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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hillary’s Next

posted by on April 13 at 17:29 PM

Out walks the naive “colored gentleman.”
In walks the “uppity nigger.”

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I think what she was hoping for was a "Step-n-Fetchit".

Posted by Ziggity | April 13, 2008 5:41 PM

That video they mention is over at TPM. Hillary's camp will say it proves that he can't be president because he speaks to people as if they were intelligent adults, while Obama's camp will say he can be president because he speaks to people as if they were intelligent adults.

Posted by elenchos | April 13, 2008 5:41 PM

It could be argued that the people he was referring to don't even pay enough attention to the news to hear and be offended by it.

Posted by The CHZA | April 13, 2008 5:58 PM

Will someone please explain to me what is so offensive about his statement.

Posted by Paulus | April 13, 2008 6:13 PM

elanchos: Right. On.

I read his speech before people started harshing on the "bitter" and "religion" bits, and I was like . . . obviously. It didn't seem that controversial to me.

Also: I am from Idaho people. We rural folks can handle the truth.

Posted by Sister Y | April 13, 2008 6:13 PM

charles, where are you getting your second quote from?

Posted by mark | April 13, 2008 6:19 PM

Hillary just seems like that dick of a boyfriend who only cares about you when someone else points out your behavior is co-dependent and ultimately self destructive.

Posted by point x point synopsis | April 13, 2008 6:27 PM

@4 Obama's comment can be taken as offensive because it posits that small town americas attachment to God, Guns and Get out of town stranger is a negative consequence of a bad economic situation and bad faith promises by the last several presidents. Obama's clarification of his statement doesn't help him. he basically says that small town America votes for these things because religion guns and distrust of others has brought comfort to small town America in the past and in these times of stress they continue to bring comfort. He might as well have said God Guns and xenophobia are the opiate of the masses. This is problematic because small town people have been religious and gun-toting for long before their economic fortunes went down. Additionally, Xenophobia is a common trait in small homogeneous groups. These people are quite happy with their belief systems and don't like to hear that their beliefs systems are bad and due to bitterness. It seems that in America bitterness is not acceptable, whereas righteous anger is acceptable. So if Obama had gone more populist and just said "these past presidents have promised the moon and left you hanging" he might have had more success.

Posted by LMSW | April 13, 2008 7:10 PM

Charles, if you don't mind my saying so, you are a pompous ass. I am no fan of Hillary Clinton - I've said on many occasions that I think she is overly focus-grouped, hiding the admirable things about her character in a cynical ploy for votes, a corporate tool, and ultimately unelectable - but your statement is just plain stupid. And not even up to your usual level of pompous pseudo-academic stupidity - just plain garden variety stupid.

Hillary Clinton is being her usual opportunistic, conniving self in this issue, but that doesn't make her a racist. Crying wolf only makes you look like an idiot.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | April 13, 2008 7:22 PM

@4 Saying people "cling to" their beliefs and values is demeaning to them and sets up the speaker as showing he feels superior. Thus it is elitist and dismissive. Divisive. Hardly what we want in a leader for all of us much less someone advertsied as transcendent.

Btw hurling out the n word is a bit of an overeaction. This subject of being demeaning is fair game -- unless Obama must be presumed to be immune from politics/any heretic is a racist now.

What crap.

Posted by unPC | April 13, 2008 7:38 PM

The thing I don't understand is why would you be a self-described Obama supporter, pay $2300 to be at the event in the first place, and then break the most inflammatory soundbite of the night to the 24 hour press circuit?

Mayhill Fowler is an idiot and, according to another person who was there, the comments were made as an answer to a couple of volunteers interested in what kinds of obstacles they could expect:

"At the end of this small event Obama took four questions, one of which was from a couple of supporters going to Pennsylvania to work for the campaign. They wanted to know what kinds of questions they could expect to get from people in Pennsylvania.

Obama began to answer their question by talking about the cultural and geographic diversity in Pennsylvania. He then proceeded to talk about what kind of attitudes and obstacles they might run into in the parts of the state that had been economically devastated by job loss. He talked about the fact that they would run into great cynicism about Washington or any promise of political change. He talked about the frustration and yes, bitterness, in some of these areas, where people had lost industry and jobs twenty five years before, jobs that never came back. He talked about the culture in these communities and what people had done to cope with economic hardship.

This was an attempt both to tell these supporters what they might run up against and what were the challenges for the campaign in the industrial Midwest as a whole. Obama was both giving a speech to the supporters present at the event and a heart-to-heart to this couple that was ready to go door-to-door in Pennsylvania."

Posted by Notecarder | April 13, 2008 7:41 PM

unPC still clings to his/her position firmly up Hillary Clinton's rectum.

Posted by youknowitstrue | April 13, 2008 7:47 PM

As Obama pointed out in tonight's CNN compassion thing, "cling" isn't always a negative thing. Romans 12:9 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good."

Posted by stinkbug | April 13, 2008 8:06 PM

So... what if he had said this after the convention? We just have to deal. She's done, fork in her, done. He could be found smoking a cigarette and reading the koran and he's still be the dem nominee. The supes can't change this.

I mean, I guess they can but that would be the end of the dems for quite a while.

And this isn't just "oh my candidate lost, I'm a whiny bitch", but what's the process here? We vote, they decide? It's one thing to have the rules be a theoretical abstraction, it's another thing to actually apply them.

Posted by daniel | April 13, 2008 8:10 PM

Charles, I'm curious why you chose to use the phrasing you did in your post? Are you projecting what you think people (Clinton, pundits, small town folks?) will begin saying or have you heard or read somewhere this sentiment?

Maybe I'm naive but I assume that this is about perceived elitism, which could be applied to any candidate regardless of race or gender.

Also, a lot of the sentiment here on Slog is that because of delegate counts Obama's nomination is a done deal, but there are still states that haven't yet held their primaries. Could missteps now sway those voters and change the outcome?

Posted by PopTart | April 13, 2008 8:43 PM

I believe there was another stage in between the two you mentioned. A so so achiever, a la Ferraro. Because of course you can't be black and successful and have earned it.

Posted by D. | April 13, 2008 8:52 PM

@10 Hi Unpc, if I may add to your comment a bit. yes I suppose you could view using "cling" as implying the speakers superiority, but this would be a secondary reaction and would miss the cultural injury beyond an implication of class superiority.
I believe the root problem with using "cling" is that it puts small town working class people in the position of someone at sea clinging to a life preserver or someone clinging onto the side of a building. What is likely to irk Americans is that nobody wants to think of themselves as that desperate and fearful without a measure of understanding from the speaker (see below). In American culture people who "cling" are likely to fall and are thus somehow "losers". As with being bitter, being a "loser" in America is a very low social status, indeed. Rather than accept and acknowledge either the fear associated with being in a vulnerable position or accept the label of being bitter people are likely to feel anger toward the messenger.
This anger could easily become the attribution of Obama talking down to them. Unlike bill clintons often mocked but authentic sounding "I feel your pain" comments, Obama's statement, at least as reported in the press, did not have the associated empathy that Obama's statements regarding black anger and white feelings of non-privilege possessed. Perhaps if he had said black inner city people at times fall back on God, gangs and antipathy towards people who are different than them, Obama might have escaped with less damage.
As I've said before though this would still be problematic as his whole statement implies a liberal or even marxist fantasy, namely that the working class would not be religious or violent or xenophobic if it were not for poor economic conditions.
Again if he had said in a more eloquent fashion something like

"some people,sometimes feel fearful and rightfully angry at their economic woes and the bad faith of presidential candidates. Yet, given our culture of not complaining about problems in an organized fashion, especially during a war, these people find it hard to express these fears and anger directly and so these hard to acknowledge emotions find their way out in indirect ways. sometimes through these emotions find expression through institutions and belief systems that in and of themselves are not bad, such as religion, but which become vehicles of division and defensiveness. sometimes the anger becomes attached to fears of personal safety which manifest themselves as an inordinate attachment to gun ownership, resulting in guns becoming available to the wrong people. sometimes these fears lead to scapegoating of others which is counter productive and divisive. etc."

Its a tough sell though. If he wants to win he needs to express more empathy for people in these situations and then give them a way out, a way to rise above their fears and anger.

Posted by LMSW | April 13, 2008 9:24 PM

I'm no political scientist, nor am I even an American, but can the Obama supporters really not see this as a lack of understanding of the values and driving forces of rural communities?

Hillary's entire schtick, is that fake-accented 'small-town America appeal', and I'm really surprised Obama would make such a rookie move as to make himself blatantly vulnerable on that front. He can sell himself to cities, where people eat up all the "hope" and "change" and "dreams" bullshit campaigns can muster, but imagine him going to a university campus and announcing that 'students are a bunch of socialist asshats, driven by compassion, idiocy and lack of experience to cling to utopian ideas that are unfulfillable or unsustainable in reality'.

He'd be telling the truth, but to a demographic that doesn't want to acknowledge that.

Posted by Tdub | April 13, 2008 9:31 PM

truth hurts

Posted by Y.F. | April 13, 2008 9:37 PM

Ya'll's full of shit. There is nothing elitist about being truthful. It may hurt, but we can take it.

Oh and I just love how everyone is talking about what small town america should be thinking.

What's elitist is supporting NAFTA and then trying to bullshit your way out of it *cough* Hillary and Mccain *cough*.

Posted by Wyatt | April 13, 2008 9:55 PM

I mailed my absentee PA ballot today, and it was marked for Obama. I struggled with the choice for a long time, but Hillary reacted to the "cling" speech like a Republican would - with a knee-jerk reaction that he's "elitist" and "out of touch" with average god- and gun-loving Americans. This whole thing kinda sent me over the edge.

Posted by MK | April 13, 2008 10:46 PM

Here we are, and right on time! Bill Krisol misreads both Marx and Obama.

Posted by elenchos | April 13, 2008 11:12 PM

Double high-five to daniel@13. I haven't seen anybody else say that, and it needs saying.

Posted by Phoebe | April 14, 2008 1:21 AM

UnPC now wants a rule that we can't say people "cling to" things. How PC can one be.
From UnPC
"Saying people 'cling to' their beliefs and values is demeaning to them and sets up the speaker as showing he feels superior."

Please UnPC, tell us what other common words are now off limits in your "UnPC" world. You are nothing but a joke. I simply can't get over how the person whose criticism of Obama always, always, boils down to political correctness in the extreme calls him or herself UnPC. Am I missing something UnPC. Is the PC supposed to stand for something other than politically correct? Are or you really just an absolute fool?

Posted by Mike in Iowa | April 14, 2008 5:04 AM

Remember, he didn't say this in small town America, he said it at a fundraiser an San Fransisco. Not the same as demeaning college students on a college campus.

Posted by kmonkey | April 14, 2008 7:48 AM

The man speaks the unfettered truth. He's got my vote, still. Haters can step off.

Posted by K | April 14, 2008 9:34 AM

As much as it pains me to say this, McCain just won the election because of this. It pains me because I supported Obama, but this will finish him off. I won't vote for Hillary under any conditions and many Obama supporters feel the same way.

Posted by Jeff | April 14, 2008 9:36 AM

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