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Reaching the real AmericansPosted Monday, April 14, 2008, at 8:03 AM
Here are Barack Obama's comments which have drawn so much flak from Hillary Clinton:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years," Obama said a few days ago. "... And it's not surprising then 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."
Clinton responds: "Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them. They need a president who stands up for them."
And a spokesman for John McCain says Obama's comments were "condescending" and "out of touch."
Obama attempted some damage control over the weekend at a forum. "What I was saying is that when economic hardship hits in these communities, what people have is they've got family, they've got their faith, they've got the traditions that have been passed onto them from generation to generation.
"Those aren't bad things. That's what they have left."
I'd hope people would "cling" and much more to religion. Guns? Some love 'em, some don't. As far as anti-immigrant sentiment and opposition to "people who aren't like them," it's a sad but true fact.
Frustrations? When good-paying jobs aren't available, yes, they get frustrated.
Frankly, I doubt any of the Big Three candidates can really relate to a small-town or rural blue collar worker who sees jobs disappear. And, like it or not, when foreign workers are brought in because they work cheap and don't complain, Americans are going to feel some frustration.
It doesn't help when we hear rhetoric but no real solutions from any viable candidate.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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