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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Politics means appealing to the voters:

And Obama hasn't done well lately with Pennsylvanians. Setting aside the overblown request for orange juice in a diner, Obama has made a couple of mistakes.

Bowling. Yes, bowling. Why didn't he take an hour for someone to show him the basics? Instead, he rolls an incomplete game (!) and racks up a score of 37. It would have been worth thousands of dollars in ad-buys if he'd performed credibly.

Second mistake. Speaking like a sociology professor in San Francisco about the plight of the people in Hicktown, USA Pennsylvania is just plain stupid.

Obama seems strangely resistant to pleas that he get off his high horse and be more of a regular guy. Remember George W. Bush and how frustrating it was when he successfully appealed to folks based on his "ranch" and exaggerated Texas accent? It worked, didn't it? Not saying that Obama has to don bib overalls and stick a straw in his mouth, but he should at least not act so above-it-all.



10 comments

You are complaining about style over substance. People ask, "why can't politicians just tell the truth?" This is the reason.

Obama was telling the truth as he sees it. Clinton and McCain's response was, "you can't say that you have to offer pandering praise and empty promises and then go back to Washington and do nothing to change the situation."

By Anonymous Rockie the Dog, at 4/12/2008 10:27 AM  

You really think if a Democratic candidate did something like Bush's fake rancher act it wouldn't get used as evidence of their "phoniness"? Come on, where have you been for the past 15 years? Barack can't even order orange juice without it being held up as showing how "out of touch" he is with people. Whereas McCain can invite the press to his wife's multi-million dollar Sedona mansion -- the one with the pool house that was featured in Architectural Digest -- and have it described as a "cabin".

By Anonymous QrazyQat, at 4/12/2008 10:37 AM  

I really can't tell if you're mocking the media's superficial coverage of candidates or not. It's a bit troublesome...

That said, I think Obama's trying for authenticity rather than pandering--he can't bowl, yes, but most 'muricans, even in PA, can't either. He likes OJ, not coffee. He doesn't try to pretend that American's aren't supposed to be bitter about job losses.

In a sense, as with the Wright speech, Obama is trusting that the electorate can stand some nuance--that they won't think he's an out-of-touch elitist because he can't bowl, and may even think more of him because, well, he can't. It's a dangerous strategy, but one that I think people are clueing into (he survived the Wright flap, despite this blog's anxiety) and one that might work in PA (my homestate), which is both working-class and well-educated (ie, they don't really mind professor types talking at them as long as they're on their side--its not an inherent mistrust of academia, as it is with many deep red voters).

Finally, I think Obama's "working class" gaffes make the likes of Matthews and Kaus go nuts in ways that reveal how out-of-touch they are with the working class. Coverage of the bowling thing looked petty in a week once again dominated by Iraq. Matthews' OJ comments made himself, not Obama, look ridiculous, and I think people have caught onto his schtick...

By Anonymous thaflax, at 4/12/2008 11:11 AM  

Obama seems strangely resistant to pleas that he get off his high horse and be more of a regular guy. Remember George W. Bush and how frustrating it was when he successfully appealed to folks based on his "ranch" and exaggerated Texas accent? It worked, didn't it? Not saying that Obama has to don bib overalls and stick a straw in his mouth, but he should at least not act so above-it-all.

If this isn't snark, then it's the stupidest thing I've ever read on this blog. "Above-it-all"? "High horse"?

Are you serious? He can't bowl, he didn't even try to pretend he could, and somehow that's evidence he's "above-it-all"? No. If he'd turned down a request for him to bowl a few frames, that would be evidence of snobbery. He decided to be a good sport and toss a few balls, not worrying about what people would think. Some of us are actually comfortable in our own skins.

Besides, if he'd bowled a 242, Matthews and Scarborough would still be bloviating: "Does Obama spend too much time playing sports? You know those black guys - it's what they do best, after all."

Seriously, your Chicken Little shtick is beyond tiresome by now.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 4/12/2008 3:35 PM  

I seem to recall hearing about a guy named John Kennedy. He had a patrician bearing and a Boston accent. Had a really glamorous wife and some really pushy relatives. He probably wouldn't have eaten pork rinds if there was a gun to his head. I don't think people were put off by any of it. They want authenticity, not some cheesy imitation. Howard Dean got nailed for talking about guys with pickups and rifle racks. Those guys appreciated it, but the MSM didn't.

By Blogger Traveler, at 4/12/2008 5:20 PM  

Remember George W. Bush and how frustrating it was when he successfully appealed to folks based on his "ranch" and exaggerated Texas accent?

A common misunderstanding. Actually, "Texas English" is GWB's native language, and this explains why he is such an awkward public speaker. "Standard English" is very nearly a second language to him. He does very well for the most part, but has left a trail of "Bushisms" in his wake.

The proof is that if GWB were faking Texas dialect he would have been laughed out of Texas years ago. Those ranchers can smell a phony a mile away.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/12/2008 8:44 PM  

Speaking like a sociology professor in San Francisco about the plight of the people

where did he use clinical lingo?

besides, you don't need a Phd to correctly assess the mood of the country.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2008 12:32 AM  

What is elitist and out of touch about orange juice? From my experience it is easier to get orange juice than tea* at a diner (OJ usually ties in third place with water. Coffee and lemonade being #2 and #1).
HB

*OK that probably marks ME as an elitist

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2008 2:08 AM  

Setting aside the overblown request for orange juice in a diner

I can get orange juice at any Waffle House. Overblown, indeed.

Speaking like a sociology professor in San Francisco about the plight of the people

The quotes that I've seen on this do make Obama seem a little too cooly detached from the situation of the people he was talking about. It's not what he said but how he said it and where he said it.

Obama seems strangely resistant to pleas that he get off his high horse and be more of a regular guy.

Didn't Al Gore get tagged with this in 2000? Karl Rove is having a good laugh over this right now.

By Anonymous e. nonee moose, at 4/13/2008 8:32 AM  

Obama seems strangely resistant to pleas that he get off his high horse and be more of a regular guy.

you mean he's being an uppity negro.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/13/2008 9:13 AM  

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