Benny's World

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mixed Reactions to the Obama 's Comments (update)

I have mixed reactions to what Barack Obama said about rust belt citizens in rural America. In some ways, I think people are bitter about what has happened to their jobs and their lives. But I'm not certain that is the reason they cling to guns and religion either.

I'm linking to Talking Points Memo's Election Central which has the reactions and responses of both Clinton and Obama, and you can decide. I think both are right, and both are a little wrong. Clinton is correct in what she is hearing; Obama is correct that people are angry and feel ignored.

Obama though made a mistake, no question about it, as McSame saw it as an opportunity to call him on it. Why? Because the offhand comment was made at a California high dollar fund raiser.

To see opposing views about this latest gotcha, go to this diary and this diary at MyDD. Identity politics at work. The second diary concluded with this paragraph:

... I hope this supposed controversy continues to rage right up to the next debate in Philly on Wednesday, April 16th. Let Clinton try to defend her GOP-lite position in front of an audience of Democrats and let Obama take his position from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party and let's see how the audience responds.

In half-truthed snark, I penned a response:

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party has left the room for now. It resides at the Center for American Progress.

However, I'm hoping the Democratic Wing in the form of a very progressive platform will return in August at the DNCC.

Update: Mudcat Saunders, whom I thought was working for Obama, made this comment to CNN:

“I’m a southern boy myself,” Saunders told CNN by phone. “I don’t have a gun because I’m bitter, it’s because I’ve always had one. I don’t pray to God because I’m bitter. I pray to God because it makes my life better.”

Saunders was an adviser to former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, and he wrote on The Huffington Post in January that Edwards was the only Democrat with the potential to defeat McCain in a general election match-up.

The consultant is also credited with helping former Virginia governor Mark Warner win election in 2001 by moving socially-conservative voters into the Democratic fold. Warner sponsored a vehicle in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during that campaign, a move attributed to Saunders.

Obama’s advisers, including the state’s current Gov. Tim Kaine, see Virginia as a state Obama can win this fall. Although Obama won the state’s primary on Feb. 12 overwhelmingly, he lost the 9th congressional district in rural southwestern Virginia to Hillary Clinton.

Saunders said “rural America will be crucial in this election.”

“The one thing that I preached during this whole deal is we can’t be stereotyping anybody,” he said. “Well, Barack Obama just stereotyped my people out in rural America.”

“Here’s a guy who says he shouldn’t be stereotyped, but yet he stereotyped us.”

Well, if he was working for Obama, I bet he's not anymore.

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