I am not writing about this matter as a Barack Obama supporter, as much as I am over the fact this story has been so bastardized by those who wish to either win the nomination (Hillary Clinton) or fear him in the fall campaign (Republicans) they therefore need to distort his original intent.
The actual words that Barack Obama said are important to read…..in their entirety. They are important to read as they are true. They reflect reality. There is no way that anyone can get a sense of elitism or any other such tone from these remakes when read fully. Instead Obama is talking directly to the issues and facts that confront many Americans as the economy suffers, and to the political promises of the past that did nothing to resolve the underlying needs.
America, I strongly suspect, gets the message that Obama was making; they know that there is a dreadful disparity between the economic reality in the small towns, while bailouts on Wall Street are easily and quickly done. And sure voters are bitter. Because they have the right to be.
Obama has the ability to use this story to his advantage. He has proved very capable as a campaigner for the White House. Even though this story might truly hurt any other candidate given how it is being spread and misused by opponents, Obama has the skills to turn this back to his good. And I predict that when he does it will yet again make a huge impact on superdelegates. Hillary Clinton gets pounded by her own efforts with dirty campaigning….again. Superdelegates that have not committed are looking for a winner, and every step of the way Obama has proved he is best prepared not only to lead the nation, but also to win in the general election. This controversy will in the end help him.
The full statement that Barack Obama made is here to read.
So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…I think they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today – kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.
Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).
But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What’s the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is — so, we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide health care for every American. So we’ll go down a series of talking points.
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.
Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.