The newest attack on the campaign trail is one I don't get. To set the scene: Obama, at a fundraiser in San Francisco on Sunday said that people in Pennsylvania have grown "bitter" because the last two administrations have promised a better life without delivering. For the sake of context, here is the full quote:
But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. 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.
I read the headline for the story and didn't even click on it. Of course people are "bitter." That's not news.
Except apparently it is. Clinton has taken the comment and run with it. She responded saying that "bitter" people is not her "experience" and that "Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them." Here is her quote, according to CNN:
"Well that's not my experience. As I travel around Pennsylvania. I meet people who are resilient, optimist positive who are rolling up their sleeves."
"Pennsylvanians don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them, who fights hard for your future, your jobs, your families."
I know there are things Clinton is trying to not talk about, and therefore change the subject. And I know her lead is slipping in Pennsylvania. But this doesn't sound like a diversion or desperation to me. It seems like she actually thinks she's hitting on something. Well, I don't see it. Of course Pennsylvanians are bitter. They're mad at the war. They're mad at the economy. They're mad that the Eagles don't have a reliable quarterback. I don't understand what's controversial about it. I don't even get what's politically incorrect about it. Does anyone?
Update: CNN has video of Obama responding to Clinton (and McCain, who said Obama's comments prove he's "out of touch"). The video is here. It's a fantastic response, so be sure to check it out.
Another Update: Obama's response can bee seen without watching the ad CNN puts up. Check it out: