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Battling the "Elitist Pointy-Headed Intellectual" Tag

By Peter Slevin
MUNSTER, Ind. - By emphasizing his personal story this week, Sen. Barack Obama is trying to establish a connection with the voters who have not embraced him, in part by countering a growing portrayal of him as a liberal intellectual out of tune with the vast middle class.

The freshman Illinois senator has scored big with African American voters of all economic classes. Yet he has failed to win nearly as much favor with working-class whites, a coveted constituency corraled only intermittently by Democrats, including most recently Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"I do think that one of the ironies of the last two or three weeks was this idea that somehow Michelle and I were elitist pointy-headed intellectual types," Obama told reporters, referring to his wife. "When the fact is, our lives, if you look back over the last two decades, more closely approximate the lives of the average voter than any of the other candidates."

"We've struggled with paying student loans. We've tried to figure out how to make sure that we've got adequate day care. I've actually filled up my own gas tank," Obama said, noting that the Secret Service put a stop to his gas station forays when it began providing around-the-clock protection.

The Obamas have lived an increasingly prosperous existence, thanks to a pair of bestselling memoirs. They are now comfortably millionaires and live with their two daughters in a $1.6 million house they bought in 2005. Yet their wealth pales next to that of Clinton and Sen. John McCain. And, they say, it was not long ago that they lived more modest lives as young professionals on the way up.

To illustrate the point, the 46-year-old onetime community organizer and his 44-year-old wife are also reminding audiences that they grew up in working-class households and did not rush to cash in on their Harvard law degrees.

Barack Obama has been telling voters that he was born to a teenage mother and that his father left when he was 2. He was raised in large part by his grandparents, a pair of Kansans who did not attend college. His grandfather joined the Army and fought in Europe in World War II while his grandmother went to work in a bomber factory.

After graduating from Columbia University, Obama was hired for $1,000 a month as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side, where he worked for three years with low-income residents to improve city services. After Harvard, he returned to the city, first putting together a voter registration drive and later teaching law while working part-time at a civil rights law firm and, later, serving as an Illinois state senator.

Obama points out that Michelle grew up in a small apartment in Chicago, where she lived with her older brother and her parents, neither of whom attended college. Her father, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before middle age, was a shift worker at a city water plant. Her mother stayed home until Michelle was in high school, then worked as a bank secretary.

As he studied recent results and the arc of his campaign, Obama concluded that many American voters simply do not know him as well as he thought they did.

"We didn't recognize the caricature that was being painted of us over the last couple of weeks," Obama told reporters. "We wanted to make sure that that's pushed aside."

By Post Editor  |  May 2, 2008; 11:18 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Next: Clinton Gets Personal

Comments

Do Indiana and NC voters realize Hillary voted no on the following 2006 bill?

'To prohibit the confiscation of a firearm during an emergency or major disaster if the possession of such firearm is not prohibited under Federal or State law.'

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00202

Posted by: MsSwin | May 5, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If Barack Obama wants to claim middle-class credentials, there's an easy way to do it:

Tell us about working at McDonald's or Burger King or Arby's when you were in school. Tell us about your paper route, the lawns you mowed or the groceries you sacked. Tell us about your summer jobs when you were a student, whether you worked in a factory, on a farm or at the mall. Tell us you were a caddy at the local golf course or a lifeguard at the public swimming pool or beach.

Tell us how you worked your way through college in a convenience store or as a waiter, a camp counselor or a call center worker.

Regardless of where they live, young people from working class backgrounds work at least part time while they're in school, and recalling the jobs he held when he was in high school and college will help blue collar workers sense that Obama's being honest about his modestness of his upbringing.

But he really is out of touch with reality - not to mention totally lacking in an understanding of the middle-class experience - if he thinks he can claim working-class credentials if the first job he held was after he graduated from an Ivy League university.

Posted by: GPM | May 4, 2008 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, not accurate - Obama's grandmother did attend college. She was married when she went but was still a relatively young woman. She didn't didn't graduate, but she did go to college.

Posted by: GPM | May 4, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Of course Obama is an elitist intellectual.
His parents both had PhDs. He was raised by his grandmother who was a VP at the largest bank in Hawaii and went to the most prestigious private school in the islands. Obama then attends three elite colleges and became a corporate lawyer. His political base is the elite Hyde Park neighborhood - home of the University of Chicago where he also had a part time job as a lecturer. His wife is also an HLS alum, former corporate lawyer and board member of several Chicago institutions.
Obama is an elitist intellectual.

The problem Obama is having now isn't that he is an elitist intellectual (Hello John Kerry, Al Gore and Mike Dukakis) but that he somehow let Hillary Clinton of all people claim the mantle of working class hero when John Edwards left the race. Obama was always the winetrack candidate. The winetrack candidate almost always loses the primary fight but Obama's campaign thought by adding African-Americans to his coalition of affluents and their children he could win the nomination.

It is 70-30 that they were correct but his weakness with the non-black, non affluent segment of the Democratic party is being highlighted now because the race has continued long after Team Obama thought it would. Obama's weaker healthcare plan, designed in part to appeal to the demos he was trying to attract, left Clinton an opening that she has been successfully exploiting for the past two months.

Posted by: faculty club | May 4, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Sniper fire.

Posted by: CC | May 3, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!

It's time for everyone to face the truth. Barack Obama has no real chance of winning the national election in November at this time. His crushing defeat in Pennsylvania makes that fact crystal clear. His best, and only real chance of winning in November is on a ticket with Hillary Clinton as her VP.

Hillary Clinton seemed almost somber at her Pennsylvania victory speech. As if part of her was hoping Obama could have proved he had some chance of winning against the republican attack machine, and their unlimited money, and resources.

But it is absolutely essential that the democrats take back the Whitehouse in November. America, and the American people are in a very desperate condition now. And the whole World has been doing all that they can to help keep us propped up.

Hillary Clinton say's that the heat, and decisions in the Whitehouse are much tougher than the ones on the campaign trail. But I think Mr. Obama faces a test of whether he has what it takes to be a commander and chief by facing the difficult facts, and the truth before him. And by doing what is best for the American people by dropping out of the race, and offering his whole hearted assistance to Hillary Clinton to help her take back the Whitehouse for the American people, and the World.

Mr. Obama is a great speaker. And I am confident he can explain to the American people the need, and wisdom of such a personal sacrifice for them. It should be clear to everyone by now that Hillary Clinton is fighting her heart out for the American people. She has known for a long time that Mr. Obama can not win this November. You have to remember that the Clinton's have won the Whitehouse twice before. They know what it takes.

If Mr. Obama fails his test of commander and chief we can only hope that Hillary Clinton can continue her heroic fight for the American people. And that she prevails. She will need all the continual support and help we can give her. She may fight like a superhuman. But she is only human.

Sen. Hillary Clinton: "You know, more people have now voted for me than have voted for my opponent. In fact, I now have more votes than anybody has ever had in a primary contest for a nomination. And it's also clear that we've got nine more important contests to go."

Sincerely

Jacksmith... Working Class :-)

Posted by: jacksmith | May 3, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

MY FELLOW "BITTER", STUPID, WORKING CLASS PEOPLE :-)

If you think like Barack Obama, that WORKING CLASS PEOPLE are just a bunch of "BITTER"!, STUPID, PEASANTS, Cash COWS!, and CANNON FODDER. :-(

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think Barack Obama with little or no experience would be better than Hillary Clinton with 35 years experience.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can fix an economy on the verge of collapse better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) led the greatest economic expansion, and prosperity in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience fighting for universal health care can get it for you better than Hillary Clinton. Who anticipated this current health care crisis back in 1993, and fought a pitched battle against overwhelming odds to get universal health care for all the American people.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience can manage, and get us out of two wars better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) went to war only when he was convinced that he absolutely had to. Then completed the mission in record time against a nuclear power. AND DID NOT LOSE THE LIFE OF A SINGLE AMERICAN SOLDIER. NOT ONE!

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience saving the environment is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) left office with the greatest amount of environmental cleanup, and protections in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with little or no education experience is better than Hillary Clinton. Whose ;-) husband (Bill Clinton) made higher education affordable for every American. And created higher job demand and starting salary's than they had ever been before or since.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that Obama with no experience will be better than Hillary Clinton who spent 8 years at the right hand of President Bill Clinton. Who is already on record as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think that you can change the way Washington works with pretty speeches from Obama, rather than with the experience, and political expertise of two master politicians ON YOUR SIDE like Hillary and Bill Clinton..

You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you think all those Republicans voting for Obama in the Democratic primaries, and caucuses are doing so because they think he is a stronger Democratic candidate than Hillary Clinton. :-)

Best regards

jacksmith... Working Class :-)

p.s. You Might Be An Idiot! :-)

If you don't know that the huge amounts of money funding the Obama campaign to try and defeat Hillary Clinton is coming in from the insurance, and medical industry, that has been ripping you off, and killing you and your children. And denying you, and your loved ones the life saving medical care you needed. All just so they can make more huge immoral profits for them-selves off of your suffering...

You see, back in 1993 Hillary Clinton had the audacity, and nerve to try and get quality, affordable universal health care for everyone to prevent the suffering and needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of you each year. :-)

Approx. 100,000 of you die each year from medical accidents from a rush to profit by the insurance, and medical industry. Another 120,000 of you die each year from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don't die from. And I could go on, and on...

OBAMA AIDE: "WORKING-CLASS VOTERS NOT KEY FOR DEMOCRATS" :o

DEBATE! DEBATE!! DEBATE!!!...

Posted by: jacksmith | May 3, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm truly troubled by some of the comments posted here --- much more heat than light, in some instances.

So, it seems to be coming down to 'low-income, less-educated, blue collar workers' who favor Hillary over Barack. I hope not.

Being poor or without a college education doesn't mean that you're STUPID. Can these folks really want someone for President who LIED about being under sniper fire in Bosnia, and LIED about brokering the Irish peace accord (ask anyone who was there what her role really was)?

Barack - out of touch? I don't think so. Just think about the imagery that the Clintons have created for him: arugula (like who knows what that is), latte (instead of coffee), Brie (instead of cheddar).... give me a break. He was raised by a single, teen age mom whose husband bailed when Barack was two. He was dark-skinned, raised by a white mom and white grandparents. He was a poor kid in a rich kids' school...he turned down high paying jobs as a lawyer to do community organizing. Yup, that's an elitist, all right. I guess they must have run out of lattes and arugla on the South Side of Chicago!!!
So, all you 'blue collar' folks--- college degrees are not what's important. You can still show you're not STUPID by voting for Barack!!!

Posted by: rosie | May 3, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Slevin,

Your very disingenuous story of Obama's upbringing leaves out the fact that he never attended public school. Instead he attended exclusive private schools.

It leaves out the fact that his grnadmother was a bank vice-president. It leaves out the fact that Michele actually grew up in an upper middle-class Chicago neighborhood.

This angry black couple has so much more than those bigotted "bitter" folks who cling to their guns and religion. Yet they choose to attend an America hating racist church. I find it disgusting!

Posted by: Average Joe | May 3, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"WE GAVE YOU BUSH, NOW WE WANT HILLARY"

We've had eight years of Bush with a Dick, so why not four years of Clinton with a "bush"?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I like Obama most, McCain second, Hillary third.

Barrack Obama will win. He'll be the first black president of the Untied States because:

1) The Iraq war was wrong, costly, and now unpopular. Voters will throw the hawks out.

2) The economy and consumer confidence are hurting. Voters will throw the bumbs out.

3) We have enough post-60's voters now where many more voters can see right through race-baiting commercials.

By the time of the nomination voters will see through the attacks against Obama calling him a Muslim AND a Christian extremist. They know the Reverand Wright attacks are pointless because Reverand Wright is not running for President. They know Obama is not nearly as easy to paint as out-of-touch as a multi-millaionaire or an old, lifelong Washington politician. However, Obama has not gone so negative in his commericals.

4) Huckabee... I mean, Hillary did not pick up the delegates she needed in Texas or Ohio or Pennsylvania (states that favored her) and even lost delegates in Texas. She lost a long time ago when her advisers led her to disaster on 10 contests in a row following Super Tuesday.

5) Obama continues to inspire new voters and those of us who are tired of 16 years of Bushes and Clintons. Let's give a candidate who has earned their way up a chance for a change.

Obama over McCain in November 2008

Posted by: eljefejesus | May 3, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Facts are a stubborn thing. Obama cannot close his 20 year old relationship with Wright because there is so much video evidence against it. On the TV program THE VIEW, Obama declared that Reverend Wright accepted that his views of America were inappropriate and mischaracterized, that his words had offended many people. Then weeks later Wright goes on a national Hate America Tour? This was either a blatant lie; Obama using clever semantics to avoid the main issue. Or worse, Obama was fooled by Wright which is kind of scary. That a possible next president can be played by a character such as Wright. Check the video evidence yourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6J7yJ9R5p0

And if the video is not enough: Read this in politico.com which calls on Obama to state the truth.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10043.html

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | May 3, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Facts are a stubborn thing. Obama cannot close his 20 year old relationship with Wright because there is so much video evidence against it. On the TV program THE VIEW, Obama declared that Reverend Wright accepted that his views of America were inappropriate and mischaracterized, that his words had offended many people. Then weeks later Wright goes on a national Hate America Tour? This was either a blatant lie; Obama using clever semantics to avoid the main issue. Or worse, Obama was fooled by Wright which is kind of scary. That a possible next president can be played by a character such as Wright. Check the video evidence yourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6J7yJ9R5p0

And if the video is not enough: Read this in politico.com which calls on Obama to state the truth.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10043.html

Posted by: Leanza Cornett | May 3, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama is worried about the price of arugula at Whole Foods while working Americans struggle to pay for health care, gas, and food! I guess the weak dollar is making it harder for him to afford Brie . . .

Obama is a liberal out of touch elitist. I'm just waiting for him to take up wind surfing or take a ride in a tank.

Posted by: JFB | May 3, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

.

"WE GAVE YOU BUSH, NOW WE WANT HILLARY"

by neocons for Hilary:

Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan,
Joe Lieberman, Rubert Murdoch, Dick Cheney, Carl Rove, Fox News

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

.

"WE GAVE YOU BUSH, NOW WE WANT HILLARY"

by neocons for Hilary

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

=================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hillary Clinton cannot win.
.

Even if Hillary Clinton wins every remaining primary by a whopping 70%, Obama will still maintain his lead in pledged delegates. This is true, even when one counts the delegates from Florida and Michigan. Mrs. Clinton cannot catch up to Barack Obama in pledged delegates, and pledged delegates will determine this election. She has lost,
Barack Obama has won.


See for yourself:

DELEGATE CALCULATOR:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/29/delegate.counter/index.html

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Obama wouldn't be "scoring" so well with the African American community if the press bothered to recount his dealings with Chicago political fixer Tony Rezko, who used federal, state and local taxpayer funding for low-income economic development and housing as his personal operating budget. As a lawyer, Obama represented the slumlord in the suit filed against him by the City of Chicago. As a legislator, Obama pulled strings to steer still more projects to him. This is all well documented. But ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and FOX are having none of it. You have to read the Chicago newspapers to get the facts. Rezko's on trial right now, for god's sake, and his friends seem to be all Iraqi exiles who've stolen money from their own country. But Obama's the agent of change. Right.

If anyone's interested, I've posted an article at thecityedition.com that examines all the intrigue the corporate press outlets are failing to report. Here's a link.

http://www.thecityedition.com/Pages/Archive/Winter08/2008Election.html

Posted by: Factcheck2 | May 3, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Bill grew up in limited financial situations. Hillary did not. She's about as elitist as they come.

Being elite is not the same as being elitist. The elite hold a special position for some reason. An elitist looks down on, condescends to, and panders to the hoi polloi.

The ludicrous proposal of a "gas tax holiday" is pure pander. The manner of explanation by HRC is complete condescension.

She wouldn't even propose such a nutcake idea if she had any faith at all in the intelligence of the electorate.

This proposal is a true reckoning of her mettle. It's not some guilt by association. It's not a gaffe. It's a carefully-planned and presented bit of garbage.

Hillary's "gas tax holiday" should sink her chances of being elected totally and utterly. There's no place to hide now, Hillary. Your idea is stupid. Your presentation treats voters as first-graders. Your entire candidacy presumes that you can just take the voters, the donors, the superdelegates, the party, and everyone else for GRANTED!!

Get of the TV screens before you make millions of voters sick.

Posted by: Harry, Los Angeles, CA | May 3, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

bwr,


Are you referring to body odor, when writing the letters BO?


Anton

Posted by: Anton | May 3, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

BO


Yes we can,

negotiate with enemies for no good reason,
have gay sex on television for no good reason,
mock our decent families for no good reason,
ridicule whites for no good reason,
promote blacks as victims for no good reason,
persecute true christians for no good reason,
make fun of first amendment adovcates for no good reason,
belittle the uneducated for no good reason,
chastize the conservatives for no good reason,
and on, and on,

Elect Obama, for no good reason!

BO

Posted by: bwr | May 3, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

___________________________________________

"I would bomb Pakistan!"


barak obama, october 2007

___________________________________________

Posted by: jessie | May 3, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

__________________________________________


OBAMA:

DIVISION
CHAOS
ANTI-TRADITIONAL FAMILY VALUES
RACISM
HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE
ATHEISM
TAX AND SPEND
TERRORIST EMPOWERMENT
HIGHER CRIME


CAN AMERICA AFFORD THIS HIGH RISK CANDIDATE?

___________________________________________

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Now the Republicans are joining the Clintons in a coordinated attack on Obama, based on race.

Obama is being attacked by a coordinated campaign of character assassination by the Republicans and the Clintons.

And the Democratic party is not coming to his defense.

....and one wonders why his polls have stalled?

.
GO HILLARY !

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing the extent to which people go to make excuses for why they dont want to vote for Obama, when the core reason seems to be race.

Posted by: nclwtk | May 3, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

.

=================================================
.


...............The 44th President of the United States

......................President Barack Obama

.

=================================================

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

.

=================================================

.

....................HILLARY VOTED FOR THE WAR

.

=================================================

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

People forget that this is the exact same problem Bill Clinton faced as a nominee. At the Democratic convention, they played a 15-minute film called The Man from Hope for no other reason than to take down the image of the "privileged" Georgetown and Yale Law grad who was a Rhodes Scholar, and inform people what Clinton's upbringing was really like. Polling showed everyone until then was assuming Clinton was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Lots of books I have read credit this film with changing his image from elitist and too "Ivy League" to a more realistic one of working class roots and hard-won achievements. But remember, it took until the convention to create the more accurate perception of who he was.

Thinking about this, one advantage Clinton had that sadly, Obama does not, was that he could showcase his very lively, spunky mother, Virginia Kelly. She had struggled against male doctors as a professional anesthetist, enjoyed betting on races, and was a real daughter of the South with great hairdos, etc. She died of breast cancer partway through President Clinton's first term (diagnosed during the inauguration, but kept it to herself -- read her wonderful book), but had been there for him as living evidence of his family and upbringing during the campaign. Obama's mother, of course, is long gone, and his grandmother clearly is not well enough to be pestered beyond a cameo appearance in an ad. Perhaps Michelle's family, or his Hawaiian sister (a schoolteacher) and her family could play that role?

In any case, it does seem like Bill Clinton was able to knock down his "elitist" Ivy League image, so I have hope for Obama.

Posted by: Fairfax Voter | May 3, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"Still, I am reminded of what my veteran colleagues already knew--that every statement I made would be subject to scrutiny, dissected by every public pundit, interpreted in ways over which I had no control, and combed through for a potential error, misstatement, omission, or contradiction that might be filed away by the opposition party and appear in an unpleasant TV ad somewhere down the road."

AUDACITY OF HOPE: 2006
Barack Obama

Posted by: cn | May 3, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

From "Head of State"
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/top-10-inducements-to-vote-for-hillary.html

Saturday, May 03, 2008
Top 10 Inducements Offered By Clinton Camp to Vote For Hillary (For Letterman)

The Chicago Tribune's "The Swamp" has called for suggestions for the "Top 10" list for Hillary Clinton's upcoming Letterman appearance.


Happy to oblige:


Top 10 Inducements From the Clinton Camp To Vote for Hillary

10. All future Hoosiers teams can draft players from the NBA

9. Superdelegates will get actual Spandex costumes along with Super Power of choice

8. Permanent liquor tax holiday

7. Will limit husband to "low traffic" zones of White House

6. Promises to use only one personality throughout first 100 days of Presidency

5. Will hold Inaugural Ball in Smiley's Pub, Allentown, PA.

4. Free rides on Mark Penn

3. Will provide personal armed one-woman security detail through any combat zone

2. New shampoo: No More Tears

And the number 1 inducement to vote for Hillary Clinton:

1: New National Bird: Barbeque.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/top-10-inducements-to-vote-for-hillary.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | May 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not a poined headed elitist, he is flat headed.

Posted by: God Father | May 3, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Barack. You really know what it is to struggle. 1.7 million a year, 4.6 million a year. Wow. Poverty. Oh, and the private schools, Columbia, Harvard. You have suffered. You can find the gas cap on your car. I am so in tune with your urban leftist lifestyle. "Have you seen the price of arugula at Whole Foods?!"

Yeah, you are "arugula guy."

Posted by: Arugula Guy | May 3, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama voted for a gas tax suspension - 3 times in Illinois! He even wanted his name on the pumps in his district saying he had voted to suspend the tax.

CBS News -
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2008/5/2/215016/4476

Hillary's plan would NOT eliminate jobs! that's just another lie from the Obama camp.

Posted by: JoseyJ | May 3, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

From "Head of State"
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/strength.html

Saturday, May 03, 2008
Strength

I have been watching Sen. Obama during his weeks of adversity.

He has what we need--a transformative national vision, a commitment to a new and unifying politics, and to a long-needed truth in governance and international relations.

He needs to transcend other characteristics.

There is a prickliness--a sense of insult or hurt that, having given an honest message, the message has been distorted--a certain wounded defeatism.

He must rise above this and be strong.

This is the vulnerability of a man long without a father.

In such circumstances, men often become their own father-- accompanied by the grandiosity, limitlessness, precociousness, and willingness to quickly fill in gaps with apparent consistencies that is characteristic of a persona adopted in childhood, too large and too soon--i.e., Bill Clinton;

They too can become the agent of the genuine, intelligent, and heartfelt ideals of their mother-- passed on, rightly, as the intelligent and humane truth of the world, but not buttressed by the daily measuring and inevitable confrontation of those ideals that can come from the presence of a father--the tensile strength. and resilience that causes those ideals to energetically endure in the face of challenge.

Obama has recently shown an underlying hurt and lethargy in reaction to the politics of fear and attack--what has been reported by some as "boredom."

To win--and more important, to reach the goals that he has set out for himself--he must turn away from such disappointment in the reaction of the nation.

He must put forward his energy and strength in the face of distortion to bring the nation to a realization of what matters

When he shows such disappointment in reaction to such events, he shows that he cannot stand up to the distortion that will inevitably come, and that he must overcome to reach the point of national transformation.

Barack: There is no place in this campaign for disappointment, wounded defense and hurt. You are taking on the gigantic task of changing the minds of the American people, including those diverted, suspicious thoughts that will inevitably rise from the restraining bonds of our collective past--and, as you know, will be encouraged to do so.

Now is the time for strength--strength of purpose and strength of commitment. Bring people to an image of what can be established and created beyond the trivial, momentary excitement of attack politics. Do not be drawn into the minutiae of a ground war, or into a position of withdrawn and injured hopelessness. A hint of this creates the image of someone who is playing the old game, by the old rules.

You've made this clear in your stump speech: This is your moment. Now--Fully step into it. Bring people to fully realize what they can have, with full energy, commitment, strength and belief: A nation committed to truth in its relation to the people of this and other nations, to the unity of this country rather than to tactical and self-serving division, and to the interests of the many, rather than the few.

Cite:
Head of State
http://headofstate.blogspot.com/2008/05/strength.html

Posted by: Robert Hewson | May 3, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Look, this sort of GOP caricaturing of democratic candidates can only succeed in an environment where there is a mainstream media that fundamentally peddles the narrative for the GOP without presenting the counternarrative.

Everytime the GOP and its propaganda apparatus on talk radio and the cable news channels put out this sort of narrative, it is never challenged even when it is blatantly obvious that the narrative is untrue. Why do you in the media pretend that you are being "balanced" when you peddle a false narrative about someone and then expect the injured party to develop its own counternarrative? And even when that counternarrative is presented, you in the media can still choose to ignore the counternarrative because the juicy, gossipy narrative is better for your ratings.

This is why I look at the media as just another corrupted institution that no longer functions in the way our Founding Fathers envisioned they would. All of our institutions depend upon the integrity, decency and fairmindedness of those who work within them. Now, I look at sports, I look at the churches, I look at at the branches of our government and our business institutions and I see the same rot and corruption throughout.

Is there no one willing to stand up and do the decent thing anymore?

Posted by: Jaxas | May 3, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Does Hillary still has a chance to win?

Here is how the numbers work out for her:

http://www.slate.com/id/2190556/entry/nav=ais/

Posted by: Michael | May 3, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Hillary.......Another comeback Kid

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Does Obama=Hitler? In one specific way, I answer YES.

They both wrote books saying exactly what they planned for the future. Hitler meant every word of the genocidal rage he laid bare in Mein Kampf, and I believe Obama means what he says in his books about unifying our divided society. This is the proper response to anyone who tries to compare them.

What's with the Mickey Kantor/YouTube story that the MSM is thankfully ignoring? Here's my take...
I smell a Republican rat behind this. They likely see it as a way to undermine the "new politics" angle of the Obama campaign. The questionable video here looks to me like typical Nixonian/Atwater/Rove dirty tricks.

Posted by: flarrfan | May 3, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama does have an advantage over, say, John Kerry in that he did come from a more frugal background earlier in his life and career and is a likable character.

He just needs to be more careful in his comments and actions. No more arugula from Whole Foods or rants about what the working class really thinks.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: matt | May 3, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Typical White Pennsylvanian,
You are a typical white guy who happens to be a racist. I love Poconos. Are there still white supremacist living in PA?

Posted by: bigben1986 | May 3, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

One BIG correction. Obama worked for 18 moths as a community organizer, Not 3 years.

Posted by: Tricai | May 3, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

" He is definitely elitist...but an "intellectual" - NO"

you nailed that.
an intellectual would be a professor, not just call himself one.

Obama has a law degree, not a PHD. He's doesn't cross disiplines, he doesn't write,
he doesn't research.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Hillary needs to remind that the poor people who cling to guns and religion can use the gas tax break, not Obama's rich latte drinking, porn surfing, drug peddling, America hating supporters

Posted by: vs | May 3, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Hillary needs to remind that the poor people who cling to guns and religion can use the gas tax break, not Obama's rich latte drinking, porn surfing, drug peddling, America hating supporters

Posted by: vs | May 3, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

HILLARY SELLS HOT AIR AND CALLS IT "GAS RELIEF" ...

I hope that in the next debate, if there is one, someone will ask Hillary the following question:

"Ma'am, your husband's presidency was marked by scandals running from the salacious to national security, you've run a campaign based on race coding, and both you and your husband have scant regard for the truth.

"Personal responsibility is the key to government accountability.

"And now you are selling hot air and calling it gas relief.

"What could you--or your husband--say to young people, what could you possibly bring to the table, for those who need to hear a message of honesty and integrity?"

Posted by: MARTIN EDWIN ANDERSEN | May 3, 2008 4:52 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone stopped to think--with Hillary posing slamming drinks back with "the boys"--what message she is sending to young people, ie., you have to drink to be popular?

And what "intern-friendly" Bill back in the White House would do to efforts to promote abstinence, or even responsible sex, among teenagers?

When you want to teach your children the importance of honesty, does it become any easier when the occupants in the White House are known as "Full Metal Jacket" Hillary and "The Dear Hunter" Bill?

RFK said politics is an "honorable adventure."

It is time that we help Barack restore that view to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Posted by: martin edwin andersen | May 3, 2008 3:35 AM | Report abuse

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OBAMA HAS WON


Hillary Clinton cannot win.


Even if Hillary Clinton wins every remaining primary by a whopping 70%, Obama will still maintain his lead in pledged delegates. This is true, even when one counts the delegates from Florida and Michigan. Mrs. Clinton cannot catch up to Barack Obama in pledged delegates, and pledged delegates will determine this election. She has lost, Barack Obama has won.


See for yourself
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DELEGATE CALCULATOR:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/29/delegate.counter/index.html


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Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 2:48 AM | Report abuse

DISPATCHES FROM THE GROUND WAR ...

THE NEW YORK TIMES IS REPORTING ...

May 3, 2008
Republicans Crossing Over to Vote in Democratic Contests
By LARRY ROHTER


INDIANAPOLIS -- Until now, Shirley Morgan had always been the kind of voter the Republican Party thought it could count on. She comes from a family of staunch Republicans, has a son in the military and has supported Republican presidential candidates ever since she cast her first ballot, for Richard M. Nixon in 1972.

But this year Mrs. Morgan exemplifies a different breed: the Republican crossing over to vote in the Democratic primary. Not only will she mark her ballot for Senator Barack Obama in the May 6 primary here, but she has also been canvassing for him in the heavily Republican suburbs of Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis -- the first time she has ever actively campaigned for a candidate.

"I used to like John McCain, but he's aligning himself too closely with what Bush did, and that's just not what I want for this country," Mrs. Morgan, who is 56, said when asked to explain her rejection of the presumptive Republican nominee. ...

Posted by: MARTIN EDWIN ANDERSEN | May 3, 2008 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama's questioning of the relevance of Hillary Clinton's type of "experience" in confronting the new challenges the United States faces receives validation from an interesting case in American history.

It also points to why Obama's outsider status might actually be just what is needed to successfully restore the U.S. to international political creditworthiness.

Lincoln biographer David Herbert Donald showed how what might have been perceived as the Great Emancipator's serious shortcomings as a war president and commander in chief actually turned out to be some of his greatest assets.

Remember, Lincoln came to the presidency having only meager experience--much less than Sen. Obama's--in public office, let alone experience in the Executive Branch. (Lincoln's experience in the military was limited to little more than two months service during the Black Hawk War.)

According to Donald, Lincoln was also fortunately unburdened by convention, precedent, and standard operating procedures in facing war's challenge. (The parallels with Obama kind of leap from the page, no?)


However, Lincoln was also a quick study who grew into greatness through trial and error in pursuing the most significant of his goals.


Lincoln, like Obama, also knew democracy's ancient lessons. When Cicero finished speaking, the people said, "My, how well he spoke." But when Demosthenes finished speaking the people said, "Let us march!"

"Public sentiment is everything," Lincoln noted. "With it, nothing can fail, against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever moulds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions. He makes possible the enforcement of these, else impossible."

The Washington establishment mocks inspiration and hope and sinks the country ever deeper into a rut.

Let's do our part to help Barack redeem his promise to change the way Washington works.

Posted by: martin edwin andersen | May 3, 2008 2:10 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter how you slice it up, carve it, dice it, scattered, smothered, whatever, having Pastor Wright as your mentor and hero says you have a severe character flaw.

Barack Obama basically proved this himself after he threw Pastor Wright under the bus, backed-up, then ran him over thrice more.

Why are we wasting our time with this inadequate candidate?

Barack's promises may appeal to the ear, but where are the documented details of this great shaboozle of a firing-squad method he intends to use to erase our American government? Scary.

No thanks Obama

Posted by: Caught on tape | May 3, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Wow; And here I just thought he hung around with terrorists and racists.

Thanks for the update.

Posted by: David Owens | May 3, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't remember any stories of Lincoln studying 20 years of "how to HATE majority America" with a Pastor who takes everyday Americans and turns them into Hating other human beings.

I also don't think Lincoln dedicated his book to and made a mentor out of a bigot and racist.

Get real.

Obama is toast.

Posted by: Look | May 3, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

America is the "richest" nation in the world and yet we are the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does NOT have a Universal Healthcare Program.

This is a problem that Hillary Clinton already saw years ago, and has been working to fix ever since. And now you can give her the chance.

It is Hillary Clinton that is the candidate that is focused on helping the people of America by having the GUTS to stand up and say that we MUST have a Universal Healthcare program!

Posted by: For the People | May 3, 2008 1:37 AM | Report abuse

MEMORANDUM ON THE SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOWS ...

By Martin Edwin Andersen

The Wright controversy allowed partisan critics of Barack Obama to lay into his judgement, his political instincts and reaction time, and his temperament.

This Sunday, the chattering class will be intensely involved in a post-mortem of the controversy, and might find it profitable to ponder an example from American history.

"[He] had no spontaneity--no emotional nature ... He was never a man of gushing feelings.

"[He] shrank from controversy as a general rule--hated quarrels, hated to say hard & sharp thing of any man ...

"He was slow to form his opinions. He was deliberate, cool & demanded the light of all the facts surrounding the case. When he formed his opinions he was firm, especially about questions of justice [and] principle ... [He] had unsurpassed reasoning powers. His logical faculties were great ...

"[His] statesmanship [lay in his] adherence to principle. He studied where the truth of a thing layand he acted on his conviction. He looked far into the future and was philosophical, true, scientific, in his inductions."

The opinion expressed above was held by Supreme Court Justice David Davis and the Illinois politican he was talking about was the same one for whom he had organized a successful presidential campaign in 1860--Abraham Lincoln.

Only time will tell if, once in office, Barack Obama will show the same wisdom that his fellow prairie lawyer Abraham Lincoln did.

But the gathering storms we are confronting as a nation suggest that such wisdom we will need.

Obama's promise is that, like Lincoln, he is cerebral, eschews petty politics, is "slow to form his opinions" and demands "the light of all the facts."

Obama, like Lincoln, possesses great "logical faculties", and he has shown he is firm on questions of justice and principle.

After all is said and done, Sen. Obama's promise remains great, and is fuelled by the phrase he like to invoke of Dr. King's, the "fierce urgency of now."

It is something one hopes the chattering classes will take into account, as they assay the political landscape and the hopes for our country.

Posted by: martin edwin andersen | May 3, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a cunning and lethally dangerous politician.

Barack says he won't throw his pastor under the bus like he did his grandmother, and then he did.

Barack says he's against the war but NEVER ACTUALLY VOTED AGAINST IT because he wasn't in office then. And then he VOTED YES TO FUND THE WAR.

Barack says he won't wear "that pin" on his clothing but then he is trying to say that he stands for it (when really he wants to switch it to something else).

Barack says he wants to be the #1 patriot in America and yet when the National Anthem is played, he doesn't put his hand on his heart(as if the song doesn't apply to him) - must be because it is the song of the "old ways" of America(which he wishes to destroy), the ways that hundreds of thousands have died for along the way.

Barack boils up some cursing and completely politically-reactive racial speech, tries to make us all feel deficient, says Don Imus should be burned at the stake and flushed in a toilet, and then turns around and says "Race is not a problem in America"(because that would trick people into thinking he doesn't hate).

Barack says he's a uniter but then devotes 20 years of his life to his "Mentor" and "Role Model" that has burned the very hate of America into his heart - see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI77cU3jsFs ( also see more great stuff at: thatsmeontheleft.blogspot.com )

Barack says all people should count and "yes we can" but then he purposely, and cold-bloodedly stone-walls any chance of allowing 2+ MILLION voters in Florida and Michigan have their vote count.

Barack says he's about "helping the working class live better lives" and then he turns around and slanders us not only by calling us "bitter" and "clinging to guns and religion", but also forgoes offering a Universal Healthcare Plan(which is a core democratic value) - this is only so he can play both sides of the poor/rich fence, but in the end he leans more towards the former(with his ridiculous idea to raise capital gains taxes).

Barack says he has all these ideas for how he's going to throw our government out of their offices onto the street but there's no detailed information available for people to weigh his intentions with common sense.

Everything is about timing for Mr. Barack Obama, he plays "old style" politics better than a symphonic orchestra, he'll switch from one major idea and then to the reverse like a windsock in an open field.

How long will it be before Barack throws the "American People"(as if we're somebody else) under the bus, and then back up for another go.

Think long and hard, this man is playing the emotion card on America, and he intends to rip our heart out with it to pay back for his Pastor's pain and conspiracy theories of yesteryear.

How does Barack Obama spend 20 years in a church with a Pastor whom married him and his wife, baptized his young, was named as "mentor" for his books(that made the Obamas millions), and is "unashamedly BLAMING AMERICANS like you and me" for every major problem that ever existed(without giving ANY credit to 200+ years of progress as a prosperous nation of all kinds of people) without coming out HATING America the same way? Barack Obama's trashing of Pastor Wright doesn't say anything good about his character, rather it shows just how far Barack is willing to go to play the "same old politics" and claw his way into the candidacy. Barack's actions towards his Pastor of 20 years show just how shallow and irresponsible he is.

If you vote for Barack Obama, you will experience change alright, and it will hurt, like a dull blade being forced into your back.
If you vote for Barack Obama, you will experience the Apocalypse of America.

Posted by: The Stark Truth | May 3, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama subscribes to the Marxist "Black Liberation Theology." Nuff said.

It appears that he has the idea that people don't like him because they think he is "elitist". No, we don't like him because he ascribes faith in religion, and belief in the second amendment as a reaction to economic conditions. THAT'S MARXIST!!

No he can't!!


Posted by: Typical White Pennsylvanian | May 3, 2008 1:25 AM | Report abuse


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Posted by: - GO OBAMA - | May 3, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

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=================================================
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...............The 44th President of the United States

......................President Barack Obama

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Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 12:58 AM | Report abuse

This is a ludicrous squabble. Bill Clinton and the Obamas have a lot in common, in that they came from straitened economic ciicumstances, earned scholarhsips and took out loans to get their educations, and finally wrote successful books.

Hillary does not. In spite of her ads, she grew up in rich towns, and went to rich public schools. Her daddy sent her to Wellesley and Yale Law (nobody could pay for it all with the loan she mentioned). She's lived in mansions the last 25 years of her life, and probably hasn't balanced a checkbook for at least 15. I doubt that she knows how to bake the cookies she made fun of 16 years go.

Posted by: Helen | May 3, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Everybody knows working class kids go to expensive private high schools like Obama.
How would he be working class? Both of his parents went to college and and his grandmother "the typical white person" was a bank manager.
The Clintons made the 100 million in the last 10 years, Obama is younger but he already has a couple of millions and he is going to catch up with them. McCain married a rich woman that doesn't make you an elitist only lucky.

Posted by: rjc | May 3, 2008 12:43 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Have a president who has earned his own way to the White House.

That would be Barack Obama.

Posted by: morning glory | May 3, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Choose a candidate who will consider the longer-term impact of his policies rather than the short fix.

That would be Barack Obama.

Posted by: morning glory | May 3, 2008 12:20 AM | Report abuse

This was a media inspired campaign. Before the media decided to tag Obama as an elitist it was the furthest thing from people's minds.
But, in the effort to find something to attack him over, they suddenly, and I do mean suddenly, decided to make Obama some elitist.
Which is not the Obama we in Illinois know. We know him to be a good senator who is down to earth and friendly.
Why the media decided he was an elitist is beyond most of us here in his state.

Posted by: vwcat | May 3, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Choose a candidate who will base his policies on what works, rather than on what gets votes.

That candidate is Barack Obama.

Posted by: morning glory | May 3, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Help take the phony "elitist" label off the democrats if we choose a democratic candidate who prefers not to use the label on members of his own party.

Posted by: who is the elitist | May 3, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

The notion of Obama being an elitist and Hillary Clinton a working class gal would be hilarious if it weren't sad. She's rich, doesnt know how to work a convenience store coffee machine and hasn't pumped gas for a "long time."

With the inane gas tax holiday, she's been trying to fool people the last few days to vote for her by proposing a bad idea that she knows will never be enacted into law. But it is now clear that she's been trying for weeks to fool people that she's an "average Joe" who "feels their pain."

So which is worse: policy or character pandering? Would you rather be lied to about a solution to a major problem or about the nature & background of someone who could be the next President.

The answer, of course, is neither.

See http://www.ablueview.com/2008/05/which-is-worse.html

Posted by: A Blue View | May 3, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Make it possible for even our working class heros to provide the opportunity for their children to make it to the White House - even if their children don't happen to be 100% Caucasian.

Posted by: morning glory | May 3, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

I have been saying that Obama needed to focus more on telling the story of his life emphasizing his working class roots.

Unfortunately, when Peter Slevin throws out the Obama $1.6 million home purchase of 2005, he fails to mention several related facts. Obama and his wife (4-Ivy degrees among both of them) earned $208,000 in 2004. Where did the Obamas live before 2005? The Obamas finished paying off student loans in 1999 and their real estate taxes in 2004 were $3,946. That would mean the value of their 2004 home was probably between $300,000 to $400,000. Another fact is that the Obamas became "comfortable" millionaires in 2007 when Barack earned about $4,000,000 from book sales.

The true elitists in the presidential race are the McCains (Net Worth = $150 million) and the Clintons (Net Worth = $60 million).

Posted by: AJ | May 3, 2008 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Yes We Can:

Make it possible for even our working class heros to provide the opportunity for their children to make it to the White House - even if their children happen don't happen to be 100% Caucasian.

Posted by: morning glory | May 3, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse


Once again Obama's ego is in full force. He is definitely elitist...but an "intellectual" - NO. Pointy-headed, perhaps.

Intellectuals write. Intellectuals have a record of what their views are and can be erudite in discussing them.

Obama's "I agree with Hillary" in the debates showed he really doesn't have much to contribute to the world of ideas. He just reads other people's words better than
they did the first time. "We are the ones we've been waiting for." PLEASE...I am inclined to think he is very manipulative, but not to bright.

Posted by: Typical White Pennsylvanian | May 3, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton comes from Chappaqua, New York, the 42nd richest town in the country. She has 100 million dollars and hasn't stepped outside a social security bubble in twenty years. She looks down on almost everybody, condescending to her audiences, pandering, and in stump speeches, talking to them like severely retarded first graders.


Who's the elitist?

Posted by: Steve Charb | May 3, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Bra, No Shibai! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 2, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

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