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Ear to the Ground

Obama Volleys Back at Clinton, McCain for ‘Bitter’ Remarks

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Posted on Apr 11, 2008
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barack Obama has apparently decided to stand by his observation, first delivered in San Francisco on April 6, that some Americans in small-town Pennsylvania are “bitter” about the lack of available jobs. After Hillary Clinton and John McCain criticized his views as elitist and condescending, Obama repeated, and elaborated upon, his original statement Friday.

Update: Obama made even stronger remarks in a speech on Sunday, an excerpt of which can be found here.


The Washington Post:

“Of course they’re bitter. Of course they’re frustrated. You would be, too—in fact, many of you are,” Obama said.

He also addressed the same social hot-button issues that Clinton and McCain pointed to as evidence of elitism. “And so people don’t vote on economic issues, because they don’t expect anybody’s going to help them. People are voting on issues like guns, are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and the things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.”

Obama also returned fire on both his critics. “Here’s what’s rich: Senator Clinton says, ‘I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. I think Barack’s being condescending.’ John McCain says, ‘He’s obviously out of touch with people.’ Out of touch? John McCain, it took him three tries to figure out the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit-card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt—after taking money from the financial services companies—and she says I’m out of touch?

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By cann4ing, April 28, 2008 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

After his 3/18/08 address, a number of commentators lavished praise on Obama’s speech as perhaps one of the most significant efforts to bridge the racial divide since Dr. Martin Luther King graced this nation with his eloquence.  Yet others continue to criticize Obama for failing to disassociate himself with his former pastor.  After all, the sound-bite in that loop had Rev. Wright shouting, “Not God Bless America.  God Damn America!”  Didn’t that sound-bite demonstrate Wright hated the very country Obama seeks to lead?

Actually, no!  The lengthy Moyers interview demonstrated that Jeremiah Wright, the man, is a learned and very reasonable individual; a man who served this nation in both the Marine Corps and Navy, even attending to Pres. Johnson during a surgery.  The looped sound-bite was taken out of context; the caricature depicted by the sound-bit is a damnable lie.  Wright was not calling on God to damn America.  His sermon, based on Biblical passages, was that God does not bless everything; that He “curses” things as well.  “God does not bless gang-bangers….God does not bless the killing of babies.”  His critique was not of America, the country and its people, but of governments when they lie, when they fail their own people and when they kill innocents while engaged in imperial conquest.

Wright did link 9/11 to blowback from U.S. imperialism but amongst academics that is far less controversial than Bush’s “The attacked us because they hate our freedoms.”  Wright is by no means the first African American minister to criticize the quest for Empire.  During his 4/1/67 “Beyond Vietnam” speech, Dr. King condemned “the glaring contrast between poverty and wealth” and warned that a “nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”  Dr. King is much revered, now!  Back then, Time magazine called King’s speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi….”

There is a much larger problem then Rev. Wright.  It is to be found not only in the simplistic loop but in the daily “talking points” enunciated by Fox News, then repeated by other cable networks.  The sequence of Robt. Greenwald’s “Outfoxed” in which one pundit after another sings out “flip-flopper” to describe Sen. Kerry during the 2004 campaign is amusing, at least until one realizes this methodology did not originate with Rupert Murdoch or even the Bush White House.  This form of tight message control comes straight out of Mein Kampf.  “All effective propaganda,” Hitler proclaimed, “must be limited to very few points and must harp on these slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand….Propaganda had to be continuous and unvarying in its message.”

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By Conservative Yankee, April 28, 2008 at 6:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

EC, I was responding to Expat, (April 13 at 6:49 pm)
who claimed we “...needed the Democrats one more time”

I disagree… I NEED neither Democrats nor Republicans.

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By Paracelsus, April 27, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment

I saw some of Wright’s sermon and I understand the context of his damning statements, but that is not what will be propagated in the media. In the end I am not stating that anyone should vote for Hillary or, God forfend, McCain. What I would like to see is that people create their own solutions rather than subscribe to some poisonous, off the shelf solution. As to Wright he can’t even get 9-11 right. He thinks some people in a cave somewhere thought up that 9-11 caper. Just doing a web search on Norman Minetta and Dick Cheney should show you that there were some major shadow powers behind the scenes who were pulling the strings.

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By Leefeller, April 27, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Paracelsus,

You seem obsessed with the inane crap you are supposed to be obsessed with, nice to know the mass media is doing a great job of keeping the masses ignorant, you seem to be living proof. 

Wright is out of context, just like most of the stuff you mention. So either you are a distorter of the the truth or you are ignorant of it.

Dig a little deeper and find what is real or continue to ignore it as most people find so much easier to do.

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By cann4ing, April 27, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

CY, your post is a bit cryptic.  Any of whom?

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By cann4ing, April 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Paracelsus, your entire perception of Rev. Wright is the product of a calculated campaign of propaganda by the corporate-owned media.  See my comment in response to the Boyarsky article, Courting the White Vote.  Better yet, google Bill Moyers at PBS and watch the entire Wright interview.  The “not God Bless America;  God Damn America” was taken out of context to deliberately distort what Wright had to say.  Wright was not beseeching God to “Damn America,” he was given a sermon based on Biblical passages in which he asserted that God does not “bless” everything; that He doesn’t “bless” gang-bangers and dope dealers, he damns them and that when nations as a part of imperial conquest murder innocent civilians, He does not bless this, He condemns this.

You, and most Americans, have been taken in by a deliberate campaign of deception—but what else is new.  Deception is the operative word within a corporate media which seeks to perpetuate government of, for and by the wealthy elites, working people be Damned!

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By Conservative Yankee, April 27, 2008 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You think?

I suppose it’s a personal call, and personally, I don’t “need” any of them.

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By Paracelsus, April 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

I am replying to Canning’s backing of Obama. Much that some would find objectionable and unvoteable in Obama if he were to be finally exposed doesn’t really matter to me. I find it necessary to preface what I am about to say with this: I do object to the use of cocaine becaus eit only supports the corrupt operations of our police and intelligence agencies. I would not want to use their product. I do not have any animus against gay or bisexual people. I think it is a fixed idea that there should be soem sort bible derived abhorence against. Further I do find infidility in marriage disagreeable, but many prominent people have been known to cheat on their spouses. On the other hand some marriages seems to tolerate that sort of thing. I do not think it should have any bearing on anyone’s performance as an officehilder. Next point I would like to make is that many Americans of a religious bent would find these issues in a candidate morally objectionable, and this would be a problem for a politician in the U.S. Now then, and fianlly Obama- I think he has a lot of skeletons in his closet. Witness just the Wright cock-up. At some point Obama will either have to face these exposures in the presidentila race, or barring that, he will have it over his head as a bargaining point in his governance. I have brought this issue up before, only to have it disregarded as scurrilous. Sometimes I have been slandered just for posing this consideration. I ask that these issues be researched, berfore anyone decides to throw mud at me.

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By cyrena, April 15, 2008 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

If memory serves me, bert is not a “Californian” and so I wanted to make that sort of clear, because I am, and I’m damn sure not claiming hers as a standard mentality here.

Again, if memory serves me, bert said that she lived in Ohio, (though she didn’t give a location) for 59 years. I have no idea how old she is, but even presuming that she was born there, it sounds like she didn’t make the trek west to California until well after whatever school teacher career she had. (remember she said she taught poor kids (black and white) in the rural areas of the Appalachians. That was semi-news to me, since I don’t know that many black people in the rural areas of the Appalachians, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Surely there are plenty of black folks in Ohio though.

And, bert does seem to have a similar mentality to many Ohioans. I say that because I think I’d mentioned before, that’s where my mother and her 13 siblings are from, though nearly all of them relocated to California many years ago. (My mother has been here nearly 65 years, and is the last her generation left in either state). Anyway, having spent my own fair share of time there, (and lots of other places) I can say that the mentality is similar. I have a cousin who wasn’t born or raised there, but moved there (for reasons unbeknownst to me, since his dad had also come to California long before my cousin was even born) about 6 or so years ago. And, he’s goofy too. He doesn’t even pretend to be a democrat though. They all think like repugs, even if they call themselves something else. (of course he also doesn’t claim to be a person of color either, even though his father and his grandmother cannot be mistaken for anything else. His other parent and grandparents are Japanese)

So, that might explain all of that ‘small town values’ shit. That’s NOT to say however, that we don’t have plenty of small and rural areas right here in California. I’m telling you, we’ve got some of EVERYTHING! And, remember that thing from the Southern Poverty Law Center, on the Hate Organizations? I hate to be reminded of it, but I think California had the most. I’m sure not proud, but I’m also not particularly surprised either. It’s a big place, and covers a lot of terrain, not to mention a huge demographic spectrum, from some of the richest of the rich, to the poorest of the poor. The far more dense population probably accounts for the large number of hate organizations, because we’ve also got all of these LEVELS to the terrain. In the other larger states like TX and FL, there aren’t so many mountains housing so many folks.

Still, also if memory serves me, bert claims to be in LA, which we would of course think of as a city, but it has it’s own pockets of “small towness’ within that large city. (not to mention the jillions of surrounding ‘burbs.)

Anyway, my guess is that bert is just another person that came out west to retire, and probably not all that long ago either.

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By cyrena, April 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

•  “You seem to feel my experience in this regard is meaningless, well I guess that’s your prerogative, just the same it definitely HAS been my experience.  And no, I don’t chart and graph my experiences.”

Outraged…

I’m shocked! Yes, absolutely floored by this admission that you don’t chart and graph your daily experiences, and everyone that you talk to and what about, and all of that. Surely there is not a single self-respecting Social Elitist that would fail to do this.

Oh wait…YOU aren’t the “Social Elitist”. I forgot, that’s MY title. (jeeze..how could I forget so soon). Well, I don’t chart mine either (experiences that is). Still, I suspect they show up well defined…unlike the Picture of Dorian Gray, I haven’t made any deals with the devil. So, my ‘experiences’ are clearly visible, and I think yours are as well, since you share them with astute clarity.

Moving on. I’m going to repeat myself again, just because I can. This most recent tactic from the Rovian bag of tricks has done nothing more than back fire, like all of the others. Think about it. Hillary (and John McCain) have decided that Obama’s remark was somehow ‘offensive’, because of the standard BS that they think they can get away with, by patronizing a crowd of citizens who have been ideologically compromised. Maybe even in shock.

BUT, let’s look at it from the other view point, as if one of us, having lost our jobs, (long ago) and lost family members, (no health care) and have been struggling horrifically, (blue collar, white collar, green collar, red collar, etc) and somebody (a politician) comes along and tells us, “Oh, you’re fine. You’re resilient, and hopeful, and courageous, and blah, blah, blah.” Everything is fine.

Well NO god damnit! Everything is NOT fine, and after a decade of this shit, I’ve lost whatever ‘resilience’ I might have ever had, and there is NOTHING on the horizon that gives me any impression that things are gonna get any better, because if you think ‘all is well’ in wonderland, than you obviously do NOT feel or otherwise recognize my/our struggle.

Meantime, this new guy is out and about, and promising to do something about it. Even if he can’t work any ‘miracles’ at least he ‘gets it’!! At least he’s not lying to my face about all this resilience and shit, (that we no longer have) and at least he UNDERSTANDS what the hell is going on, and how we’ve been affected by all of these job losses, and a depressed community and environment as a result.

So, SOME folks actually DO appreciate hearing the truth, and that wizard of oz stuff that Hillary tries to sling isn’t all that palatable to folks that would rather deal with reality.

And, that’s been MY experience!!

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By cann4ing, April 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

One of your better posts, expat.  You really nailed it.

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By cann4ing, April 14, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Forty years of neoliberal economics, which included the Clinton years that brought us NAFTA, the WTO, the Age of Wal Mart and deregulation, not to mention run-away military spending have brought this nation to the verge of an economic collapse of such magnitude that it portends to make the Great Depression look like a picnic, and the only thing people want to look at is whether or not some people may have been offended by the word “bitter”?  Time to wake-up (and grow-up) small town America to the fact that both Clintons, the former president and the corporate lawyer and former member of the Wal Mart Board, betrayed the working and middle classes when they joined with Reagan and George H.W. Bush to ram these neoliberal, so-called free trade agreements through on the fast track.

We are in the midst of a global class war, and in that war, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain are on the wrong side.  While Obama was not my first choice—Dennis Kucinich would have been far superior—there is, at least, the prospect for a reversal of the damage done to New Deal regulations and a truly progressive government with an Obama administration.  There is no prospect for a reversal of policies favoring the ruling elite if Hill-the-corporate-shill or Mad Dog McCain were elected. 

Billionaires rule.  Hillary and McCain are their tools.

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

You know I just can not see all the flap about the “bitter” comment,  it looks like more of the same smoke and mirrors that is so exclusive to the Hillary experienced crowd. 

Bitter, people being bitter, unhappy, disappointed, all varying degrees of dislike I suppose.  If Obama hit on something taboo for the status quo rules, especially for those who will wave the flag while Rome is burning crowd. Obama conjuring up discontented feelings, is a no, no,  you have to live the illusion that this country is great, everything is hunky dory and wave the flag no matter what, watch Fox. 

Several years back I traveled thorough Pennsylvania and saw the shells of what were factories, we drove up to Niagara Falls and I was saddened by the factory shells in Buffalo, ghost factories.  While visiting in Pennsylvania, I did try to feel the political climate and never could get a feeling at all.  My observation was one of apathy, one of people who were trying to make a living.  Bitter may not be the word of what I perceived, but blind trust of the Federal system was not apparent either.  Four years ago, since then, I suspect things may have gotten less wave the flag of apathy and more trying to survive. 

It is quite simple if Obama pissed off the people in Pennsylvania, maybe their vote will show it?  No, not good enough for the Hillary crowd, they have to keep the focus out and off them, make sure the bigots know about it too.  Well bigots get to vote, don’t they?

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By Leefeller, April 14, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Of course the Republicans, Hillary and Bert.

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By jackpine savage, April 14, 2008 at 4:04 am Link to this comment

Indeed, Bill Clinton has made the same argument in the past.  And you don’t have to listen to many liberal conversations to hear the same sentiment; you just can’t go around saying things like that in public, right?

If nothing else, this is the same sentiment that gives rise to chain emails that display maps of Dumbfuckistan.

And this comes from the Democratic retreat into the far West coast and the North East…with hopes of picking up a swing state or two in the Midwest: the classic 12 State Strategy for electoral success.

The Democratic Party used to be the party that represented the blue collar workers and the middle class.  But since the 90’s (in particular), they’ve sold their collective soul to the corporations.  Why would a Midwesterner vote Democratic?  They aren’t stupid; they realize that their economic interest is no better represented by the Dems than the Reps…but at least the Republicans give lip service to the social values that many of them (us) hold.

FDR spoke about how the bankers and the corporate titans hated him, and he was proud of that hatred.  Now, Democratic politicians pander mercilessly to those constituencies.  For the moment, the Dem candidates will drink beer, bowl, and tell hunting stories with the little people…but they’ll be long forgotten if/when said Dems make it into office.

When it’s time to ship the last of our jobs overseas, the politicians will side with the corporations because that’s where the money and the power resides.  Until people start using the guns that they love so much to strike fear in the hearts of the politicians, the politicians will continue raping them.  Until the voters stand up and force recognition as people, the politicians will consider them as nothing more than poll numbers and votes that are needed once every couple of years.

It’s supposed to be our country, but it sure looks like it belongs to the politicians and their corporate bed fellows.

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

You still refuse to answer the essential question. How many rural communities and how many people have you actually talked to? 6? 12? 200?  Your ‘experience’ is parochial and does not unclude the wude range of rural communities out there. You are full of it. And yes, I will say it again - your trying to use your anecdotal stories are interesting but meaningless.

I am not smearing Obama. Obama’s own words simply did not sit well with some folk.

Obama has had it pretty darn easy in the primary. Everyone has been treating him with kid gloves. The Repubs will not be so nice. If you think normal campaigining is rough and tough, then you will have a very rude awakening come this fall, should Obama be the nominee.  You ain’r seen nothing yet!!!!! Wait till McCain gets hold of him.

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By Outraged, April 13, 2008 at 8:54 pm Link to this comment

Re: bert,

Your comment:
“Where in this post and in Mayor Steve Reed’s comments did he mention or talk about jobs leaving the community?  The Mayor never mentions jobs. He is talking about his constituents, about what kind of people they are. And they evidently think their Mayor is doing a good job or they would not keep electing him.  How do you get anymore out of this than that?”

Did you see the potted plant get elected?  Too often people have a “choice” between who they don’t want and who they don’t want (or no one at all).  Therefore many times they don’t vote, since they feel it a futile endeavor.  So, no I don’t think that someone wins an election because that’s what “the people” want.

(The Awful Truth/ Michael Moore)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eee2yVMGZVA

Your comment:  “Are this personal conversations? With whom? In all rural communities, ot just some? Which ones? How many? Did you do research and can you provide tables and graphs. If you can’t than your statements are mere anecdotal and therefore interesting but meaningless.”

That has been my experience.  Yes, in all rural communities where I’ve had the discussion (off hand, I can’t think of a rural area that I’ve lived where it hasn’t come up).  I hear this same frustration from others I know who also live in rural communities.  You seem to feel my experience in this regard is meaningless, well I guess that’s your prerogative, just the same it definitely HAS been my experience.  And no, I don’t chart and graph my experiences.

Your quote:  “Then tell me what he did mean? And why you are at it, tell me why he apologized for whatever he said that he did not mean.”

He apologized for saying that “supposed” cataclysmic and horrendous term “bitter” which SOME people internalized as offensive.  Since he had not MEANT to offend, he apologized.  In other words, he didn’t mean it the way SOME took it and definitely not the way the Clinton and McCain campaigns are spinning it.  People do apologize when they inadvertently offend someone, it’s common practice.

Yet again, here you are smearing Obama while your choice, Clinton, is telling straight up LIES, Claiming she came under “sniper fire” and the also “hospital story”. And yet these are minor in comparison to her lifetime of suspicious and documented crooked business and political liaisons.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

Never could see any problem with Obama’s comment, the sad part is that Hillary and her propagandized groupie keep on grasping for straws. Seems Bill Clinton said more or less the same thing in 1991. 

Hope Hillary shits or gets off the pot, this is getting tiring.

Well, I am glad that I am not alone in my finding the Hillary crowd over playing their hands again.

“To see Hillary going absolutely over the top to smash Obama for making clearly more humanly sympathetic observations in this vein, is just amazing.

Jason Linkins notes from Harvard political scientist Theda Skocpol on talking Points.”

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By Expat, April 13, 2008 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

^  rattlesnake surrounded by hot objects; she strikes at everything hoping to connect (flailing about) .  All three candidates are cut from similar cloth but on presentation I just like Obama’s style.  McCain is loutish and Hillary is a shrew.  I loved the pictures of her drinking shots and beer with the “boys”; sure and I’ve got a bridge for sale.  I should hope the people of Pennsylvania and Ohio have enough brains to know the bullshit about the lost jobs coming back is just that; pure bullshit and Obama is at least telling them the truth.  This is a non-issue of immense proportions; get a grip ya’all.  I’m not sure the dems are worth saving; they are mostly hopeless/helpless: but we do need them one last time.

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

You write:  “This great county is what it is because of NAFTA, WTO and not having health care, wasting money on a preemptive war, to fill the cofferes of the already stinking wealthy.  No reason to be bitter upset or dissapointed in Washington. You and your mayor or condescending ones.”

Reread this sentence. I don’t believe you mean what you wrote.

Or maybe it is. Obama is quoted as saying at one of his rallies:

“This is the greastest country in the world. Now help me change it.”

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

Oh where oh where do I begin on this comment, Outraged?

First of all I can’t tell if you post is responding to and asking ME all of these questions, or of you are hypothetically speaking to Mayor Reed. It is confusing.

I will answer as if you were asking me, in so much as I can since I am not Mayor Reed.

For clarification I have put 2 asterisks (**) in front of each paragraph that you wrote. My response is below it.

Also, in doing a word count I see this is longer than TD allows, so I will be posting a part 1 response and a part 2.


**Claiming to be a politician and then spinning the story for Clinton isn’t reassuring.  Where were you when all these jobs left your community?

Where in this post and in Mayor Steve Reed’s comments did he mention or talk about jobs leaving the community?  The Mayor never mentions jobs. He is talking about his constituents, about what kind of people they are. And they evidently think their Mayor is doing a good job or they would not keep electing him.  How do you get anymore out of this than that?


**I’ve lived in many rural communities and if you think “the people” feel they are definitely represented by their mayors you need to go talk to “the people” more.  I haven’t heard much support.  Some, but not much.

Are this personal conversations? With whom? In all rural communities, ot just some? Which ones? How many? Did you do research and can you provide tables and graphs. If you can’t than your statements are mere anecdotal and therefore interesting but meaningless.

**More often I heard how the city/counties leaders were screwing them, didn’t care and we’re in bed with the yuppity yups.  That’s what the people say.

Kind of like Rezko and Obama. Right? That is what some people say. Don’t give me idle gossip and expect me to believe it. Give me some proof. Until then this is just talk, and talk is cheap.

**Per your comment:  “We happen to like our small town values. We think they’re the bedrock of the American values that have built this nation and the people of our towns embrace their religions out of faith, not out of bitterness or frustration.”

This is a direct quote from Mayor Steve Reed. It is not my comment. I posted it in quotation marks so that you would know that. If you have any questions or comments on his words I suggest you write to him. Personally I think his words are self-explanatory.

**The people do feel this way.

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

Again, on what do you base this assertion? Polls? Sociological research? How many people did you interview?

**Which aside from your spin is not what Obama said or even implied.  YOU’RE claiming that bert. 

Then tell me what he did mean? And why you are at it, tell me why he apologized for whatever he said that he did not mean.

[…………}

**To include yourself in with “the people” as far as values may or may not be valid. 

Exactly where did I do this? At least 75% of this particular post is two different people, not me, one who lives and works with Pennsylvanians daily and another from FL who give their take on Obama’s words.

And remember what Obama always says: Words DO matter.

However, last time I looked I was still included in the ‘we the people” of this government.

**Although it does appear to me that according to your post, you’ve had a job for 27 years, probably with benefits.  So to say YOU know how “the people” feel is suspect.

It is Mayor Reed who has been Mayor for 27 years. I think he might have a better feel for his constituents than you do. This is not MY quote. It is Mayor Reed’s. This is why I posted it. I did not want to speak for Pennsylvanians. So I let a real Pennsylvanian speak. Did you not see the quotation marks around his remarks?


[…….]

** You sound as if you think people in California aren’t people. 

Again, this is Mayor Reed speaking and he references California because htat is where he was fundraising when he made the remarks in question.


**Or that somehow they would be that “different” than people anywhere else in America.  That’s propaganda.  It is obvious that you are trying to cause a division between “city people” and “country people” or “California people” and “Pennsylvania people”.

**Are you claiming Pennsylvania people by some “absolute terms” YOU’VE defined, have more ethics and morals than “California people” What is your point bert?  The pandering that you are doing to rhetoric one might imagine you’ve helped to build is obvious.

Again these are Mayor Reed’s words. Not mine. But I don’t think he is trying to cause division between rural and city or between states. He is simple sating where Obama made the comments in questions and he was in CA.

[…..]

I won’t even dignify your last paragraph by reposting it commenting on it.

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

“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. And 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.”

It is the last sentence that is the cause of the controversy. That and wheer it was said - at one of 4 fund raisers in SF that day at $1000-$2300 a head. It was in a very posh neighborhood and that day alone from about 400 peole (100 at each fundraiser is what I read) Ibama took in close to a millions dollars. So much for the $5-$25 average people or internet donations.

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By PatrickHenry, April 13, 2008 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

I prefer an HK USP 45.

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By Outraged, April 13, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Claiming to be a politician and then spinning the story for Clinton isn’t reassuring.  Where were you when all these jobs left your community?

I’ve lived in many rural communities and if you think “the people” feel they are definitely represented by their mayors you need to go talk to “the people” more.  I haven’t heard much support.  Some, but not much.

More often I heard how the city/counties leaders were screwing them, didn’t care and we’re in bed with the yuppity yups.  That’s what the people say.

Per your comment:  “We happen to like our small town values. We think they’re the bedrock of the American values that have built this nation and the people of our towns embrace their religions out of faith, not out of bitterness or frustration.”

The people do feel this way.  Which aside from your spin is not what Obama said or even implied.  YOU’RE claiming that bert.  Although I have also been in towns in Wyoming where the people will tell you the Mormons run the towns, and while not in all totality, for all practicable purposes they do.  They were also in bed with the yuppity yups.  Look at little ol’ Little Rock and the corruption there.

To include yourself in with “the people” as far as values may or may not be valid.  Although it does appear to me that according to your post, you’ve had a job for 27 years, probably with benefits.  So to say YOU know how “the people” feel is suspect.  In case it has escaped your attention “the people” are suffering needlessly by wanton business interests who’ve collaborated with politicians.  It’s everywhere.

You sound as if you think people in California aren’t people.  Or that somehow they would be that “different” than people anywhere else in America.  That’s propaganda.  It is obvious that you are trying to cause a division between “city people” and “country people” or “California people” and “Pennsylvania people”.

Are you claiming Pennsylvania people by some “absolute terms” YOU’VE defined, have more ethics and morals than “California people” What is your point bert?  The pandering that you are doing to rhetoric one might imagine you’ve helped to build is obvious.

While “bitter” may not have been the best term to chose, look who you’re qualifing, a known liar, a definite elist and someone who has a long history of corrupt “bedfellows”.  One who knowingly hired Mark Penn the owner of the subsidiary company who is representing McCain.  We could go on and on.

Of course, maybe all those things don’t bother you at all.  That tells me something about you, bert.  And it isn’t good.

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By felicity, April 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Let’s face it.  You out there who might be ‘bitter’ because it’s eating at your gut that you may not be able to feed your family, house your family or take a seriously ill family member to a doctor, relax.  Hillary and John say you’re not really ‘bitter’ at all.  In fact there’s really nothing for you to be ‘bitter’ about.

Multi-millionaires both, Hillary and John don’t have a bitterness bone in their bodies. And you’re just like they are, so why would you? Nothing like a couple of economically elite people telling the economically deprived among us how they don’t feel.  Swallow the lie.  Shape up!

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By Margaret Currey, April 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama comes from ordinary people, his parents went to college that does not make them an eletist people, and Obama did not come from rich people, and his remark is a remark that prabably is ture.

Why are the immigrants picked on, is it because of all the jobs that have been outsourced.

People who do not go to college depend on factory jobs, and not all people can go to college, college is hard to do when you are middle aged it is even hard when you are thirty.

I have had to lean many new things since I graduated from high school, tecnologly changed from the minute I graduated from high school, but not all people are changable and I suspect that these people could become bitter.

But in conclusion Clinton is just jumping on words, and McCain calling Obama an eletist is crazy, he married money.

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By Stephen Smoliar, April 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

If you are interested in such “sure things,” check out the Wikipedia entry for Louise Day Hicks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Day_Hicks

As chairperson of the Boston School Committee, she took on the NAACP by staunchly dismissing their charge of DE FACTO segregation in the Boston schools and then in 1965 opposing court-ordered busing.  She ran for mayor of Boston in 1967 (the year I completed my undergraduate education) with the slogan, “You know where I stand.”  The irony was that she managed to collect a fair number of Afro-American votes;  and interviewing people coming out of the polling place revealed the reason.  The Afro-American voters believed her slogan and decided that knowing where she stood was more important than being lied to by her opposing candidates!

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By Paracelsus, April 13, 2008 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment

Well, it is fine indeed to blame NAFTA for all the illegal aliens coming into a crowded labor market, and that we should not be chauvinistic. Truth is that Mexico supplies most of the surplus labor, and to make fine distinction from a lofty perch is not a luxury most blue collr types have. As citizens of a nation-state we have the expectation that the government should protect us. This is part of the contract that is called the Constitution, which mentions protecting the States from invasion. First let’s stop the massive bleeding without the recriminations of being deluded or bigotted as Obama is wont to do. Once the steam valve of the open borders have been closed then the minds of Latinos or other abjects can be focused on their corrupt governments. As Aristotle once said it is important to know who to be angry at, and I am afraid the ethnocentric groups with their visions of Azatlan are angry at the wrong people, because Joe Lunchpail with the pale white skin did not put the immigrant population in that bad place. Obama comes off as an out of touch snob when he deftly igones that. He as much dismisses free trade and open borders as truly causing any problems. We have a gushing wound. Even a used towel will suffice.

I am weary of the sermons on cultural tolerance and empathy, when I am as bad off as those who come to compete against me in a crowded market. Such sermonizers act as if they are talking to children.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

As the economy sinks and our troops continue dying, I will just smile and wave the flag Bert like you and others for this is your rhetorical platitudes towards the candidate who you do not like. So be it. 

Well Mr or Mrs Mayor voiced their opinion, let the people decide if they are bitter, unhappy or disappointed, nope we cannot have that, nope it is condescending in the eyes of anyone who does not like Obama, for him to even suggest people are fed up with the way Washington has been behaving.  What a crock

This great county is what it is because of NAFTA, WTO and not having health care, wasting money on a preemptive war, to fill the cofferes of the already stinking wealthy.  No reason to be bitter upset or dissapointed in Washington. You and your mayor or condescending ones.

Vote for Hillary or McCain, because the enlightend mayor says Obama is condescending. 

Factoid Bert, what were the exact remarks Obama said in California, I must have missed them?

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By bert, April 13, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

You write     “Condescend this Hillary nitwits, bitter is what he said, and I agree with him.  No condescending is only in the small minds of the emptiness that is your agenda.”

There is a lot of hot air and academic discussion and cute, chic chit-chat here about what was said and how it will play in general and how Pennsylvanians really think and feel. Well, in the service of truth maybe it is time to hear from some of those folks.

First off, a video clip from C-Span’s Washington Journal, this morning — via Truthtelling007’s YouTube page:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw_8L-pdb-4


This articulate caller gets the media’s MIS-focus on his remarks. She gets what Obama was saying: that small-minded small-town Pennsylvanians are bigots. She also gets that his comments will do long term damage to his candidacy and particularly if he’s the nominee in the general election.


Up second is Mayor Steve Reed, Harrisburg, PA who said this about Obama’s remarks.

“Just for way of background, I’ve been the Mayor of Harrisburg now - I’m in my 27th year. Born and raised here in Pennsylvania. Born and raised in a small town as a matter of fact……

We happen to like our small town values. We think they’re the bedrock of the American values that have built this nation and the people of our towns embrace their religions out of faith, not out of bitterness or frustration.

I have found our small town citizens to be decent. They are hardworking. They are friendly. They are giving. They are caring. They are patriotic.

Frankly, they don’t deserve to be categorized as they were in the remarks made out in California. It’s a very unfortunate stereotype of the citizens of our towns in this state, and in every state across the nation, to have them unfairly categorized as they were.

Frankly, the remarks of Senator Obama lacked judgment. They lack understanding. Frankly the remarks are condescending, they are negative, they are hurtful. I found it to be most revealing of what the candidate really thinks of us.

And it’s telling to me that these remarks were made several thousand miles away from us at a very expensive fundraising campaign event in a very upscale location when he did not think that any of us were ever going to hear what he had to say.

All of this in my mind invites the question of what else does this candidate think about all of the different people who make up our rather diverse nation.”

Leefeller you further state:    “We have troops dyiing [sic] in Iraq and you are playing word games, with such trite pettiness,......”

Yes. Very true. But to get those troops home and stop the war you will have to get a Democrat elected. I don’t think Obama is electable at all. And I think you have said you are voting for a third party candidate, although I may have you confused with another poster here. In any event, you will have to get someone elected who is committed to getting the troops home.

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Good post Outraged,

“Now who knows whether this is all talk too. Maybe Obama is just one more political charlatan.”

Yes maybe, but we know for sure the other two running are charlatan’s, so why would you choose the known charlatan over the alleged charlatan’s? 

Maybe, some people like a sure thing?

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By Stephen Smoliar, April 13, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

This argument gets at why my first response was to focus on the extent to which Karl Rove’s playbook could be traced back to the rise of the Nazis:

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20080412_obama_volleys_back_at_clinton_mccain_for_bitter_remarks/#148761

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By Outraged, April 13, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

A good article on the issue at The Smirking Chimp by Dave Lindorff:

“Don’t get me wrong—the people in Hancock and Spencer are good folks. I’m pretty sure many of them probably give a higher proportion of their meager incomes to charity than do millionaires John McCain and Hillary Clinton. But Obama is right that in their angst and frustration at seeing the good economic times pass them by, at seeing themselves abandoned by the federal government in hard times, and at seeing candidates promise them everything during campaigns, only to ignore them after winning, they are bitter and frustrated.

And they have a right to be, and they should be.

One response to that bitterness and frustration is that they are open to the charlatans in both parties, and especially the Republican Party, who have played on their basest fears. It’s Republicans who have whispered the poison in their ears that their high taxes are because “the Blacks” are getting all that welfare money and are getting all the jobs through “quotas.” It’s the Republicans who have warned them about “hoards” of Mexicans coming across the border to steal their jobs. It’s the Republicans who have been warning them that Democrats are going to take their hunting rifles and shotguns away. It’s the Republicans and their Christian fundamentalist front men who have been saying that the Democrats have been causing the nation’s decline by supporting licentiousness and a “gay” agenda. And it’s Republicans and Democrats who have been hyping the bogus issue of national defense to keep people from focusing on the deliberate dismantling of the US economy that is underway. (Over years of Republican and Democratic administrations, the tax contribution of US corporations to the national budget has fallen from 50% in 1940 to just 14% today. Between 1996 and 2000, 61% of all corporations and 39% or large corporations paid no taxes at all, and that situation has only gotten worse in the Bush years.)

Anything but the real issue, which is how to provide funds so that the children in places like Spencer and Hancock can get a decent education without bankrupting the local taxpayers, how those communities can get jobs again, so that their children won’t have to move out, how to ensure that everyone in town can have health insurance and access to medical care.

Barack Obama is right. I’ve seen it in person. The people in rural America are bitter and frustrated, and after years of being played by politicians, they fall victim to the charlatans who tell them it’s all because of “the Blacks,” or the immigrants, or who tell them that their guns are in danger. Or they turn to religions that preach division or apocalypse—a concept that offers the chance of a final, delicious revenge against the rich and the powerful oppressors on Wall Street and in Washington.”

full article:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/14003

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By Trigger finger, April 13, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here are the facts folks:
I have talked to thousands upon thousands of Americans of voting age in the past five or six years. I have not spoken to even one person who is not just happy as hell to see our jobs go to Mexico and India and China in order to make a CEO unspeakably wealthy. I have not spoken to even one who is not proud of the fact he has to steal money to put food on his family. I have not spoken to even one who is not proud of the fact that the leaders we have elected are selling our country down the river. I have not spoken to even one person who is not proud of our President and the direction he is taking us. I have not spoken to even one person who is not just happy as hell to bury a son or daughter for a lie. I have not spoken to even one mother who is not happy to see her child sitting in a wheel chair for life because of a pack of lies. I have not spoken to even one person who is not proud to be an American and to watch their president tell lie after lie after lie. I have not spoken to even one person who is not happy with corporate America running their country! We are happy paying $90. for a $3.00 shirt from China!
So where does Obama get off saying people are getting upset? I just don’t see it and neither does Hillary or do the dead head media!  Everything is just hunky doray, right Hillary?  And by the way, your little lies are just what you need to get yourself elected. people just love to be lied to!

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Above is for Jacob Freeze.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 13, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

I’m not a gun person—I thought 9mm was almost the same as .45”....but that’s not my point (which I hope is obvious).

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By Conservative Yankee, April 13, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t know about Churches in your neck of the woods, BUT up here, if you can’t afford a turn on the Golf Course, you probably can’t afford to go to church either!

Actually we have some golf courses where one can play free…

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By Leefeller, April 13, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

You sound bitter to me, a bitter bigot that is!

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By Expat, April 13, 2008 at 6:58 am Link to this comment

^ give em hell.  And you’re right.  Obama could use this “Simon Says” crap to his advantage.  But then Hillary is desperate and flailing about, lost and trailing behind the front runner; robbed of her rightful place of entitlement as the chosen.  God, that’s sick.

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By Expat, April 13, 2008 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

^ a tricked out Springfield Armory FBI .45 1911.  Groups 1” @ 25 yards.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 13, 2008 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

You left out the part where they have the bumper sticker that reads “What gun would Jesus carry? A Glock 9mm!”

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By Tom, April 13, 2008 at 3:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bert
Your quotes from the mayors just proves how iggnorant those elected official are. Seems as if they have had a taste of the Clinton koolaid. Clinton and company have been running all over PA with promises of jobs, new schools and better healthcare. These will not materialize. She and her husband helped to fuel the growth of the “rust belt”. Now armed with vague promises and a proven track record for lying and a pure desperation for the White House. She will say and do anything to take this country into the hell its is destined for. Folks in PA need to start reading to educate themselves on the better canidate that can attempt to pull this country in the right direction. McCain and Clinton will be 4 more years of the same poltics we all have been getting fed up with. Clinton Has her baggs of garbage that will put here in hot water if she ever takes the oath (4 years of trials/hearings). McCain will be like the last term of Reagan…OLD. Nothing can be accomplished from these two elites. But these two canidates know what the folks in PA want…. honest, caring, fun loving, job creating, happy friendly canidates. They are playing you people for suckers and by the statements of the mayors… on your stupidity as well. If you want a better state then you have to fight for it. Vote smart and help the rest of the country get back on track.

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By Purple Girl, April 13, 2008 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

We aren’t just Bitter- We are Pissed.
We have been Used and disgarded. the industries built out of our ancestors Blood Sweat & Tears have not only been ripped out of our hands, but used to perpetuate this Global Business Doctrine we all now suffer from. I’m a Natural born (6th gen) Michigander, and I am outraged by the crimes which have been committed by the OIL and Auto industries - not just here but around the World and To the World by these Contractors for the OIL ‘Royals’. Look at Our economy (MI is the canary in the national Coalmine), Look at how many of our rights and Freedoms have been seized and handed over to the Incs’. How can WE deny we have fallen Victim to the same Powers which have plagued the rest of the world?WE TOLD them in th e’70’s to get OFF Me Oil- but it was not condusive to their Business Stratedgy- so we not only suffered as human shields on 9/11, we are still being Used as Camoflague for their ‘for Hire’ Contract with the UAE!
We are Clinging to our Guns & Gods- because they are the last rights and Freedoms they have YET to Take!

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By Mark, April 13, 2008 at 12:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I spent time in Hawaii back in the 60’s and since and believe me growing up black in Hawaii had to be a very isolating experience.  His grandmother was the first VP in Hawaii’s banking industry so yes, it wasn’t “poor black” just “isolated black”.

Hawaii tended to be, and still is very racially polarized, or clanish, between Japanese, Samoans, Hawaiians, Whites, etc.

So growing up as the only black kid on the block by white grandparents sets the stage for elitism or did he benefit from the good grace of intelligence and good fortune to attend good schools and to somehow parlay that into a successful move into Illinois politics and then on to the national stage?

That’s a remarkable story as is John McCain’s ordeal in Vietnam.  Before Vietnam and since 1980 onward “not so much”.

Hillary growing up in Park Ridge Illinois (I grew up in Chicago) - that was some swank living if you came from blue collar Chicago.

So of the 3 who grew up in the most privelege and over the past 20 years plus who lived in, and firmed up, their lives of privelege?

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2008 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

Every time Obama says potato the Hillary folks come out of the wood work and say potato, Obama says tomato the Hillary folks say tomato. 

Condescend this Hillary nitwits, bitter is what he said, and I agree with him.  No condescending is only in the small minds of the emptiness that is your agenda.

We have troops dyiing in Iraq and you are playing word games, with such trite pettiness, you and Hillary have nothing but a sickness that is you, your entitlement is in your minds only.

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By tnopua, April 12, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hillary:  I remenbered as a little girl my mon telling me stories about my    

          family heritage and contributions of 31 colonies. Yes, the 31 colonies

          my blood line runs deeply in American history, and this is something

          I hold dearly and very proud of as an American.

Media:  Hillary, on April 12, you’ve stated that members of your family fought

          in the Revolutionary War?

Hillary:  Yes!

Media:  But, Hillary there were only 13 colonies.

Hillary:  13 or 31 it doesn’t matter-a simple mistake. I Misspoke;

          this is a not a misrepresentation of the facts by a long shot.

          You know, It’s just one of these moment wher exhustion and
 
          fatigue set in. You know, you know, you Know. 

Yes, Hillary Americans know. You ‘re a liar. Obama is not. He’s straight talk

and guess? what I’m bitter! I lost my job in Wlikes -Barre.

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By bert, April 12, 2008 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

“Who are you rooting for here?  The Saudis.”

What the hell do the Saudis have to do with this? This is a Non sequitur.

      “I don’t think Mayor this and Mayor that is
      indicative of the PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA.”

Well these Mayors were elcted by the citizens (citizens are people you realize) of their respective cities in PENNSYLVANIA. Therefore, they are a sight more indicative than your opinion.

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By will, April 12, 2008 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for tell the truth. You guys need to see this, look who use the frustration and bitter before Obama? you guess it Bill Clinton. This is why you can’t trust the Clinton spin! Log on to this link hihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYi_qNWdjgw&eurl=http://www.obamaiswinning.com/

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By P. T., April 12, 2008 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

How about providing a link to the quotes just so that folks will not conclude you are a liar.

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By will, April 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You guys need to see this, look who use the frustration and bitter before Obama? you guess it Bill Clinton. This is why you can’t trust the Clinton spin! Log on to this link hihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYi_qNWdjgw&eurl=http://www.obamaiswinning.com/

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By Outraged, April 12, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Are you even talking about this article?  If you are, that’s quite a stretch of the facts.

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By Outraged, April 12, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Paracelsus

Those to whom the comment was directed KNOW who they are.  And no it wasn’t directed toward you.

The “open border” issue is one I think can be taken several ways.  I don’t think anyone is advocating leaving the country “wide open” if for no other reason than security issues.  What so often people are referring to when they use the term “open borders” is “illegal immigration” mainly from Mexico.

While this has wreaked havoc on our labor market the vast majority of Mexican nationals who do come here only trying to stay alive.  When large multinational American companies wreaked havoc upon their livihood, the “regular joe/jane” had no option but to at least TRY to make it here.

I believe it was Cyrena who said, “They’re here cause we’re there.  That is accurate.

What I believe Obama means is that, we shouldn’t fault THEM(the regular joes), they didn’t create the situation, any more than the “regular joe/jane” in America did.  If we fault them, we are scapegoating THEM and NOT directing our anger at the TRUE culprits.  Greedy business interests are the TRUE culprits here, along with the colusion of corrupt political leaders on both sides of the border.

These same interests WANT “us” to hate “them”.  It’s a trick and a dirty one at that.  They want us at each others throats, that way they’ll get MORE for next to nothing.

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By P. T., April 12, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

John McCain fails to understand that not everybody married a woman who is a rich liquor peddler.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2008 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Here, I started this campaign FAR more supportive of Clinton than Obama.  But the crap just keeps coming.  Obama keeps saying what lots of people don’t want to hear, and Clinton, rather than at least AGREEING with what she knows is true, takes cheap, stupid pot-shots, calling Obama “elitist”—while she’s helping the Columbians keep on crushing union organizing—what could be more elitist?

I’m hoping like hell that a week from Tuesday Obamba pulls out the big victory and ends this destructive dog-eat-dog campaign.  I have been a defender and support of the Clintons for 10 years but I am now forced to acknowledge that they WILL do and say anything to win, no matter how unethical.

The next question is: When Obama forces Clinton to FINALLY “suspend” her campaign, will she have the moxie and decency to support him for President whole-heartedly and with the ferocity she has demonstrated to defeat him? Or will she pull a Ted Kennedy (in 1980) and sink Obama, hoping to run again in 4 years?

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know who you are rebutting, but the point I made was that Obama is denial over the harm done by faith based arguments advocating open broders, and free trade. I am especailly galled that he wants to stir up ethno-centric arguments that complaints against hypercompetitive labor markets show some sort atavistic nationalism or racism. It is no consolation to me, but none of them get it.

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By Outraged, April 12, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

bert:

Who are you rooting for here?  The Saudis.  Also bert, I don’t think Mayor this and Mayor that is necessarily indicative of the PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA.

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By P. T., April 12, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Hillary seems to believe that Wal-Mart clerks live like Wal-Mart board members.  If you point out that they don’t, then you are supposedly an elitist.  It’s Orwellian.

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By bert, April 12, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Well, Outraged, since you don’t represent PA, its time to hear from a few Pennsylvanians:

Chris Dougherty: Mayor of Scranton. (NE PA.)We’re optimistic. We’re doing real well lately. We have a long tradition of going to church and being sportsmen. Those traditions are part of who we are.

Mayor Lucas (Sharon, PA, right on Ohio line.) He couldn’t believe Sen. Obama said these things. Saying we are bitter is the furthest thing from the truth. 7 years of Bush has hurt us, but we’re making great strides. Hillary understands where we are at and what needs to be done.

Mayor of Bethlehem: We need a President who will get things done and not make comments that pile on. We have lost jobs, but we’re still here fighting to make our city strong. In ways, we’re thriving. Despite the hard times, we’re not bitter, we have faith and we need someone to fight on our side. That’s Hillary, she’ll roll up her sleeves and help us get there.

Mayor of Wilkes-Barre: Today is the first day of fishing season. We have strong faith and hunting and fishing bring families together. We have experienced great opportunities to improve our economy. When things are tough, we need leadership to help us get through tough times, not put us down. We are not bitter.

Mayor Harrisberg: 27th year as Mayor. Born and raised in small PA town. PA only has two large cities, the rest of the state is small. We like our small town values. We embrace our religions out of faith, not out of bitterness. We don’t deserve to be categorized or stereotyped like Obama did in his remarks. His remarks are negative, hurtful, condescending, show bad judgment and lack understanding. They are divisive. He made these remarks in an upscale location thousands of miles away when he thought we wouldn’t be listening. This is perfect ammunition for Republicans in the fall. They will eviscerate him.

How could Obama connect guns, faith and bitterness?

Outraged writes:  “But Barak Obama said the word “bitter” and you all start running around like a chicken with it’s head cut-off screaming the sky is falling… You sound foolish.”

Well if that is so, why has Obama aplogized? Maybe he realized it is not so good to piss off the very voters you are courting.

According to the AP Obama apologized earler today in Muncie, IN.

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By Outraged, April 12, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

>I don’t think it’s Obama who doesn’t “get it”.  I think it is half of the posters here who don’t “get it”, or are trying to qualify the crookedness of Clinton and McCain.

“Obama also returned fire on both his critics. “Here’s what’s rich: Senator Clinton says, ‘I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. I think Barack’s being condescending.’ John McCain says, ‘He’s obviously out of touch with people.’ Out of touch? John McCain, it took him three tries to figure out the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit-card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt—after taking money from the financial services companies—and she says I’m out of touch?

“No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. . . . People are fed up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter, and they want to see a change in Washington.”

>Yet so many of you KEEP supporting Clinton and McCain, right or wrong.  It’s noticable you all come out in droves for such petty issues, yet ignore completely the Clinton family ties and the McCain ignorance, along with the apathy of the both of them.

Your positions are so weak they are hardly worth discussing.  Clinton is a liar and according to some of the latest news has been involved with the Saudis as well as with the Bushs for years.

Although there are several stories floating around about McCain regarding other issues, the bottom line here is he has choosen to align himself with Bush and his crooked, lying, vicious administration.  What ELSE do you need to know?  It isn’t as if McCain is ignorant of the facts concerning Bush and his administration.

But Barak Obama said the word “bitter” and you all start running around like a chicken with it’s head cut-off screaming the sky is falling…

You sound foolish.

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By jackpine savage, April 12, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

I can’t disagree with either of the above statements.  There is the possibility that he was expressing the truth, clumsily (as it wasn’t a prepared comment).  But i don’t “believe” any politician.

If he was correctly speaking the truth, he’ll have to prove it.

Paracelsus is right, what he was referring to are causes, not scapegoats…but that is not what he said.

And no, there is no “new deal” imminent…moreover, there is neither the money nor the credit to finance one.  The elite will make out ok, and leave the rest of us to our food riots…like in Haiti (and elsewhere).

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

You have true discernment. I was waiting out the postings to see if anybody could point this out. I fear for sheeplike distractibility of the average American.

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By Amon Drool, April 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

have to agree with paracelsus here. 
  obama: “..they get bitter, they cling to…anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustration.”
  this is condescending stuff. the “managerial” classes structure trade agreements with an eye toward capital’s bottom line..labor and the environment get short shrift.  with this in place, they challenge us with stuff like—“americans, are u afraid to compete?”  the game is rigged against us and then our “betters” insult us by questioning our man/woman-hood. i really don’t know how all this can be fought off..a global “new deal” doesn’t seem imminent.
  ha…i guess i just felt the need to do a little venting today wink

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By jimmyjam, April 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

THATS FUNNY

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

They could always out him.

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

He condescends to tell the peopel they are angry at the wrong things, when those are exactly the things that are causing the rot. He talks like a conman. Fine let’s trade with more impoverished countries headed up by dictatorships. Let’s expand the labor supply up to third world levels. If Obama makes office, I expect to him unfurl every disasterous NWO program possible.

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

Yeah, but he seems to think our immigration policy and our trade policy have no bearing on the decline of the middle class. This man has a tin ear, and he should not be running for office. I think what is most gaulling about his statement is that he thinks the voters don’t know the matter of defilement. He is a gaslighter. You can see the psychopath working here.

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By Margaret Currey, April 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t think that Obama is out of touch, when he was a state senator in the state of Illinois he sure got in touch with the people.

Clinton would make a good president, but so would Obama, and Obama has what I would call “fire in the belly”, I think if Ms. Clinton does not win in Pennsylvania she should consider taking the slot for vice.

A lot of people consider these two the best, I don’t think McCain has a chance.

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By Paracelsus, April 12, 2008 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Free trade and immigration have done much to lower wages and raise rents. GATT, NAFTA, and legal and illegal immigration are collapsing wage scales for most Americans. It is highly insulting for Obama to call the causes scape goats of a bitter public for these causes are truly blameworthy. He does not get it, but he is representative of the mind set of the polical class.

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By Jan Kees, April 12, 2008 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is it possible for candidates to talk substance?  Neither Clinton nor McCain has engaged Obama’s observation that working class people don’t vote economic issues because their experience these past 30 years has taught them that no one in Washington is listening to their economic concerns anyway.  I’d like to hear what they say about THAT. 

ISSUE 1: Do they believe Big Politics has indeed been listening to working class people?  Are their needs being responded to, and met?  If McCain and Clinton answer yes, then let them just say so, and justify their stand.  If they’re right and Obama is wrong, then either could win on a slogan, “More of the same” (which may be, in effect, what they’re doing anyway).  But if he’s right about this issue, let them face it and go on to issue 2. 

ISSUE 2:  If they agree that Washington has cared more about Big Money than working people, the next question is whether working people are upset about it.  If not, then let McClinton dare say it.  Let them say, “Working people have indeed been short-changed by Washington, but they are so patriotic and so forgiving—so optimistic despite all odds—that we just love them!  Oh, and since we do, they should vote for us (again).” 

ISSUE 3:  If working people are upset by their treatment by Big Politics, is “bitter” the right word for it?  Obama’s suggested it was the wrong word, and he’s probably right.  He should have said “angry” or “frustrated.”  It’d be hard for him to get up on stage with a bunch of farmers, factory workers, and Wal-Mart shelvers supporting him and saying, “Yes we’re bitter and we’re voting for Obama.”  But they could say, “We’re angry that no one has heard us, and think we’ve found in Obama someone who finally will,” or “We’re frustrated with Washington and believe Obama will change it,” and he’d have a nice ad in response to McClinton.

For Obama’s detractors to respond with nothing more than code-words and emotionally-charged associations brings what could have been a debate down to the level of mere propaganda.  We listen to these super-psychologists analyzing their opponent, rather than politicians discussing things that matter to voters.  And this demeans all voters.  Their “responses” have successfully avoided responding to the substance of his assertions, which is exactly the problem he’s describing. 

How can we respect politicians who avoid or ignore ISSUES 1 & 2, which may be very important, but obsess about 3, as if appearances and cute phrases are all that matter?  I too feel pretty bitter (I’d say cynical) about this way of getting to Washington.

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By jimmyjam, April 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Oh that inclusion thing?


Gay press frustrated by Obama approach
By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN | 4/9/08 6:48 PM EST

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By Stephen Smoliar, April 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Actually, his remarks go even deeper than that.  He brought us to the brink of an analogy that is such an “inconvenient truth” that anyone who uttered it would be pilloried by journalists of all persuasions.  I have elaborated on this at:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2008/04/analogy-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html

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By jimmyjam, April 12, 2008 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment

Is he defending it or apologizing for it, make up you mind.

In the midst of an assault from his rivals, a defensive Barack Obama said Friday that many working-class Americans are angry and bitter over economic inequalities and have lost faith in Washington - and, as a result, vote on the basis of other issues such as gun protections or gay marriage.

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By jimmyjam, April 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Is this a Mis-speak?

Obama rues ‘bitter’ voter remark

Barack Obama was criticised after his speech was published on the internet
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has said remarks about “bitter” working-class people “clinging to guns or religion” were ill-chosen.

After a storm of criticism from his rivals, Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain, Mr Obama said he “didn’t say it as well as I should have”.

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By Sean Maurice Hunt, April 12, 2008 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People are bitter…they have a right to be bitter…i country is in a ditch…these people have played by the rules living the American Dream and the rug is pulled out from under their feet…Sen. Obama is right they are bitter and so are most people in this country…they dont understand what is going on…and they are starting to wake up to their plight and the Nation as a whole.

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By Christopher Robin, April 12, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ll second that!

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By cann4ing, April 12, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Give ‘em Hell, Barack!

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By steve, April 12, 2008 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

His comments were exactly right.  Most people I talk to are bitter and angry.  He is the candidate who seems to be the most in touch while Hillary and McCain seem content to wrap themselves in the flag and talk about how proud and happy everyone is feeling.  The Middle class is totally getting slammed right now and it is about time someone started talking about it.  Go Obama.

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By penguinlit, April 12, 2008 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hillary says, “Barak is being condescending.”
McCain says, “Barak is being condescending.”

There must be some reason these two offer tandem criticism.  They are in different parties, right?  Apparently they’re reacting to the same perceived threat.  Evidently Barak is doing something right.  Very right. 

Hillary and McCain may gain political points by making these sorts of reactionary comments, but if they don’t know that Americans are embittered toward their own political system, they’re both stone blind.

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By Dave Raithel, April 12, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Good for Obama. Bad for Clinton and McCain. Ironic that the same constituency sustaining flatuent hate mongers like the drug abusing Limbaugh deny their feelings while whining that other people don’t practice “personal responsibility.”

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By Trevor, April 12, 2008 at 9:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a perfect example of a position Democrats need to stand behind and explain why we were right rather than apologize for and back away from.  Why shouldn’t people in Penn, or the entire rest of the nation, be bitter? Republicans take the economy away from them in exchange for scraps at the tax-break buffet and the Clinton wing of the Dem party promises only to be a break on the effects, not reverse them.

I don’t know if Obama’s the best, but he is a clearer break from the defeatism of past Democratic policies and seems to have a sense of the power of truth.

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By LibertyWatch, April 12, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Obama is speaking about reality in an America of deception, political “mis-speak”(aka Lies!) and corporate exploitation.

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2008 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Now I like to voice my opinions after listening and assimilating what I hope are facts, how did you come up with this one as a fact?

Obama has I am sure some political ties, I do not want to see the Clinton’s in power or on TV for that matter, but your comments seem over animated on both sides of the your points. 

Alleged absolutisms presented as such and being shouted, will not help support your opinions, ideas or premise.

Be clear I am not disagreeing with you, it is how you present you points that are in question.

Democracy, no we have a Plutocracy.

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By Democracy in America NOW, April 12, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

McCain has had an affair with a lobbyist who got him to PRESSURES the government for her client after giving him excellent sex in the Watergate Hotel.  It’s a fact.

Clinton and her husband bill have taken MILLIONS of DOLLARS from the ARAB OIL SHEIKDOMS for doing WHAT?  Is it because they hope that the Clintons are in power again.  Then, what would they ask for in return?

OBAMA has no political ties like this. He is the best QUALIFIED to be PRESIDENT.  Young and Idealistic, he might even do us some good before the forces of Greed and Envy get him too.

http://www.realdemocracyinamerica.com 

IT TAKES MORE THAN MEN and WOMEN like these to run a democracy.  IT TAKES YOU.

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By classysbf, April 12, 2008 at 7:36 am Link to this comment

Obama moved quickly to elaborate on what he said to point out the truth of his remarks AND their context! The idea of his being elitist,compared to Clinton and McCain,is absurd!

Thankfully,this story was “dumped” on a Friday evening.
By the time the Sunday talk shows get around to it,his response will have gotten full play.And this will fade away as the non story it is!!!

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By the misanthrope, April 12, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I now completely understand why Republicans dislike Hillary so much. She lies and twists the truth as badly as Bush and company.

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By dilemma, April 12, 2008 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yup, when you’re cornered, just talk louder.  silly man how
when his voice rises up in pitch, sounds like a 12 year old girl!!! does he look like a TYPCIAL politico in that clip or what! and the clincher is ending with his Dean like moment, “I know exaclty what’s going on! “I know what’s going on in Pennslyvannia! I know what’s going on in Indianna! I know what’s going on in Illinois!  Yeeeeahhhh!!!  .
  UNELECTABLE.
  man, slick willy must be in awe, how obama tried to change up on the “cling to religion” to “take refuge in religion”.
UNELECTABLE. Sowwey, thanks for playing.

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2008 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

Out of the three top contenders, Obama seems to be the most in touch, we do need a major change and I know McCain and Hillary will only change their socks.

Not sure if I am bitter, since I fit the mold of the working class, but I do resent the wealthy like McCain and Hillary telling me how and what I should feel.

Bitter is not condescending, seems very close to accurate, acrimony comes to mind a general ill feeling toward the Feds.

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By Conservative Yankee, April 12, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But no one cares about the “complete text” Obama has revealed himself to be just a junior Hill-the-business-shill. disinterested in the working classes, dismissive of folks who fail to see the merits of living in San Francisco, Chicago, or New York, and disrespectful of a way-of-life, many of us Joe lunchbox types choose That’s right CHOOSE to lead.

Stick a fork in him, he’s lost Pennsylvania by double digits, and hence the election… I doubt if he could even get the Governor’s chair in Illinois.  to many bitter church-going hunters in the southern part of the State!

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By cyrena, April 12, 2008 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

I was delighted to read the entire text of his remarks after seeing the video.

Thanks for the link TD.

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By republicanSScareme, April 12, 2008 at 3:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You could put McCain and Hillary together with a church choir and still not have half the class of Mr. Obama.

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By weather, April 12, 2008 at 1:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

because they’ve paved, marked and own the low road.

Don’t listen to the words, just follow the music.

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By valupak, April 12, 2008 at 1:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama actually tried speaking the truth somewhere, and now he’s screwed? Is this country so self-deluded that no political candidate is ever allowed to speak frankly with us idiots?

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