April 20, 2008


There's real danger to Obama in a cry of 'snob' : The battle between Barack and Hillary has given the Republicans time to polish their favourite dark art (Michael Crowley, 4/20/08, The Observer)

Obama's candidacy may have reached a turning point when the Illinois senator - speaking at a San Francisco fundraiser under the assumption he was off the record - made the comment that small-town Americans are 'bitter' about their economic circumstances and 'cling' to religion, guns, xenophobia and protectionism as a result. While Clinton gleefully pounced on the comments, hoping to stigmatise Obama in rural Pennsylvania, McCain and the Republican party apparatus also rushed joyfully into the fray. 'I think those comments are elitist,' McCain said, charging that Obama had 'disparage[d] people, who are hard-working, honest, dedicated people ... I think that's a fundamental contradiction of what I believe America is all about.' 'That sentence will cost Obama the election,' chimed conservative activist Grover Norquist.

Obama's line was not fatal, but Norquist still has grounds for glee. For a fundamental battle has been joined here - that battle to define the Democratic nominee's character.

One recurring feature of recent presidential campaigns has been the disgraceful effort of the Republican party to compensate for its unpopular positions on major issues, from health care to Iraq, by impugning the character of the Democratic presidential nominee. Liberals have made this complaint for some time, but I lent it new credence after listening to a senior figure in the Bush political machine. 'You guys never get it,' he said to a group of journalists who'd been debating the politics of some newsworthy issue. 'People don't vote on issues. They vote on character.'

The man knew whereof he spoke, for character largely explains how Bush won two presidential elections.

...imagine Mr. Crowley trying to explain to George Washington or Martin Luther King, Jr. that character shouldn't matter.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 20, 2008 1:51 PM

Looks like this won't be the year they finally win with their super-popular ideas. Maybe the Democrats are just not ruthless enough. They're too nice, really. Republicans are just mean and don't play fair. How can you beat that? Even with such exciting and popular positions!

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at April 20, 2008 3:22 PM

He spoke to a crowd of millionaires at the Getty mansion. What else would you call his insulting of all the 'little people' but snobism?

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 20, 2008 6:08 PM