Bitter words make better campaign fodder

I was planning to write on Obama’s “bitter” comments tomorrow, but Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain made my job easy by putting it all together.

Dear Friends,

We’ve all said things that we’ve regretted. Sometimes they result from a mere slip of the tongue and sometimes they reveal deeply held beliefs that you’d rather not communicate to the world.

A few days ago, at a San Francisco fundraiser, Barack Obama described Americans who live in small towns or other areas that have experienced a loss of jobs as “bitter” people, adding that it didn’t surprise him that 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.”

These words are revealing on a number of levels, and expose the out-of-touch beliefs to which John McCain offers stark contrast. Today, John McCain offered a different account of small town America:

“During the Great Depression, with many millions of Americans out of work and the country suffering the worst economic crisis in our history, there rose from small towns, rural communities, inner cities, a generation of Americans who fought to save the world from despotism and mass murder, and came home to build the wealthiest, strongest and most generous nation on earth.

“They suffered the worst during the Depression, but it did not shake their faith in, and fidelity to, America. They did not turn to their religious faith and cultural traditions out of resentment and a feeling of powerlessness to affect the course of government or pursue prosperity. On the contrary, their faith had given generations of their families’ purpose and meaning, as it does today.”

These hard working men and women aren’t “bitter”. They love their country, their faith, their family and their traditions. They are the heart and soul of this country, the foundation of our strength and the primary authors of its essential goodness – Barack Obama should get to know them.

If Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee in the general election, the American people will have a clear choice between two different visions – Senator Obama’s liberal, elitist philosophy and John McCain’s faith in the small town values that continue to make America great. John McCain will not forget them or write them off. Neither should Barack Obama.

Of course, there’s a pitch for funds at the end.

Anyway for Obama it appears the comment was a big whoops going into the primary.


  1. I’m not going to argue the bitter point because it’s already being dealt with by Obama’s audacious honesty.

    ARG is a crappy pollster and the guys over at explain this outlier of a poll.

  2. I wrote about bitter on my blog so I didn’t have to spam yours.

  3. Dave Frank says:


    I completely agree with the post on your blog (I know, what a shock). I love the youtube video. Obama is the eliteist? Really? The guy from the single family household of very modest means? The former community organizer? Riggghht….

  4. It hasn’t even been 3 days since the story broke. He came out immediately and said he admits to misspeaking.

    Oh and what does everyone think that John McCain said today that we are indeed in a recession?

  5. Dave Frank says:

    Dan, what “true nature” do his comments reveal?

  6. Uh how is saying “i misspoke” not admitting wrongdoing?

  7. Tempest in a teapot.

    I misspoke is not an apology or an admission of wrongdoing. Indeed misspeaking is not wrongdoing.

    Nor is what he said essentially incorrect. I suspect he meant it, and not arrogantly. Look at all the clingy issues that have become attached to the Republican Party. The “big tent” has become a big circus.

    The Democratic Party is not immune, either. Look at the fuss over the Columbian trade deal. American workers can’t support lowering a trade barrier that keeps their goods from being exported because they must show solidarity with Columbian workers who enjoy an unfair advantage in their exports to this country? Give me a break. Desperate workers cling to the ideals of organized labor long after they’ve driven their employers into the ground. No one is served.

  8. Dave Frank says:

    I guess I don’t see the connection between Obama’s comments and his fitness for command. I think Obama does stand behind what he said. He believes people are frustrated out there and some people have tried to take advantage of that frustration. He just didn’t say it in his typical smooth Obama way. Dear God, if we jumped on Bush everytime he flubbed a line the country would grind to a halt.

  9. I see where you’re going but that’s not exactly what Obama said.

    Unfit for command is what I’ve been saying about John McCain. He has serious anger problems. He did call his wife a C*nt and got into a fist-fight with former Republican Rep. Enzi. Also, he cannot remember anything about foreign policy (the difference between Shias and Sunnis) and his admitted lack of knowledge on the economy. I think he has serious memory problems and I suspect he isn’t as healthy as we might guess.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that we see the demons in the other side, and while I might be too critical of McCain, i think you are of Obama too. Do you get what I mean?

  10. And good point, Dave. Bush is as ineloquent, offensive and embarrassing in speech as obama is masterful.

  11. “I’m the decider and I get to decide.”

    I’m still hearing jokes about that; we pretty much trashed him too. Life goes on.

  12. BrkfldDad says:

    What sickens me about all of them, Bush, Obama, McCain, Clinton(s) is that they are brutally honest about how they feel, then when their advisors see a flash of honesty, that the pollsters will seize on to send approval ratings down… out comes the misspeak.

    I know that’s what I said, but really that’s now what I meant.

    Jeez… they make Rumsfeld sound honest as a innocent toddler. We know we don’t know what we don’t know.

  13. BrkfldDad says:

    make that “not”, instead of “now”

  14. J. Strupp says:

    Obama’s statments are pretty much on the money. Small Americans are bitter about losing their jobs overseas, especially to people who aren’t like them. Most of these Americans can’t see past their front stoop as to what’s happening globally so they pick something easy to target like “those people over there” or “those illegals”. Most of these people aren’t educated and pretty much lap up anything that the politican that comes to town has to say, especially if the politican joins them in blaming foreigners. That’s the truth.

    Rick Davis’ mumbo-jumbo sounds great (and small town America guy will tell you that he’s correct for sure) but it’s got nothing to do with reality. Small town Americans are, for the most part, bitter about what’s happening out there.

  15. I think you’re wrong. I think they’re bitter because they’re being left behind.

  16. Small Americans aren’t educated and pretty much lap up anything. Yikes!

  17. J. Strupp says:

    Left behind? Whose doing the “leaving” ?

    Kathryn. They aren’t. It’s not meant to be an insult.

  18. J. Strupp, are you kidding? Their jobs are leaving, their kids are leaving for cities and better towns, their stores are being run out of business by big box retailers, their urban counterparts have cable, high speed internet, better services. They are being left behind by technology.

    And most of all, by their government that promises to fix the gulfing inequalities we have between how we treat rural people and urban people.

    They are being left behind by everything that isn’t bolted to the ground.

  19. Shawn, just what do you think is the solution? It is easy to complain and rare to see specific proposals with prices (taxes) to solve the “problems” that some think should be solved so we can live in Utopia. For example, should the government shutdown big box stores so the mom and pop ones can survive, or should the government fix prices, or should the government subsidize the small stores…or should be let capitalism work, prices be lowest, and people shop where they want to?

  20. J. Strupp says:

    Shawn…so what?

    If the local mill shuts down….better move somewhere there’s employment opportunities. Big box retailer destroying your mom and pop shop? Learn to compete or fold up shop and find a job somewhere else. Don’t like your limited employment opportunities? Go back to school and get a degree to open up new employment opportunities.

    These are today’s economic realities for better or for worse. Blaming the government is a waste of breath.

  21. It’s not that easy.

  22. J. Strupp says:

    No, it’s not easy. But it’s all factual.