Update: Our Dija contributes a real Hillary Oakley Doakley (Click HERE for the song):
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Barack Obama, aided by Big Media, will try to turn the word “bitter” into the more palatable “angry and frustrated”. Obama, aided by Big Media will try to turn denigrating words against working class voters who will not vote for him, into an argument for his type of “change”. Hillary’s campaign cannot let Obama get away with this latest distraction and distortion.
Recall, last year Obama spent weeks working on a speech to present what was supposed to be his well considered thoughts on American foreign policy. In that speech Obama declared “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”
After riots in Pakistan and denunciations by the other Democratic candidates, Obama changed his words from “if Musharraf won’t act” to “if Musharraf cannot act”. We wrote at the time:
Obama then, changed his words from “won’t act” to “cannot act” (see the transcript above) and has the audacity to insult Senator Dodd and accuse Dodd of either not having read Obama’s bomb of a speech or of mistating what Obama was saying. In other words, Obama the liar, was calling Senator Dodd a liar.
Big Media cooperated fully with Obama’s distractions and distortions.
At that time, the Hillary campaign did not run advertisments highlighting Obama’s international provocations. Obama and Big Media shifted the real to the unreal, “won’t” to “cannot”. The same thing is happening again.
The New York Times has stepped up to help Obama. Here is how the New York Times shifts the Obama remarks, WITHOUT ONCE in the entire article mentioning the word “BITTER”:
“Mr. Obama recently told a group of fund-raisers in San Francisco that small-town voters like those in Pennsylvania “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” as a way to explain their frustrations. Since his remarks were revealed on Friday, he has tried to walk back part of what he said.”
“On Saturday, Mr. Obama said that he “didn’t say it as well as I should have,” and said that he meant that voters in economically depressed towns expressed their anxiety at the polls by focusing on cultural and social issues like immigration and gun laws”.
Today’s Rasmussen poll, touted even by pro-Hillary bloggers, follows the Obama distract and distort strategy. Rasmussen asks voters questions without mentioning the word “bitter” but rather “frustration”. “Obama said that in small towns in Pennsylvania, people “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.” Do you agree or disagree?” and “Senators Clinton and McCain said Obama’s comments showed he was out of touch with hardworking Americans. Do Obama’s comments reflect an elitist view of small-town America?”
Rasmussen reports that 56% of voters nationwide disagree with Obama using the above first question. Imagine the results if the actual word “bitter” was used in the question. Here is the key paragraph from Rasmussen’s analysis:
The survey also confirmed that the Obama campaign and its surrogates were very shrewd to try and switch the conversation to whether or not people are bitter and want change in Washington. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters agreed with Obama’s statement that “People are fed up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter, and they want to see a change in Washington.” Just 32% disagree. Most Democrats and most unaffiliated voters agree with Obama on this point. Clinton’s campaign initially challenged Obama’s use of the word “bitter” but quickly changed its focus to the more controversial aspects of Obama’s statement.
Obama, aided by Big Media is distorting, distracting and disguising his remarks once again. The Hillary campaign cannot cooperate with this Obama disguise strategy.
What exactly did Obama actually say and what was the context of his condescending remarks? Obama said the following to wealthy donors in San Francisco, chuckling at the rubes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, to explain why working class voters are not voting for him:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that 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.
From the beginning of the “bitter” controversy, the New York Times narrative of this story has been “Hillary on the attack“. Today, Alessandra Stanley fixates her commentary on the Hillary as attacker narrative.
Note how Stanley replaces “bitter” with “frustration” when describing Obama’s remarks in San Francisco in these excerpts:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton showed no mercy at the “compassion forum.” … But Mrs. Clinton, who spoke first, didn’t shrink from also going on the attack. … And with a straight face, Mrs. Clinton simultaneously claimed the high ground, saying twice that she would allow Mr. Obama to speak for himself on the matter, noting “he does an excellent job of that.” … It was a tour de force: Mrs. Clinton managed to take the shiv in chivalry and stick it to her opponent, all the while looking and sounding almost saintly.
That evil Hillary, says the New York Times.
Many Hillary supporters think that perhaps right wing Big Media pundits can be relied upon to rebuke Obama regarding this “bitter” episode. That is a vain hope. William Kristol whose first sentence printed in the New York Times was a “thank you” to Obama for ending the Clinton era opines today on “bitter”.
Kristol, like all the right wing Big Media will twist the story to benefit Republican McCain, not Hillary. Referencing Karl Marx, and Obama’s own religious claims, Kristol exercises the arguments Republicans will employ against Obama:
Obama ascribes their anti-trade sentiment to economic frustration — as if there are no respectable arguments against more free-trade agreements. This is particularly cynical, since he himself has been making those arguments, exploiting and fanning this sentiment that he decries. Aren’t we then entitled to assume Obama’s opposition to Nafta and the Colombian trade pact is merely cynical pandering to frustrated Americans?
Then there’s what Obama calls “anti-immigrant sentiment.” Has Obama done anything to address it? It was John McCain, not Obama, who took political risks to try to resolve the issue of illegal immigration by putting his weight behind an attempt at immigration reform.
Furthermore, some concerns about unchecked and unmonitored illegal immigration are surely legitimate. Obama voted in 2006 (to take just one example) for the Secure Fence Act, which was intended to control the Mexican border through various means, including hundreds of miles of border fence. Was Obama then just accommodating bigotry?
As for small-town Americans’ alleged “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”: During what Obama considers the terrible Clinton-Bush years of economic frustration, by any measurement of public opinion polling or observed behavior, Americans have become far more tolerant and respectful of minorities who are not “like them.” Surely Obama knows this. Was he simply flattering his wealthy San Francisco donors by casting aspersions on the idiocy of small-town life?
Kristol discusses guns and the constitutional right to bear arms then does McCain’s work:
What does this mean for Obama’s presidential prospects? He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America. He’s usually good at disguising this. But in San Francisco the mask slipped. And it’s not so easy to get elected by a citizenry you patronize.
And what are the grounds for his supercilious disdain? If he were a war hero, if he had a career of remarkable civic achievement or public service — then he could perhaps be excused an unattractive but in a sense understandable hauteur. But what has Barack Obama accomplished that entitles him to look down on his fellow Americans?
Big Media and the Right Wing are not going to help Hillary. Quite the contrary.
Hillary might not be a war hero by Kristol’s lights (even as right wing website DrudgeReport sports a picture today of Hillary and John McCain in battle gear) but she is a heroic woman.
This weekend nasty Obama tried to denigrate Hillary Clinton by comparing her to Annie Oakley. Annie Oakley is an icon of American history. Obama needs a refresher course in American history not written by his “Pastor” Wright.
This morning nasty Obama “mocked” Hillary for going to an Indiana working class bar. Obama’s own visits to working class bars and bowling alleys in Pennsylvania have not gone well for him.
When Obama’s San Francisco remarks were exposed for all small town citizens to hear, Obama initially defended his remarks. “I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana … who are bitter.”
Obama’s insults and condescension towards small town America is not the story Big Media wants to write. Today the question in the New York Times is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton must make a decision: mount a feisty new assault on Senator Barack Obama, or present a more congenial face to the public.
As a result, Mrs. Clinton finds herself like a basketball team trailing at game’s end and having to watch precious seconds tick off the clock. That leaves some Democratic observers predicting a serene and civil performance on her part, rather than the combative approach advocated by her chief strategist, Mark Penn, before he was ousted from that post a week ago.
“Senator Clinton doesn’t want to do anything that makes her look like a spoiler,” said Bill Carrick, a veteran Democratic strategist. In a similar vein, William A. Galston, who was a White House aide to Bill Clinton, predicted that both candidates would avoid “an overly contentious tone” at a time when the party’s pivotal blue-collar constituency is yearning for solutions to fix an ailing economy. [snip]
Yet Mr. Obama’s description of that very constituency as “bitter” in its political attitudes toward the economy has clouded his prospects for making inroads with those voters, both in the general election and in the primaries. And it has fueled Mrs. Clinton’s hopes for matching last week’s feat by the University of Kansas basketball team, which rallied to beat Memphis for the N.C.A.A. men’s championship by battling until the buzzer and capitalizing on its opponent’s mistakes.
By effectively exploiting Mr. Obama’s remarks in Wednesday’s debate, which is being hosted by ABC, Mrs. Clinton could reach every group she is trying to reach: swing voters in Pennsylvania, Indiana and the other remaining primary states; uncommitted superdelegates with doubts about Mr. Obama’s ability to win in the general election; and the news media.
“Clinton will be more aggressive,” predicted Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000 and a Democratic National Committee member who is neutral in this race. “This is still a ‘do better or prepare to lose’ moment.”
Donna Brazile, a “neutral” – what a joke. Here is the counter-argument to ours:
Boring in on Mr. Obama’s words carries risk for Mrs. Clinton as well. Democratic voters in this race have proved repeatedly that they do not always share the temporary preoccupations of the news media or the campaigns themselves.[snip]
Mr. Obama’s advisers say he will be ready to respond forcefully, and warn that Mrs. Clinton has already shown signs of over-reaching in her remarks over the weekend defending gun owners in the same breath as devout churchgoers. Mrs. Clinton is “acting like Annie Oakley and Billy Graham all in one,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, “and she’s neither.”
Mrs. Clinton may not need to bring up Mr. Obama’s words at all in the debate, since the moderators, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, are almost certain to do so on their own. A new contretemps could also intervene by the time the candidates take the stage in a campaign that has been stamped by unpredictability.
If Gibson or Stephanoupoulos or any Big Media outlet bring up the “bitter” controversy it will not be to the benefit of Hillary. No matter what Hillary does Big Media and Obama will claim that Hillary is “attacking”. Whether Hillary “attacks” or not, the headline will be “Hillary Attacks”. Hillary will incur the penalty without the benefit.
The Hillary campaign will be accused of attacking no matter what it does. Why not actually try to shape the argument with paid media? Why not this time discuss the issue the way it should be discussed? Why let Obama continue his attacks on small town America without a full, paid, response?
Small town America deserves a full-throated defense from the bitter words of the Chicago thugs.