March 26, 2007


Obama and blue collars: Do they fit?: History says he must reach working-class voters -- Hillary Clinton's stronghold (Ronald Brownstein, March 25, 2007, LA Times)

IN THE EARLY returns among the young, computer-savvy social networkers on the MySpace website, Barack Obama is running laps around Hillary Rodham Clinton. Obama's MySpace page has attracted more than twice as many friends as Clinton's unofficial page on the site.

But when the two leading contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination appeared earlier this month in Washington before a beefy, brush-cut audience at an International Assn. of Fire Fighters convention, the result was reversed. Obama received a tepid response while Clinton blew away the room when she followed him to the stage.

"If I was Barack Obama, I'd say that speech -- that's the one I wanted to deliver to the firefighters," said Bob Markwood, an Orlando firefighter, a few minutes after Clinton concluded.

These contrasting responses signal the resurgence of a dynamic that has repeatedly shaped, and frequently decided, the contests for the Democratic presidential nomination over the last generation.

Obama's early support is following a pattern familiar from the campaigns of other brainy liberals with cool, detached personas and messages of political reform, from Eugene McCarthy in 1968 to Gary Hart in 1984 to Bill Bradley in 2000. Like those predecessors, Obama is running strong with well-educated voters but demonstrating much less support among those without college degrees.

Perhaps Obama is Swahili for egghead?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2007 4:14 PM

Obama's going to go down like all the other early media favorites.

Posted by: Brandon at March 26, 2007 6:08 PM

Hillary went over well with the firemen's union officials. No surprise there.

Posted by: erp at March 26, 2007 6:22 PM

An egghead hasn't won since Woodrow Wilson.

Posted by: Gideon at March 26, 2007 6:44 PM


Posted by: oj at March 26, 2007 6:51 PM

Beg to differ, oj. Hoover was an engineer.

Posted by: Chris B at March 27, 2007 6:50 AM

of human souls.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2007 8:00 AM