Obama Swings at the ‘Bitter’ Ball
It doesn’t matter what kind of pitch it is, just throw him the ball. Barack Obama will figure out a way to get on base with it.
So Obama has been accused of being elitist by Clinton and McCain (I know, kind of funny) because he said it was no great mystery that small town folks who flail in crumbling economies were bitter. (Original Huffington Post article here.) He said he understood why people in these places cling to religion or wedge issues because those things at least help them explain their frustrations when the promises and policies of recent administrations further disadvantage them.
Was his choice of the word “bitter” a problem? I don’t think so, but that is a matter of opinion. What probably is a problem is that most people are unaware of how their intensified fears and anxieties can enflame finger-pointing and less rational religious expressions. I fall prey to this phenomenon myself. Obama’s mistake, if he made one, was in psychoanalyzing voters. No matter how good you are, this always comes off as presumptuous if you are running for office. Like I said though, no matter what the pitch, Obama seems able to hit the ball.
Setting aside Obama’s ability to renegotiate the terms of every criticism against him and make you proud to be an American in the process, I believe there is a more important point here. And that is: it is Obama’s campaign– even when he’s unaware that the microphone is on, even when the subject is only his pastor’s point of view–that is starting the real conversations that matter in this election.
The topics may be uncomfortable at times, but you’d be a fool not to believe they are important and need to be discussed. I’d prefer those discussions happen with a president I know can handle the heat, and Obama seems able.
Here’s his most recent swing at the ball (Thanks to Americablog for pointing me to the video):