Clinton Joins McCain In Attacking Obama From the Right


Hillary Clinton joins John McCain in attacking Barack Obama from the right. As Steve Benen points out, ” Clinton is sounding an awful lot like a Republican candidate.” With regards to Obama’s statement, Steve writes:

Clinton and McCain pounced simultaneously, with identical messages, in large part because this is all they’ve got. Jeremiah Wright simply wasn’t enough. Obama gave them an opportunity with a couple of awkward sentences, but at the same time, he also captured some real, genuine disaffection that exists in plenty of communities nationwide.

If Obama had been reading from a prepared text, or sticking to carefully-crafted talking points, he certainly wouldn’t have phrased this point the same way. But he was making an observation about why voters have been willing to give up on voting on economic issues, and here’s the kicker: I think he was probably right.

If I were advising the Obama campaign, I’d actually embrace the controversial quote. Of course folks in small towns are clinging to their guns; they’ve been led to believe the state is coming to take away their 2nd Amendment rights. Of course they cling to their faith; given the economic turmoil in their communities, they have to cling to institutions that give them strength and hope. Of course they’re bitter; while millionaires and wealthy corporations have been well represented in corridors of power for as long as they can remember, they’ve been working harder, making less, and feeling like they’ve been left behind.

That’s not an un-American sentiment. That’s not reflective of poor values. That’s not elitism. That’s reality.

As Steve said, “Clinton and McCain pounced simultaneously, with identical messages, in large part because this is all they’ve got.” And in large part because Clinton and McCain represent the same governing philosophy, and would deliver more of the same if either were elected.

Those who want politicians who sanitize every word they say to avoid the risk of offending anyone (and avoid the risk of saying anything of substance) will continue to prefer the Bush/Clinton/McCain Party. Those of us who prefer a leader who is willing to actually say something (and actually change things if elected) will continue to support Obama.

Norm Scheiber also notes the similarities between Clinton’s attack on Obama and attacks fron the right, as she has lowered herself to the level of Michelle Malkin:

Strange how the Clinton approach to strengthening the Democratic Party is remarkably similar to the GOP’s approach to strengthening the Democratic Party.

Related Stories:
More Attacks on Obama From the McCain/Clinton Party
Obama Responds to Clinton/McCain Attacks

Florida Considers Automatic Hand Recounts

Vacation Blogging intersects with political blogging: I don’t know if it is available on line, but while reading the Miami Herald this morning while having a cup of coffee earlier down on South Beach I came across a rather significant item. There is a proposal in Florida to call for automatically recounting all votes by hand in the case of a close election following the controversy in 2000. If such a proposal had been law in 2000, Al Gore would have been elected president.

Obama Responds to Clinton/McCain Attacks


Obama responds to criticism from Clinton and McCain over recent statements. Sure, he might have said it better, but I would prefer a leader who says what he things as opposed to a typical politician who makes sure every statement is sanitized before speaking. Such politicians, such as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, are less likely to say anything controversial, but will just give us more of the same should they get elected.

More Attacks on Obama From the McCain/Clinton Party

One thing about monitoring the blogosphere intermittently while on vacation is that sometimes by the time I get on line to check the news many blogs have already commented. It looks like Obama has done what he is prone to do–speak the truth as opposed to watching every word to avoid any chance of saying something controversial or of substance as most politicians are prone to do. This means that those who practice politics as usual–namely the right wing and Clinton supporters (which is actually redundant if you consider world view as opposed to conventional labels) have responded by finding more ways to distort Obama’s words.

Here is what Obama said:

So, it depends on where you are, but I think it’s fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre…I think they’re misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to ‘white working-class don’t wanna work — don’t wanna vote for the black guy.’ That’s…there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today – kind of implies that it’s sort of a race thing.

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What’s the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is — so, we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide health care for every American. So we’ll go down a series of talking points.

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.

Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you’ll find is, is that people of every background — there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you’ll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I’d be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you’re doing what you’re doing.

There’s certainly room to distort Obama’s words and falsely portray this as elitist or as an attack on rural America, as many McCain and Clinton supporters are doing. Once again it is difficult to find any meaningful difference between the McCain and Clinton camps. Both camps are similar in finding it easier to rely on such distortions as opposed to actually discussing ideas. David Sirota finds a similar statement from John McCain and argues that McCain Said It, Before He Attacked It. Oliver Willis has a good response to attacks from the right:

It’s intriguing that Dems are never supposed to voice any criticism of rural America (which isn’t what Sen. Obama did) but Republicans are allowed to insult San Francisco, Massachusetts, the coasts, etc. It’s like there’s a double standard or something.

Obama’s campaign later released this response to the attacks from McCain:

Senator Obama has said many times in this campaign that Americans are understandably upset with their leaders in Washington for saying anything to win elections while failing to stand up to the special interests and fight for an economic agenda that will bring jobs and opportunity back to struggling communities. And if John McCain wants a debate about who’s out of touch with the American people, we can start by talking about the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that he once said offended his conscience but now wants to make permanent

Update: Response from Obama.