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April 14, 2008
Obama and Allies Dodging the essence of his remarks
Obama has been spinning like a top since it was revealed that he doesn't think much of white middle class voters who won't vote for him because they "cling" to God, guns, and racism.
Jack Tapper has noticed that Obama is defending only one aspect of those remarks; that he called these voters "bitter:"
While the description of small town Pennsylvanians as “bitter” is certainly impolitic, many political analysts say it’s what follows that adjective that is potentially so alienating — the notion that small town folks “get bitter” after which “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.” Ed Morrissey noticed the same thing:
But Obama allies are trying to focus on the “bitter” part alone.
In their attempts to spin away from Barack Obama’s stunningly stupid remarks at a San Francisco fundraiser last weekend, Democrats and the Obama campaign have focused on only the least objectionable portion of the comment as a means to frame the national discussion. Slate's Mickey Kaus hasn't missed this curious defense either:
In a single sentence where Obama called small-town Midwestern voters overly religious bigots who cling to their guns out of frustration with George Bush, the Democrats have decided to build their defense on “bitter”.
At this point, the MSM and Hillary are only doing Obama a favor by focusing on the "bitter" dispute. ... Anyway, maybe he meant "bitter" in a good way! The New York Times can't even bring itself to acknowledge that Obama even said "bitter." Other media outlets have also latched on to the "bitter" theme while ignoring the towering elitism revealed by Obama in the rest of his remarks.
With coverage like this, the entire incident is likely to blow over in the next few days. But look for its resurrection during the general election when Republicans will use the quote to show how out of touch Obama is with ordinary people.