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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reaching the real Americans

Posted 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.


Comments
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[Show in chronological order instead]

Obama is half white, but he seems to be ashamed of that.

-- Posted by jim8377 on Tue, May 6, 2008, at 7:10 PM

I don't want either one of them to care about the Democratic Party. I would rather them care about the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 6:58 PM

LOL words twisted I think not.

What she said was exactly "This is the first time in my adult life that I can say I am proud of my country."

Twist it however you wish but she said it I didn't!

And if you think for one minute Barack Obama cares about the Democratic party then you should think again.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 3:51 PM

Dianatn,

That's another good example of how someone's words can be twisted and over analyzed to imply something that the person didn't even mean.

If anyone's true feelings have been slipping out, its those of Hillary Clinton. She is basically tag teaming with the Republicans to attack Obama from all sides. I don't think Hillary really cares about the Democratic party regaining the White House. She only cares about herself, and winning the nomination regardless of who gets the most votes.

-- Posted by Richard on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 2:50 PM

Dianatn,

I agree. There is something about this man that seems shady. We are slowly but surely seeing some of his true feelings.

First, his wife makes anti-American comments.

Then his preacher makes anti-American comments.

Do we really want a man like this who HAS to share these beliefs to be our anti-American leader?

The only way we can solve this is to VOTE.

-- Posted by pleasebenice on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 2:19 PM

I appreciate you posting the video of him trying to explain his remarks but my problem with that is Obama seems to try and explain far too many of his remarks and actions. He seems to think we can't hear or understand his words, when in fact I personally can hear just fine and understand what he says. I feel like his true feelings are just sometimes slipping out..just as his wife's words slipped out "She has never been proud of America until recently" (you would think someone who has been given all the opportunities that she has been given and makes $300,000 a year from a not for profit hospital would be overly proud of their country.)

-- Posted by Dianatn on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 9:39 AM

It's not bigotry to set reasonable priorities.

The stupidity comes in when we let ourselves be influenced by things that don't have any significance.

It's one thing to insist that a chosen leader take care of the responsibilities he has at home and to support all his constituents instead of a selected few.

It's another to say this issue or that person must be ignored or harmed because of our dislike for them.

I happen to think a good leader can listen to his conscience,be a good steward of his domestic responsibilities and prove formidable in the international arena.

I think he can keep our nation strong enough to raise up the weak rather than be pulled down into despair with them.

I think he can be be our catalyst instead of a despot or someone's puppet.

We need people in office who take their roles seriously and take us seriously.

We need to work as a team.

Those of us on that team will have to bolster ourselves first or we won't have the resources to defend others,provide them with aid,make advances that would enrich the lives of people worldwide or make any other kind of positive contribution.

True statesmen will recognize that.

If the people meant to be in charge choose to ignore us,we might start forgetting about them when we enter the voting booth.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 2:52 AM

Thanks for the video link, Brian. I think he uses better wording in that interview. However, he's making the same point, and it's true. I don't understand what's supposed to be so offensive about it.

To be fair, here is Obama's response to the remarks:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=NIxmi3e2Vmo

-- Posted by Richard on Tue, Apr 15, 2008, at 12:46 AM

Just one more thing about Obama's statement. Apparently, he's had this idea for a while.

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/obama...

What gets me about politicians of any stripe lately, is that when they put their foot in their mouth and tick folks off, they'll say things like Obama said, which was: "I didn't say it as well as I should have."

This is the essential problem with these political types. They believe they are never wrong, just misinterpreted.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 10:48 PM

There is a big difference in having people who live in communities who are violent or outrageous or bigots and having them elected to the highest office in our nation.

I wouldn't vote for someone who was a member of the KKK nor would I vote for someone from deliverance. That doesn't mean they can't live in society.

It just means I don't want them pandering to their special interest groups.I don't want my tax dollars sent to Africa or any 3rd world nation when Americans are struggling right now.

If that makes me a bigot, Oh well I am not running for President of the United States.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 9:23 PM

You gotta watch out for those people who wear bedsheets even if they are invisible.

(Especially if the sheets are white.)

If we let ragheads infiltrate our country,we might end up with leaders like Anwar Sadat or neighbors like the Albanians that sheltered Jews during the Holocaust.

Every race and culture has its good and bad people.

Most of us are a little of both.

We need to make the effort to look at individuals rather than take the easy way out with sterotypes of any kind.

(C'mon,are all of us small town Southerners really like Boss Hogg,the villains in Deliverance or the folks who lynched and bombed churches?)

For good or bad,individuals can have more effect on a group than the group on individuals.

Our communities are only as good as their members so we need to police ourselves but we need to work as hard to include those who would be assets as we are to exclude those who have proven to be liabilities.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 7:40 PM

Here I go judging a person by the way he looks, stands, acts, etc...oh well that's just me. Obama has sneaky eyes, like he's hiding something. I can guarantee he's up to no good. If everybody will look at the blog called "Foreign Drivers", you'll see just a sampling of what we're in for if a rag-head gets voted into office. Go ahead and bash me for being prejudice, I don't care. Just because he doesn't wear bedsheets on his head in public, he's still a rag-head Muslim.

-- Posted by time2relax on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 4:11 PM

There are so many things about him that I simply do not feel good about.

Me too, DianaTN. I feel like there is some underlying agenda I know nothing about and I don't feel its a positive one.

-- Posted by mmp84 on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 2:57 PM

I don't think his Obama's comments were condescending at all. Many Americans are bitter, angry, and frustrated because of economic hardships in their communities, and they should be. McCain and Clinton are "out of touch" if they don't think so.

He wasn't saying that people shouldn't care about religion or guns. He was making a point that many people don't vote based on economic issues because they are skeptical that anything is going to change. When politicians promise for 25+ years to help the working class, bring back all the jobs to their communities, etc., and then fail to deliver those promises, then, yes, people get bitter and they stop believing them.

So, people start concentrating on issues such as gun control, gay marriage, or religion, and we fail to deal with our economic problems.

-- Posted by Richard on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 2:47 PM

I stick to the statement that we are in a huge mess no matter which of these three idiots are elected!

-- Posted by Mike Molder on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 1:35 PM

He may not have meant it this way but, to a voter's ear,these comments might sound similar to a California senator calling some of his disgruntled constituents "crackers".

(And,no,he wasn't comparing them to that ultra-brilliant psychiatrist from the mystery stories.)

It's one thing to say that people who are being cheated will hold on to what they have-even the bad parts.

It's another to imply that the only people you'll hear complaining are the ignorant and ill-mannered that don't deserve to be heeded anyway.

The little guy can't take pride in prejudice but make him feel as if everyone else is his enemy and he's going to put his own survival before anyone else's welfare.

Give him the sense that his welfare matters to others and he'll have the wisdom and nobility to reciprocate.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 10:27 AM

That's the thing I have never understood about Obama it has seemed to me that the media has been dancing around him this entire campaign. There are so many things about him that I simply do not feel good about. I too wish Hillary would get the nomination. I firmly believe if Obama gets the nomination, McCain will be the next President of the United States. But hey, I have been saying this same thing for the past several months but of course when anyone says they don't like Obama it makes you a bigot and a racist.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 10:24 AM

You know what the best part is? It was a blogger that reported these remarks. The press were not allowed inside the high dollar shindig:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...

You can't have the little people finding out what he was saying, can you? Too bad they learned about it anyways.

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 9:54 AM

lik=like

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 9:41 AM

Eh . . . I wasn't going to vote for Obama anyway and comments lik that are why. I wish Clinton would win the Democratic ticket because I could almost stomach voting for her but Obama I can not and I can not vote for McCain either(Mr. Bush lite).

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 9:40 AM

Maybe we need a system where viability is determined by whether a candidate has not only demonstrated the skills and willingness to make things better but has a reputation for ability and service throughout his or her professional and personal life.

If he who is faithful in little is faithful in much,let's see who has done the best work in his own backyard.

Let's see what (if anything) he accomplishes offstage.

If a candidate is more than a candidate and an insider and has had real dealings with all the constituents (not just one niche) then we can see that he has strong moral character,common sense,respect for the people and the ability to work well with others,follow instructions and delegate authority.

If the person can listen to a homemaker,farmer,teacher or factory worker and get up to speed on the challenges they face,he might do as well while talking to a foreign diplomat,a military supplier,a pharmaceutical company or a team of ecologists.

Don't just tell us what you can do-show us.

Demonstrate your skills and prove you're on our team.

I think it was Jay Leno who questioned why politicians were chosen for being personable and attractive while Miss America gets picked according to her works and knowledge of world affairs.

I'd like a candidate who had the wit and charisma to give us another Gettysburg address but I'd like it a lot better if he could outline a way to implement Reconstruction efficiently and without rancor.

Show us a competent,ethical,hardworking leader and we,the voters,will determine viability without consultation with the media,the power brokers or any special interests.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 8:55 AM

David, you need to also take into consideration who he was speaking to when he made these statements: San Francisco's highly moneyed individuals on Billionaire's Row.

http://www.zombietime.com/obama_visits_b...

Man of the people, eh?

-- Posted by Brian Mosely on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 8:23 AM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.