Tuesday, 15 April 2008

A 'bitter' debate

For those who haven't been following the news, here's the scoop on the 'bitter' controversy:

At issue are comments he made privately at a fundraiser in San Francisco last Sunday. He was trying to explain his troubles winning over some working-class voters, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions:

"It's not surprising, then, 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."

Both McCain and Clinton have mounted harsh attacks on Obama for his comments, but I must say, I do not disagree with what he said in San Francisco, even if it was a "mistake". Americans are becoming more xenophobic; they are turning more to religion. In fact, as religion has fallen out of favor with many of our European counterparts, Americans have been turning to Jesus in droves. In addition, guns seem to be more popular. These are all factors of working-class and small-town angst, and I don't think Obama should be reprimanded as "elitist" for voicing these views. That being said, Obama's comment was still pretty harsh (John Dickerson attempts to decipher it here).

Clinton and McCain are sounding awfully alike in their attacks. I'd say more criticism should be placed on Sen. Clinton for her condescending label-throwing.

More and more I am leaning towards Obama as my preferred candidate. Lucky for him, his comments don't seem to have cost him the uber-important Pennsylvania primary:
New polls meanwhile suggested that the furor sparked by Obama description of some small town Americans as "bitter" had yet to dent his hopes in Pennsylvania, where votes are cast on April 22, though his rival Hillary Clinton clung to a narrow lead.
A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll out Tuesday suggested that Obama may have escaped damage among Democrats in Pennsylvania.

It gave Clinton a lead over Obama of 46 percent to 41, down from double-digit margins in earlier polls, and also had her losing in both Indiana and North Carolina, which both vote next on May 6.

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