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Why Doesn’t This Work?

This ad, a fairly blatant attempt to repair Snob-gate damage, almost seems to worsen the fix Barack Obama is now in. “End the division” flashes on the screen. Really? His nasty put-down of rural Pennsylvanians to a crowd of San Francisco donors is precisely the type of divisive politics the ad is criticizing.

Obama’s billing as the post-racial, post-partisan Agent of Change seems to have lost its punch somewhere between Reverend Wright’s sermons and Obama’s dishing the dirt on rural folk with the in-crowd in San Francisco. The problem with being all things to all people (liberation theology congregant to black Chicago, erudite sociologist to Bay Area liberals, and Great Uniter to the rest of the country) is that, in the age of new media, anyone can all put the pieces together and reach a fairly obvious conclusion: Obama is telling everyone a different story. (He might do better to follow James Carville’s advice.) How old school. How–dare I say it?–Clintonian.


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