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Not One Of The Guys

I’m not one who believes that every goof should evoke a metaphor or that every ill-phrased comment deserves an avalanche of criticism.

But sometimes a candidate asks for it. And the above-linked small, even isolated instances suggest that Barack Obama has a way to go with Reagan Democrats. It should surprise no-one that a man raised in Hawaii and overseas, schooled in elite universities, a man whose bread-and-butter constituency is the urban upper crust, does not exactly have the common touch.

Indeed, even his much lauded stump speech is getting an overhaul. It seems all that “change is us” or “we are the change” or whatever is lost on those lunch pail Democrats. One political guru remarks:

If you’re an unemployed steelworker, a former coal miner, you want to know about job training, who pays your health care. . . Obama’s speeches are uplifting but without much specificity, and that’s a tough sell for working people who don’t live in a world of ideas.

Actually it is also a tough sell for non-Leftists who do live in the world of ideas and can’t figure out what he means either, but that is not his main concern right now.

There is a reason why successful Democratic presidential candidates in the last 30 years have been from the South: they talk and act like ordinary Americans and have grown up in non-elite settings–places like the ones they need to support them in a presidential election. Why Democrats have a fixation with nominating Northern liberals I do not know, but it rarely works out. So maybe the media is comparing the wrong 2008 presidential contender to John Kerry.



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