransicko.

    7. Neo says:

      When I posted about this yesterday, I had found the part ..

      anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

      .. as just breathe taking in regard to the fact that just the day before Nancy Pelosi had taken the Columbian Free Trade agreement out of contention for an up or down vote.

      But why would Nancy Pelosi be bitter ?

      But alas, here was the leading contentor for the Democratic nomination for POTUS basically saying that this was a cynical act, probably a cynical political act which was not in the interest of the nation, but nonetheless standard Democratic fare of the day.

      I’ve noticed today, that many progressive sites seem to leave off the “anti-trade sentiment” portion of the quote, including Reuters.

      Are all Democratic candidates so cynical of the voters that they fell free to distort their own positions publicly while secretly knowing that they would not support it themselves ?

      I will watch and wait for an answer.

    8. Mwalimu Daudi says:

      Now you’ve done it, ST! How dare you hold He Who Has No Middle Name accountable for His actions?

      Michelle Obama will not be proud of her country – and it’s your fault!

    9. T-Steel says:

      I guess this is a gaffe. I guess…

      I think Senator Clinton should have kept her mouth shut on this one simply because Republicans can say the exact same thing about her (elitist, out-of-touch) if she wins the Dem nomination. After all, Clinton is P-A-I-D!! She went to Wellesley College which has been branded “elitist” by a sizable number of people. She basically handed Senator McCain a weapon against herself.

    10. NC Cop says:

      So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns

      I do not “cling” to guns Senator, I enjoy them as a hobby, a tool of my trade, and a means to defend myself from criminals, just like every other American has the right to do.

      or religion

      I do not “cling” to religion Senator, I celebrate it. I have faith and I thank God for everything I have in my life as well as for living in this country.

      antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment

      I do not “cling” to antipathy to people who aren’t like me or anti-immigrant sentiment Senator, I simply do not want people sneaking across he border ILLEGALY. Not surprisingly the word illegal always seems to be missing from the dems vocabulary when talking about immigration. Yet, given the dems history, are we really surprised that the word “illegal” isn’t in their vocabulary?

      There is not much more I can add to the other arguments except to reinforce what’s already been stated, and that is that the esteemed Senator seems to have no clue on what makes people tick.

    11. Lorica says:

      Anyone else see Barak “man of the people” Obama, hanging out at billionaires row in San Fransisco?? Very Telling how this was an unannounced visit and was almost completely ignored by the media. Zombietime.com has a good photo shoot, and 1 picture that I have to agree with him, is rather ironic. – Lorica

    12. forest hunter says:

      Lina M: While I think I agree with your premise, I am tired of hearing about the black issues as though they were somehow privileged with a birthright to special favors……….oh wait :o, I forgot about quota systems labeled otherwise, granting special favor to various minorities, including the illegals. Russians are going to be the new blight as they continue to infiltrate the US under the guise of religious persecution. Hide and watch as the Russian mafia continues to gain speed. I digress…..

      As to whom to cast your vote for, I appreciate your quandary completely. Two liars that would/have sell/sold in an heartbeat America for personal power or a Republocrat. As there are no conservatives running, McCain unfortunately is the least of three evils and will get my vote.

    13. gary fouse says:

      Sometimes, I think the best thing John McCain could do for his candidacy would be to go on a long vacation, get a lot of rest and come back in November. By then, he might find that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have completely disappeared. The Democratic Primary looks like two punchdrunk fighters trying to hand the bout to the other.

      For example, just when it looked like the Hillary-Bosnia flap was starting to blow over, here comes Bill appearing before the usual crowd of curious onlookers (“Hey Bob, didn’t that guy used to be a president?”) explaining how Hillary screwed up the Bosnia story. According to Bill, she made the claim at 11 at night when she was tired from lack of sleep. Big deal, said Bill. Problem was, Hillary said it multiple times-and not at some late hour as Bill claimed. Then Bill stuck it in even farther, asking his listeners to understand how it is to be sixty years old and tired. You know, plays tricks on your memory don’t it? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in having someone as commander-in-chief who is starting to lose her memory due to old age. Not that I believe that; on the contrary, Hillary’s selective memory is astounding. As for Bill, he is starting to remind me of Pete Rose at an autograph show.

      Anyway, I have a question for those Clinton-admirers out there: Are you starting to realize that the Clintons-both of them-are nothing more than a couple of BS artists?

      Meanwhile, just as our “bringer togetherer” presidential candidate, Barack Obama, was starting to put the Wright deal behind him-at least in the minds of the Democratic voters-he stepped in it himself. This time, it was not the words of his wife, Michelle, nor the words of his pastor, but his own words. In San Francisco, speaking before an audience of well, “San Franciscoers” (inside joke), Obama described the backwoods, gun-totin’, bible-thumpin’, minority hatin’, immigrant-bashin’ hicks that populate Pennsylvania. You know, people right out of the cast of “The Deer Hunter”, people who are not too receptive to a “46-year-old- black guy” like him.

      What is it about those people in Pennsylvania? First, their own Governor, Ed Rendell implies that they are racists and not willing to vote for a black candidate. Now Obama delights an elite San Francisco audience with his own description of a Dickensian Pennsylvania inhabited by steel workers and coal minors.

      As a personal comment, I lived in Pittsburgh from 1987-1990, and I happen to have a high opinion of the folks there. (Pittsburgh, unlike Philadelphia, which is a classical Eastern city, would be classified more as a Midwestern city culturally.)

      But I digress. Obama’s remark was ridiculous. After first defending himself defiantly in Terre Haute from criticism by Hillary and the McCain campaign, Obama admitted that he chose the wrong words. Indeed.

      I am having serious doubts about Obama-specifically on his honesty (in speaking about Wright) and his judgement. As for his experience, he is obviously lacking. I seriously suspect that there is a side to the Obamas that they are hiding. It would be great if the mainstream media started asking him more pointed questions-which they don’t. The msm was forced to discuss the Wright issue. Hopefully, they will be forced to examine the relationship between Obama and former (unrepentent)Weather Underground bomber, William Ayers (now Professor William Ayers). That is yet another story out there that relates directly to Obama’s fitness for president.

      Meanwhile, the Great Sausage Race stumbles toward the finish line.

      gary fouse

    14. Realizing he made a boo boo, BO tried to clean it up yesterday with a new version

      “People don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody is going to help them,” Obama told a crowd at a Terre Haute, Ind., high school Friday evening. “So people end up voting on issues like guns and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community, and their family, and the things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.”

      But this isn’t any better. He still doesn’t understand that people vote on the gun issue because they ant to protect their Second Amendment rights. He also doesn’t understand that people can truely believe in their religion.

      In other words, he’s an elitist snob who gives eloquent speeches.

    15. Neo says:

      Obama’s only major contact with religious people are those at Trinity UCC. From the “GD AmeriKKKa”, I get the sense that they may be frustrated and bitter, so by obvious extension .. what guns are they clinging to ?

    16. Tom TB says:

      What we should all do when we encounter Obama supporters is ask them politely, “What has he ever accomplished in his life that would qualify him for our Nation’s top job?”

    17. Lorica says:

      Neo I think you have a good point. BO’s only real religious relationships is with a bunch of malcontents, pastored by a malcontent. So with that thought, what BO is saying is very true. Which then speaks to just how much knowledge he has about the world that surrounds him. Apparently he can’t distiguish between his reality and the real world around him. God I pray this man is soundly defeated by John McCain. – Lorica

    18. Dana says:

      As someone who lives in small town, rural Pennsyltucky, I can tell you that Barack Hussein Obama isn’t counting on our votes anyway. You see, he didn’t want to mention this part, but he’s criticizing the rural white Pennsylvanians, us unedumacated rednecks who ain’t gonna vote for no Negro nohow.

      One of the men with whom I work collects guns; he’s got so many that some are still in the box! He hunts, and has his own butcher shop.

      He was intending to rebuild his front porch this weekend, but the waste line from his toilet to the septic tank got blocked up. Fortunately, he’s got an outhouse on his property!

      Now, rather than calling a plumber, he’s going to remove the cast iron soil pipes himself this weekend, and replace what he can with PVC. Because he’s got a cast iron elbow going through his 2½ foot thick stone foundation, he’s going to leave that in place, and use rubber couplings to make the unions.

      He never finished high school, but he works hard, and takes care of himself and his family. He’s one of those bitter guys, the one Senator Obama combitches about, but he can fix anything and ain’t afraid of hard work. And there are a lot of men like him around here.

      Of course Mr Obama doesn’t particularly care for men like this: they’re the kinds of guys who do things themselves, and don’t wait for the government to take care of them.

    19. Neo says:

      Now we get the real MO of a President Obama ..

      If he screws up it’s “Shame on You” not him.

      After a good dose of Trinity UCC and Rev Wright, Obama has gone a long way with dispersing “white guilt,” so Obama should expect limited results.

    20. Great White Rat says:

      If he screws up it’s “Shame on You” not him.

      And this is different from anyone else on the left…how?

      Liberals have such an arrogant belief in their own superiority that when something goes wrong, it just can’t be their fault. Someone else must have caused the problem.

      Ever hear either of the Clintons take responsibility for anything they messed up? It’s either the VRWC, or it’s the fault of some low level campaign aide.

      John Kerry sticks his foot in his mouth and insults the IQ of the troops in Iraq. His fault? Nope…you just aren’t smart enough to understand his nuanced sense of humor.

      Jimmy Carter makes a mess of his entire presidency – his fault? Nah. It’s a “national malaise”. It’s your fault.

      And it wouldn’t be difficult to come up with dozens of more examples.

      So Obama’s just a cookie-cutter leftist. Some “change” indeed. l-)

    21. Lorica says:

      And let’s not forget that BO made these comments on an unannounced visit to limosine elite liberals in the San Fransisco area. The man of the people, gonna change things for the little guy, was pandering to billionaires for campaign cash. Yeah some change that. – Lorica

    22. Severian says:

      John Kerry sticks his foot in his mouth and insults the IQ of the troops in Iraq. His fault? Nope…you just aren’t smart enough to understand his nuanced sense of humor.

      Yeah, it’s like I’ve always said, if you’re going to shoot yourself in the foot you should take it out of your mouth first. This is a disease that liberal Dem politicians have, and contrary to their weak assertions that it means they just simply misspoke or were “tired” or were taken out of context (although how much confidence does it give you in their competence when they make these “mistakes” so often?), it’s a sign of a deeper issue. That is, their basic core beliefs and views on America and it’s citizens, and people/life in general. It betrays a cynical, pessimistic, power and control hungry elitist “I know better than you what’s good for you” attitude. And the sad part is that so many are willing to go against everything this country stands for and actively want to be treated like children rather than stand on their own two feet and move forward. Gimme gimme gimme. It’s not my fault…I’m a victim…

    23. Neo says:

      From the ARG poll.

      23% of likely Democratic primary voters say that excessive exposure to Obama’s advertising is causing them to support Clinton.

      I’ve seen this sort of thing in my own district back in 2006.

      It’s a new phenomenon that campaigns will have to deal with ..
      Overexposure !!
      Too much money as a problem ?? Who’d a thunk it ?

      Who would have thought that having somebody constantly interrupting your life would cause them to dislike you ?
      I wonder what Obama’s mother-in-law is like ?