The Elite View: Appealing to Working Class Voters Is "Lame"

Jon Alter, in this discussion with Mickey Kaus, demonstrates the reason why Democrats have been losing most Presidential elections. Alter says:

[Clinton] chose to embarrass herself with these lame things she has done in the last few weeks.

Alter is referring to Hillary Clinton's appeals to working class voters. To elitists like Jon Alter, appeals to working class voters are "lame." Let's hope Barack Obama is not listening to folks like Jon Alter because Obama's lack of appeal to working class voters SHOULD be a concern for any thinking Democrat.

Alter say many other silly things in this discussion, but that one was the one that should worry Dems the most, if it is the prevailing wisdom in the Obama camp.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    Double shot? Cinnamon? (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by lambert on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:40:06 AM EST
    These clowns can stifle themselves. Sorry I can't drink the Kool-Aid, but my diabetes is acting up real bad.

    What an insult to the (none / 0) (#110)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:09:22 PM EST
    great outsourced and downsized to characterize telling stories about shooting with your Uncle and downing shots in the bar as some kind of meaningful "appeal" to the working class.

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:17:07 PM EST
    People like you should tell the working class what they ought to like!  That's much better.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#113)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:21:06 PM EST
    We already know all they like is drinking and guns.

    Paying bills and taking their kids to the doctor are elitist concerns.


    So...are you saying (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by MichaelGale on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:33:55 PM EST
    that working class Americans are drunks, gun people down, don't pay their bills and do not take care of their children?

    Can I quote you on that?


    They may as well be (none / 0) (#120)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:46:28 PM EST
    for all the genuine concern there is for representing their interests in D.C.

    That'll continue as long as Money = Speech in this great, bogus democracy of ours.


    Let's see I managed to attend my daughters (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Florida Resident on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:18:56 PM EST
    school events, pay my bills, and take my family out to vacations, dinners, movies, concerts, events, etc.   And still managed to down the beers and also kept my guns cleaned and put my time in the range, and hunt, hmmmm but I guess I must be wrong because they are exclusive of each other.  And darn that a candidate (a woman at that) can look comfortable out with the boys and gals of middle America is relevant because it shows that she is not faking it.  BTW I bet you she would probably give a 40 pin handicap in a bowling match and still beat him.

    More insulting than touting your basketball (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by esmense on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:30:17 PM EST
    skills and blaming a staffer for stating a now inconvenient gun control position on a campaign questionaire you signed?

    All politicians use their biographies to try to show how and why they can identify with certain groups of voters. All politicians indulge in pressing the flesh and photo ops -- if you're not eating and drinking your way across the country you are not campaigning.

    Does Obama and his life story really have much in common with that of the majority of middle class voters in Kansas? Naw. But he invokes his grandparents' Kansas roots routinely to try to create a sense of identification with certain kinds of voters. At least Hillary, in talking about her father showing her how to shoot, was using a part of her own biography. (And, she used that bit of biography only to show that she shared an experience common to many of the people she was addressing, not to assert that she  shared or had changed her views on gun legislation.)  

    It's kind of silly to castigate one candidate for routine political acts -- especially as an argument in support of another candidate who indulges in the same.


    Alter and his ilk are ignorant (none / 0) (#143)
    by BernieO on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:16:12 PM EST
    about demographics. Most Americans do not have college degrees. From what I can gather our graduation rate in recent years is about 33%, hardly a majority and the overall rate of college grads for people of all ages is somewhere around 17-25%.
    So few of media types lived in neighborhoods with mixed incomes that they are completely out of touch with what the majority of Americans are like, but most people are not the kinds of people who come close to being elite, so thinking you can win without them is ignorant -  or just plain stupid.

    lambert (none / 0) (#114)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:24:27 PM EST
    as always, absolutely rocks.  A major assist in maintaining sanity in the bizzaro world of 2008 we thought possible only in our worst nightmares.

    Hillary gets the votes from the Democratic base (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Prabhata on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:42:26 AM EST
    Every exit polls confirms that Hillary does not ignore the base.  BO not only ignores the base, but made his best effort to alienate each one of us. Someone is lame, but it's not Hillary or McCain.

    obama is likely to (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Saxon on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:00:42 PM EST
    lose the general election; and i hope there will be comeuppance to these darn elites who caused it!

    Scaring the base (none / 0) (#111)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:12:38 PM EST
    Obama appears to be frightening the senior section of the base.  

    Obama warns seniors on Social Security

    GRESHAM, Ore. (AP) -- Hours before being greeted by the biggest crowd of his campaign, Democrat Barack Obama quietly told a small group of seniors Sunday that Republican John McCain would threaten the Social Security they depend on because he supports privatizing the program.

    Link to AP article


    I Find That Rather Ironic Coming From The (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:55:05 PM EST
    candidate that has put Social Security on the table and has a financial advisor who is a big advocate of privatizing Social Security.

    Great. Let's nominate Hillary. (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by masslib on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:43:11 AM EST
    I'm over at Blue Oregon where the pervasive theory is Hillary's voters are simply racist.  They are going to show those racists in WV.  shakes head  While I completely disagree which such assertions, I'd like just one of these people to build a case for Obama in the GE if over half the registered Democrats are racist.

    Seriously (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by Nadai on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:21:59 AM EST
    If all of Hillary's supporters are racist, why bother making nice to us now?  Are we going to forget between now and November that the man is black?  I mean, I know we're all stupid, low-information hicks, but come on.

    Based on what I'm reading, many (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:31:11 PM EST
    of Obama's supporters have no intention of being nice to you.  In fact, it seems that they are intent on punishing Clinton supporters and beating them into submission.  It is beyond troubling to see and downright weird.  I had no idea how many people in this world were trully dysfunctional and inept where it comes to people skills.  The worst and most offensive of them are the ones that have most latched onto this hope and unity concept.  

    And then other Obama supporter (5.00 / 3) (#103)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:36:06 PM EST
    will welcome us into the fold, but seemingly want us to admit we were wrong for supporting the evil Hillary.

    Either way, they can shove it.


    Interesting screen name "Inclusiveheart" (none / 0) (#129)
    by Electa on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:02:37 PM EST
    btw, who are you actually referencing in your remark, "The worst and most offensive of them are the ones that have most latched onto this hope and unity concept"?

    There is a faction of bloggers and (none / 0) (#151)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:58:53 PM EST
    commenters who seem to think that the only way to remain true to Obama's hope, change and unity mantra is to exclude Clinton supporters.  There is a place from whence a lot of us around her came that just today is going after Ferraro again, where Clark was being called crazy and delusional for appearing on TV today as a surrogate for Clinton and where it is widely held that all people in a certain region who voted for Clinton should be written off because they are as they tell it "racists".  On the racist point, it gets really interesting because they then claim that since they are all racists that defies "unity" and therefore they should be excluded from the party.  Nevermind the fact that it is possible at at least some portion of folks who voted for Clinton were not "low information voters" or racists, but chose the candidate they voted for for perfectly respectable reasons.  That is considered to be "impossible" by all but a few commenters such as myself.

    It is scary because these folks have made up their minds and they are on a crusade that will threaten Obama's chances in the general election of someone doesn't reel them in soon.


    Yep The Argument That All Clinton's Supporters (none / 0) (#142)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:58:08 PM EST
    are racists proves that Obama is completely unelectable in November. No candidate can win the GE if over half of Democratic voters refuses to vote for him because he is black.

    It is of course not true as you know. (none / 0) (#152)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:04:49 PM EST
    But for whatever reason they don't even see the huge downside for their candidate when they are making that case.  The last thing I'd want people to be saying about my candidate is that half of the Democratic voters couldn't accept any one of my basic and unchangeable attributes.  I'd be arguing in favor of my candidate's ability to reach out to folks.  Weirdly, they think he can get enough Republicans to offset the loss of huge portions of the Democratic base.

    Magical Thinking IMO n/t (none / 0) (#155)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:32:12 PM EST
    Fewer than half (none / 0) (#163)
    by rczach on Thu May 22, 2008 at 05:11:30 AM EST
    Of course no candidate can win the GE if half of Democratic voters refuse to vote for him because he's black... but unfortunately because the last elections have been so close, even a much smaller percentage of racists have the ability to throw the election back to the republicans... it won't take anywhere NEAR 50% of Democratic voters to do that.  

    Alter is such a tool (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by Kathy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:44:51 AM EST
    I can't even read Newsweek anymore.  He is so denigrating and condescending toward Clinton that it makes me want to slap him upside his balding, sweaty head.

    I think you are right that he exemplifies the new thinking of the dem party, that they don't need the great unwashed to win the election.  It begs the question I raised yesterday: should Obama win the nomination (which is not a lock at this point) what makes you think he'll reach out in any meaningful way to win back the core dems?  He has made absolutely no attempt and has completely ignored two important states and their voters (woops, four if you add MI and FL).

    This is just more of Obama making excuses for why he can't win.  It's always someone else's fault and never his.  The failure to connect with this key demographic is fatal.

    Rise, Hillary, Rise!

    All the Riff-Raff (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by Athena on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:10:08 AM EST
    As I recall, Alter wanted Hillary to drop out before TX and Ohio.  Some genius.

    But these truly over-educated guys are going to be standing alone when the sweeties and typical __ people and bitter voters - have had enough of their dripping condescension and desert this coronated candidate.

    Anyone else want to join "Riff-Raff for Hillary?"


    Kathy, I think he's banking on Hillary (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Anne on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:38:33 AM EST
    doing the reaching out for him.  If she's on the ticket, it will be her job to bring the base to Obama on election day; if she is not on the ticket, she has already said she will work her heart out to get him elected, so that will be her job as a surrogate.

    That being said, I'm not at all sure that's a tactic that works, and it doesn't change the fact that he seems indifferent and dismissive of a huge segment of the electorate.  

    I think Obama is in for a rude awakening - at least until he finds someone else to blame, and I'm guessing all the fingers will be pointing at Hillary.


    RE: Jonathon Alter (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:42:45 PM EST
    We should never forget that Alter made snide remarks about Gore in 2000 ('he'll say or do anything to win the election') and supported the invasion of Iraq.

    A Village person to the core.


    That's why Republicans keep winning. (4.33 / 6) (#11)
    by rooge04 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:47:05 AM EST
    They may be completely crazy, but they don't insult the voters.

    What? They call people (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:53:41 AM EST
    who don't agree with them on the Patriot Act "America haters" "unpatriotic"  "terrorist sympathizers."   They've called those who want to take the morning after pill "murderers."  

    It would take all morning to list the way Republicans insult the voters.


    Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by rooge04 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:02:21 AM EST
    I am talking specifically about working-class voters. Rich republicans manage to come off like they are LIKE these people. Not too snobby to understand. Which is Obama's problem. He comes off as though he's "above" them.

    and the new dems call people (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by Kathy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:06:20 AM EST
    who do not agree with them "low information" "tertiary educated" "elderly white women" "hicks" "bitter gun clingers" "racists" etc.

    I remember how smug and superior some folks were about Kerry, that he was leaps and bounds above Bush-so much smarter, so much more articulate.  There was no chance that he would lose.


    Pick the winner.


    Kathy, I hate to break it to you, (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:49:20 PM EST
    but the "tertiary-educated" term was used in the Portland OR newspaper to describe OR voters, who will overwhelmingly vote for Obama this week.  

    What the Eff have (none / 0) (#109)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:01:27 PM EST
    Democrats really, substantially, done for the working class in the last thirty or so years.

    Leaving aside the borderline criminal wage stagnation, the Dickensian state of health care, "the end of welfare (for the poor) as we know it" etc Let's see your laundrey lists folks.

    At least the Thugs have been holding out the hope of Rapture and the catharsis of "kicking down" at the more wretched, and, or evil: an illusory something, but still a percieved something.

    What have the Dems done?


    Crickets (none / 0) (#117)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:34:02 PM EST
    I'll answer.... (none / 0) (#119)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:46:18 PM EST
    they've done d*ck.

    The working class has no representation in this country....we have 2 corporate class parties, the only differemce between them is the groups they pander and lie to.


    Well, you're (none / 0) (#153)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:09:25 PM EST
    just wrong kdog: Hillary's extended an open invitation to blue collar workers to go hunting with her and a select group of insurance industry lobbyists in Switzerland after the election's over.

    Nobody makes me laugh... (none / 0) (#154)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:26:36 PM EST
    out loud like you jondee...classic.

    Little do the blue collar's know they're the game.


    I don't think they usually do it during (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:09:49 AM EST
    the run-up to an election.

    They don't (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Nadai on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:24:17 AM EST
    insult their own voters.

    They Do Not Insult Their Own Voters Or (5.00 / 3) (#95)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    potential voters. Liberals, the wine and cheese crowd etc. are not going to vote for them so they are fair game. Working class voters have split their votes between Republicans and Democrats. The party that gets the percentage of these voters required to put them over the top wins the election. So the Republican Party line to them is we respect you and your values and the Dems look down their noses at you.  Been a pretty effective strategy so far and this year some Dems have gone out of their way to prove that the Republicans are right.

    Well, I don't know about that (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by ruffian on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:54:37 AM EST
    They sure insult liberal voters plenty.

    We shall see (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:46:18 AM EST
    No worry. . . (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:47:11 AM EST
    the same "things", done by Obama, will turn out to be the most brilliant political strategy since Roosevelt.

    I hope so (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:48:21 AM EST
    I hope it is just about Hillary.

    I mean it is a shame that some folks hate her so that they lost their faculties. But at least we will still be trying to win in November.


    We shall see n/t (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:03:04 AM EST
    The problem is (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:53:41 AM EST
    Obama has not demonstrated any ability to do those "things," the things that appeal to working-class voters.  It's what we keep begging him to work on.

    Hey now. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by LarryInNYC on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:54:57 AM EST
    He's wearing a flag lapel pin.  That's gotta count for something, right?

    It does (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:56:13 AM EST
    I am glad he did it. It is a stupid issue to make a principle of.

    Hmm. I found the after the fact (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by masslib on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    move to wear the flag pin patronizing.  We'll see if it works.  I'll bet no.

    And he bowls and rides a tractor (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Cream City on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:59:05 AM EST
    both while still wearing a tie -- but Alter doesn't see that as looking "lame"? (I put it in quotes because I also don't like such parallels to pwd's aka people with disabilities, many of whom are 'way smarter than Alter and maybe even Obama).

    So far, I haven't seen our candidates pictured in funny hats.  But I'm sure those are coming.  It's politics.  I hope that Obama, if he is the nominee, keeps practicing up on pandering.  Then he may get better at it.


    to Alter every little thing Obama does is magic (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by kempis on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:09:08 AM EST
    The Pictures Of Obama On That Tractor (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:29:35 PM EST
    just reenforces the meme that Obama is an elitist that can't relate to that demographic. Wearing business clothes to that venue was extremely dumb IMO and Obama looked so uncomfortable in that setting the picture could have been labeled "Elitist Faux Attempt To Connect With Rural American."  The same thing applies to the "bowing fiasco." Hopefully Obama is not going to use the same strategy in the GE.

    For all intents and purposes both (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:32:37 PM EST
    candidates are already in the GE now.

    I didn't know (none / 0) (#125)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:58:04 PM EST
    Obama was photographed riding a tractor.


    Image of Dukakis riding in the tank.


    Counts for showing.... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:54:16 PM EST
    he's a spineless jellyfish.

    But I'd bet Obama and his team of high-priced handlers debated whether to wear the pin or not for a week.  Hillary probably debated just as long with her handlers whether to do that shot or to stick to beer.  Probably spent 100k of their contributors money for the consultants man-hours on these pressing issues.


    First, I believe he IS trying to work (none / 0) (#37)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:02:03 AM EST
    on those things.  Before the huge rally yesterday he did have small group meetings at senior citizen homes.  True, not "working class" voters, but he is reaching out.

    I think we'll see more efforts once (and, of course if) he secures the nomination.   Better to do what his campaign is doing now.  Work Oregon, Montana, start moving toward the GE.  

    He did have working class voters in his wins in Illinois. He did well with Latinos (another group some say he can't win) here in East Chicago, Indiana.  

    I think it is difficult to judge when the party is in the midst of a contest primary.


    Well (5.00 / 8) (#49)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:08:47 AM EST
    This tactic doesn't look all that new to me.

    Look, I really do hope he figures it out.  But a few photo-ops will not fix the problem.  If he wants to reach voters like my grandfather - who has voted for every Dem since FDR, but may break the string this year - he needs to actually change his message in a way that appeals to those voters, not just go around proclaiming "Message: I care."


    Obama has work to do before the GE, (none / 0) (#72)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:25:36 AM EST
    certainly.  So would HRC, imo.  I believe that his campaign does know their weaknesses.  I think at this point in the Dem primary it is difficult for either candidate to "win over" the other's base. I would guess that his campaign wants to maximize their strengths to secure the nomination.   At the same time I think they are preparing to retool into a GE campaign.  

    I know that in Indiana he did meet with steelworkers here in Munster.  Short talk than questions and answers.  I know he meet with construction workers in Evansville.  Same format.  

    I guess I feel if he could reach out to working-class voters in his Illinois campaigns and get their votes, if Latinos voted for him in IL, and in East Chicago, then it isn't hopeless.


    Also, both (none / 0) (#76)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:32:14 AM EST
    candidates do those "photo op" things.  HRC did it here in Hobart a few blocks away from me when she went into someone's home for lunch to talk about health care.

    I don't believe his discussions in the senior citiznens homes are just "photo ops." I do believe he is trying to answer questions, to let people get a feel for him.  I believe we will see more of this when (if) he secures the nomination.

    I just hope that he is able to connect with working-class voters without being fake.  I mean nobody should be embarassed to have his education.  I just don't want those stupid duck hunting photos like I saw with Kerry.  Totally a waste of time and does more harm than good.


    Forlorn (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:21:29 PM EST
    "I just hope that he is able to connect with working-class voters without being fake."

    It will look fake because his heart isn't in it. He won't believe a damn word of what he's saying. He has absolutely no discernable association.  This is the man who addressed outsourced Maytag workers, extolling the virtues of "free" trade.

    So much of what Obama is can be understood by his behavior in the Roberts confirmation.

    And, as professor Reed says:


    Throughout the primary campaign he's appealed to neophytes, people confused by politics and elites who dispise blue collar workers, his natural base. Any shift now will come off hollow and phony.


    He had hometown advantage (5.00 / 3) (#87)
    by Valhalla on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:54:51 AM EST
    in Illinois and upstate Indiana.  He got crushed almost everywhere else except for Indianapolis.

    That's why Kentucky, PA and WV are much better indicators of his success with working class and rural votes, no geographical advantage going on.


    I wasn't talking about the primary (none / 0) (#104)
    by IndiDemGirl on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:39:01 PM EST
    I was talking about the elections he won BEFORE he was a candidate.  

    Challenge? (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by cal1942 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:25:29 PM EST
    He ran against Allen Keyes, a complete lunatic and carpetbagger to boot.

    In his state senate races he was, in effect, unopposed.


    support labor (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Lupin on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:48:06 AM EST
    Appealing to the Working Class is ABSOLUTELY essential!!!

    Alter's comment is idiotic.

    As a member of the working class.... (none / 0) (#124)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:56:47 PM EST
    it's too late for any democrat to make amends...I'm tired of getting f*cked in the arse by my supposed "friends" in Washington.

    The party is Benedict Arnold to any working man or woman who isn't blind, deaf, and dumb.


    There was a time when the Democratic party (5.00 / 8) (#17)
    by tigercourse on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:51:10 AM EST
    went too far in the way of populism (William Jennings Bryant). Now we run away from it on the advice of pundits like Alter. I would think that Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, etc. would be some kind of lesson. Clearly not. This party needs to be held back a grade.

    Gosh (5.00 / 17) (#18)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:51:46 AM EST
    At the risk of repeating a shopworn cliche, this is exactly why Democrats lose elections.

    The elite is always "above" doing anything that might appeal to THOSE PEOPLE.  Rather, we should just do everything as we see fit, and if the unwashed masses don't vote for us, we can wring our hands until the next election at how silly they are to vote against their economic interests.

    This is part of the reason the Washington elite always hated Bill Clinton.  Not just that he was white trash, but so much of his base was white trash and he didn't even have the good sense to act ashamed of it.  A Democrat who appeals to the common man?  No no, can't have that!

    The Elite's SOP Is To Lecture THOSE PEOPLE (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:00:09 AM EST
    on how if they weren't quite so stupid they wouldn't vote against their economic interests. Unfortunately, Obama has the "Lecturing Politician" mode down pat.  

    Heh (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:04:03 AM EST
    Michelle Obama:

    Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.

    As I explained in this diary, the problem is that a lot of voters simply aren't looking for a message like that!


    I love this quote (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by hlr on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:07:17 AM EST
    I always imagine MO leading a national aerobics class .. for your own good, of course.

    Step, step,
    Barack wants you to push this out!


    scary quote isn't it (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:31:26 AM EST
    I for one reserve the right to be lazy. I don't want to be required to work. And in truth, I want to cling to my cynicism. I don't want to shed it. That sounds a bit like we'll be in some oppressive dictatorship if Obama is elected. Not really the way you want to come off. So thanks for the offer MO. But no.

    This from the woman (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    who vowed never to run again if her husband doesn't get elected.

    So Barack would do all these things, or he would rock back on his heels and collect his cash and go do something else.

    What a crock.


    As if the working people aren't (none / 0) (#145)
    by splashy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:35:18 PM EST
    Working already! Wow! Nothing like people that don't do physical labor all day long to tell those that are working to exhaustion on a regular basis to work more!

    Who has the time and energy to do what we "should do" according to those folks? Who do they think they are?


    Precisely (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    After this election (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:56:11 AM EST
    will anyone ever question Republicans when they call Democrats elitist?

    But the big question is where does the working class go for support?  

    The question is (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:01:09 AM EST
    if Obama loses in November, which I still hope won't happen, will we learn the lesson?

    It's the exact same lesson we have refused to learn from past elections so I have no reason to think we'll figure it out now.  They'll just blame Hillary.


    They are already laying the ground (none / 0) (#42)
    by masslib on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:05:05 AM EST
    work for that.

    They Haven't Proven Any Ability To Learn (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:18:16 AM EST
    that lesson since they keep continuing to do the same thing each election cycle. They seem always adopt the same strategy that Obama appears to employing now. The strategy is that the Dems are doing everything right and this year the voters will finally GET IT. IOW the voters are at fault and nothing is wrong the the approach or the strategy.

    The working class.... (none / 0) (#126)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:58:17 PM EST
    needs to do what they should have done 20 years ago...formed a new party serious about their interests and concerns.

    Even as a Democratic ideal (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Serene1 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:57:51 AM EST
    it is so wrong because this is like a blanket declaration that all working class people are mot worth it. This kind of generalization is similar to the right wing attack on anything liberal so much so that to them liberal is a cuss word.

    McCain + big Dem majority congress (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:58:06 AM EST
    looks better and better the more these guys keep talking.

    I'm with you. (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by AX10 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:30:48 PM EST
    At least McCain respects the working class people.

    my thoughts (none / 0) (#98)
    by Chisoxy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:30:05 PM EST

    Alter hit just about all the Clinton putdown (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by jawbone on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:58:25 AM EST
    messages from the Obama camp: Going out ugly, pandering, pretending she likes to knowck back shots, Annie Oakley, phoney.


    I think he's drowning in the Kool-Aid.

    Alter also closed with comments about Obama having 1.5 million small, unmaxed donors -- who, according to a mayor he spoke with, will be available to downticket Dems to go to for donations.

    Now, I don't know about Obama's small donors, but this small donor for Hillary Clinton is a small donor bcz I just don't have the bucks to give: my money gets sucked up by the 25% increase in health insurance (the better to meet Aetna's huge compensation requirements for its execs), higher oil and gas costs, higher food costs, higher local taxes. Maybe Obama's affluent donors can come up with more money for all the downticket Dems, but, somehow, I don't see it just going to them. Hasn't Obama's high up fundraiser inforned donors all their donations belong to Obama? For distributing as he sees fit?

    I'm worried they believe (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:07:31 AM EST
    this stuff. Many of the Obama team and surrogates sure seem like the really believe that they can win the red states and they can ignore the rust/mid atlantic areas. I too hope it's all just to crush Clinton, but I don't know. I'm thinking they really are drinking their own kool-aid now.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the SD's might want to take the Obama message in these matters at their face value, and think long and hard about who should run in the GE. After all, the two candidates are statistically tied, and no, I mean no, delegate votes really count until August. Just saying....

    As a working class voter (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by TalkRight on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:08:33 AM EST
    I DID NOT, WILL NOT and SHALL NOT vote for an elitist, sexist Obama. Not matter how much BTD tries to enthuse Obama supporters to have a soft opinion for working Class NOW that they have closer to nomination and to bolster their GE.. I will not change my mind in favor of Obama.. not this time not next time.. It is NOT just Obama, it is the democratic party that has been silent to the assaults on working voters by being called racists and the meanest attacks on woman by being called the most lowly names.

    There is a trend here, though. (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by wurman on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:10:47 AM EST
    A succession of losing Democratice Party nominees has attempted to win without the blue collar, working class voters.  Pres. Clinton appears to be an exception to this; however, there are so many complications with the Perot / 3rd party thing & the Bu$h xli "no more taxes" that it may be even the Big Dog sort of, possibly, may have been less than attentive to Joe Sixpak.

    It seems as if the "defection" of working stiffs to Nixon in 1968 & Reagan in 1980 & '84 may be the tempting factor to just ignore that group in campaigning (esp. dollar spending) & just take what you can get.

    It has been a phenomenally failed strategy & most analysts continually ponder why the Democratic Party strategists who fail at this are still given control of the campaigns???  What the . . . ?

    Now, with the Sen. Obama campaign, the same foolishness of ignoring the working class is being tried again, although it is buttressed with the claim that kids & newly registered voters will pick up the slack from this now 40-year process of failing to seek the votes of regular working stiffs.

    Well, you know what, registering new blue collar kids & new blue collar traditionals will still get the Democratic Party its same result(s).  The same numbers & percentages of Joe & Jane Sixpak will appear to vote AGAINST their own economic & financial interests, leaving Sen. Obama & his strategists wondering why those folks still cling to their worn out values.

    And the observor class will still be blogging & wondering about why the Dems keep letting the same failed campaign managers, pundits & poobahs run the party.  Duh?

    Hillary has appealed to the material bases (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by datadriven on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:38:35 AM EST
    of consent and this has made the difference. In recent national elections, Dems have ignored dollar and cents issues in their half-hearted efforts to capture working class voters. Hillary owns a central financial security issue to many voters-- universal healthcare. From this foothold she was able to expand outwards to trade issues, education and a host of ancillary concerns to those who have a deep fear of falling through the cranks in the economic system. In stark constrast, Obama had his neo-liberal financial advisor talking about campaign positioning with the Canadian officials.

    Sen. Clinton went even further . . . (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by wurman on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:55:32 AM EST
    because she made a sort of half-pivot away from the NAFTA, CAFTA, Open Trade & Free Trade themes that Pres. Clinton propelled into the Democratic strategic mix.  Those issues came to be seen as negatives by organized labor--and even more so in the hands of Bu$hInc.

    It seems very odd that Sen. Obama's campaign would appear to cooperate with the "elite" and far left groups to the apparent exclusion of US blue collar workers.

    The whole thing is NOT maths, such as trig, calc & non-Euclidean geometry; it's 4th grade arithmetic, addition & subtraction & "gozinta."  A Democratic candidate cannot create enough votes to the left of the centerline to win a national election without a very substantial number of working class voters.

    And the main aspect that bothers me is that all of the superdelegates must know this.  The skill sets that get you to be a PLEO include being able to massage the numbers right down to hundredths of a percent at the precinct level.  Some here at Talk Left wonder if the PLEOs, & the DNC officials, actually intend to lose, based on their senseless behaviors.  Now, me too.


    Goolsbee and authenticity (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by datadriven on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:44:38 PM EST
    Early in the campaign Axelrod surrogates made the pitch that Obama owned "authenticity", but the Goolsbee discussions, Samatha Powers' TV interview on Iraq, and "bitter & clingy people" episode made it clear that what his campaign thought of the voters backstage was very different from the on-stage presentation.

    Axelrod seemed to think that overwhelming advertising dollars would win the voters over on the basis of symbolic appeals: the Obama-story, the cool factor, the Unity story and so on. In the face of this media barrage, Hillary has excelled at retail events and in the debates. Although the exit polls are extremely simplistic, it's clear that healthcare has become a critical "fear of falling" issue in the lives of average folks, so credibility on this one issue can bolster adjacent policy domains.  



    FDR understood the working class (5.00 / 6) (#60)
    by Prabhata on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:12:53 AM EST
    He didn't think it was lame to take care of the "white hard working Americans".  He came from the upper crust, but understood where most voters came from.

    All Roosevelt.... (none / 0) (#128)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:00:19 PM EST
    understood was that if he didn't throw the working class a couple bones, he'd have a full-fledged workers revolution on his hands, threatening his and his cronies wealth and health.

    Actually it was Eleanor (none / 0) (#150)
    by splashy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:56:00 PM EST
    Who got it, and pushed him to include the working class in his policies. Without her, he probably would not have done it.

    She was a great lady!


    I think you've said it all right here. (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by Iphie on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:18:18 AM EST
    Let's hope Barack Obama is not listening to folks like Jon Alter because Obama's lack of appeal to working class voters SHOULD be a concern for any thinking Democrat.
    That's the problem right there -- they're not thinking. I was listening to Brian Lehrer on WNYC this morning. He had on Ken Walsh from US News and World Report, who was saying with what sounded like a straight face that Obama and his "new coalition" was bringing all of these new voters into the process and was going to win the mountain states, and so didn't need to worry about states like OH. Okaaaay.

    here's a novel idea: appeal to all voters (5.00 / 4) (#69)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:22:54 AM EST
    and don't give any indication that you think any less of any of them. Think of them all as valuable members of this country. Like an extended family. Some may be different than you. And I know those blue collar worker types are very scary to our media elite and the Obama elite, but they won't bite.

    If Obama is the nominee, I recommend he do some serious fence mending. And he'll have to start by re-educating his elite supporters like Alter. Think of it like band camp, except everyone wears flannel. Everyone gets their own tractor and gets a bit of a corn field to work on, one cow to milk, and some chickens to care for. It would be good for them. And maybe a few days working in a coal mine would help too. I think that would clear up their problems right away.

    Obams isn't taking his cues from Alter (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by angie on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:24:40 AM EST
    Alter is taking his cues from Obama. Ever since he called for Hillary to drop out before TX & OH, I saw that Alter's mission was to rationalize & legitimize the Obama camp's spin. Obama has made little to no effort to go after the "lunch bucket Dems" in WV & KY & Alter is justifying it.

    It Amazes Me (5.00 / 3) (#85)
    by BDB on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:53:02 AM EST
    that anyone thinks insulting voters is a sound electoral strategy.

    It also amazes me that anyone thinks that the overwhelming majority of the voters who showed up in WVA did so to make some sort of racist statement.  Because they have nothing better to do with their time.  If this was solely about racism, they'd just wait and vote for McCain in November.  

    If you need to understand elitism. (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Fabian on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:59:54 AM EST
    And why it turns off the working class looking at an uncertain future.

    I present Devo's Beautiful World

    Beautiful people everywhere
    The way they show they care
    Makes me want to say

    Its a beautiful world
    Its a beautiful world
    Its a beautiful world
    For you, for you, for you

    Its not for me

    And that's about it.  Working people see politicians living in some beautiful, idyllic, idealistic world while they live in a grimy, gritty, mundane world.  The politicians sound like they are talking to other Beautiful People because they sure aren't talking to working class stiffs who only see that beautiful world on TV.

    Worse Than Insulting, Stupid (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by HenryFTP on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:05:13 PM EST
    BTD, I'm glad you didn't delete the link, because it wasn't quite the standard anti-Hillary diatribe that I've been tuning out. What really struck me was the breathtaking, unarticulated assumption that Senator Clinton's withdrawal would magically deliver all of her supporters to Obama. Armed with this assumption, Alter can then airily dismiss Clinton's stunning triumph in a major state like Pennsylvania as a sort of vanity exercise for Hillary and her supporters, as if 1,261,000 Pennsylvania Democrats were a small band of diehards.

    Washington "insiders" such as Alter appear far more impressed with Obama's 1,500,000 "small" donors. From the K Street perspective, money speaks louder than voter participation, and it's a fair point as to why Obama is doing well with Democratic elected officials. But viewing the primary results since February as irrelevant is dangerously dumb, which is OK and even par for the course for a pundit like Alter but alarming for the Democratic Party hierarchy. I sure hope they are not that stupid but if the 2004 general election campaign is any guide I certainly wouldn't blithely assume that they aren't.

    This is the mentality of the McGovern/Mondale (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by AX10 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:09:54 PM EST
    Dukaikis coalition.  Obama is one of them.  None of them deserve the Presidency.  Their blatent contempt of such a large part of the electorate is very telling.  

    yeah, i disagree (none / 0) (#3)
    by facta non verba on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:42:20 AM EST
    I'm actually agreeing with BTD, disagreeing with the assertion. This divide is not new. It goes back a long time nationally.

    Dollars and Sense

    What's behind Obama Income Gap.

    Alters take (none / 0) (#25)
    by wasabi on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:56:06 AM EST
    He mentions how he knows that this race has been over from months.  Accoding to Alter, it's all about the Benjamins.  Every down ticket candidate knows that if they support Obama, then they have access to his 1.5 million supporters who may feel inclined to pass some cash along to them.  

    Only on topic (none / 0) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:57:55 AM EST
    because of the link.

    As I wrote, he said many silly things.

    But I was hoping we could concentrate on what I write about in my post.

    I am now tempted to delete my link.


    herding cats (none / 0) (#78)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:36:16 AM EST
    You know it's nearly impossible to keep us all in line. I'd keep the link but just add another reminder to stay on topic. Sorry if I drifted a bit here and there.

    it's tough (none / 0) (#34)
    by Lahdee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:59:53 AM EST
    being middle class, the media wants to distract you, the elite disparage you and all the while all you want is some help.
    McCain is not their friend, neither are pundits such as Alter. Can Obama prevail and keep the working/middle class from voting against their own interests?  

    I sure do not think (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Molly Pitcher on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:03:34 AM EST
    I am voting against my own interest by not going with Obama.  The only interest I see him supporting is his own.  Black pride may rise, but I doubt if he does anything substantial for them either.

    someone else said this earlier (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Kathy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:09:53 AM EST
    I will paraphrase here:  I have greatly benefited from the Bush tax cuts.  I will never need an abortion (trust me).  Those in my family serving in the military will all be out of active duty by the end of this year.

    What interest am I voting for?


    I agree... except (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:12:45 AM EST
    I do hold some values, justice, equity and fairness.  So, not ready to sell those of for a faux feeling of goodness.  

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:14:52 AM EST
    We vote the country's interest, that's why we're Democrats.  But if we looked at it on a purely personal, greedy level, many of us wouldn't be.

    sure, of course (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by Kathy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:30:15 AM EST
    but "voting against your interests" is getting so tired.  I have been voting against my interests for decades because I thought it was the right thing to do.  Core dem values were my core values.

    Can anyone tell me what the platform will be for this new Obama dem party?  What will they fight for?  Who will they help?  Speaking as a minority living in Atlanta, GA, I find it rather curious that this new party of AA's and Eggheads hasn't presented what their issues will be.  Reduced sentences for drug arrests and gang violence?  Abstinence education featuring the sanctity of sexuality?  Talking about how pro-choice folk don't see that abortion is a moral, wrenching issue?  Reparations?  Oh, wait--they'll band together to fight for gay rights and gay marriage.  

    What, exactly, will these two powerful groups agree on?  I mean, other than Obama?


    Look sit back and enjoy (none / 0) (#108)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:00:39 PM EST
    history is being re-written.  What is your resistance to being transcended and being post racial?  We have found an agent of change and all you do is resist in you bitter clingingness, denying people their dose of hope.  We are the ones that will be waiting to get thrown under the bus.  Words are the words of our fathers, but our grandmas don't count.  This is the new politics and you just need to join the movement.  

    (New contest, write a paragraph with the Obama message words)


    Patrick in Mass is telling (none / 0) (#54)
    by Stellaaa on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:10:45 AM EST
    look at what AA's think about him now after a few years?  The Axelrod magic is sort of gone the margins were much less impressive than in other states.  Reality bites.

    Masslib, did I get it right?  


    Yes. But while I think AA voters in MA (none / 0) (#62)
    by masslib on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:14:24 AM EST
    like most voters in MA have been extremely disappointed in Patrick, I don't think african americans necessarily expect Obama to be the next FDR or even a great President.  This is personal for a lot of african american voters, and I don't begrudge that.

    What Exactly Are Their Interests? (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:07:57 AM EST
    Maybe they are interested in being treated with respect. Maybe they would like to feel that they are valued by the candidate and the party that is seeking their vote. Maybe they would like a candidate that actually fits in and feels comfortable in their environment. Maybe they don't totally buy into campaign promises and rhetoric without having some basis for trust.

    That is Obama's (none / 0) (#57)
    by Lahdee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:11:45 AM EST
    challenge isn't it.

    Who is really an elitist in the 2008 race? (none / 0) (#45)
    by kindness on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:07:25 AM EST
    Well we are (mostly) Democrats so hearing us talk of the differences between Hillary and Barack isn't all that surprising.

    Except.....How is it that Jon Alter doesn't mention John McCain's (well, Cindy really)8 houses?  How come he doesn't mention that John is riding around in his wifes private jet?

    Seems to me that's a lot more elitist.

    loosing argument (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by DandyTIger on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:11:16 AM EST
    in my opinion. I would recommend they stay away from trying to make McCain more elitist. I think that would backfire. After all, it's visually apparent what McCain has paid in support of his country. And so trying to say he's privileged just doesn't hold water.

    I'd stick to tying him to Bush and hammer on his stumbles on economics and of course on the war.


    I disagree. That's exactly where McCain loses. (none / 0) (#83)
    by kindness on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:41:27 AM EST
    How can a guy who has 8 houses portray himself as a "common man".

    Not mention it in the campaign....why not?  It's not like the Republicans aren't going to be talking full time about Hillary's husband Bill, or the fact that Barack sounds foreign and he's apparently (horrors) a man of color.

    To not bring up the fact that the guy who is claiming to be a man of the people, isn't, is like shooting yourself in the foot.  I'm not saying it should be the lead item in the campaign.  But it shouldn't be ignored.  "Normal" Americans do pay attention to that stuff.


    You dont have to be poor (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Chisoxy on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:33:59 PM EST
    to feel their pain. Making finances the staple to the elitism argument isnt a winning tactic, nor is it correct. Elitism has always been more about the person than his finances. McCain doesnt come across as elitist, Obama does. They're both probably equally clueless as to what average people feel, it just doesnt seem that way.

    I haven't seen McCain refer to himself as (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by esmense on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:55:40 PM EST
    a "common man." Quite the opposite -- in addressing working class audiences he has conceded that as the son and grandson of powerful military figures his background is priviledged and does not have much in common with that of most working class Americans. This tactic, while it of course may be insincere, is smart -- he concedes his privileged background while affirming his respect for and acknowledging the "hard work" and values of voters who have enjoyed less privilege. There really are no "gotcha" accusations that can be hurled against a man who has not made any common man claims in the first place.

    Obama, on the other hand -- with his single mother, food stamp, poor African grandmother storylines (ignoring his exclusive prep school, oil executive step father, academic mother and significant support from his middle class grandparents) -- greatly over-states the lack of privilege and understates the unique and privileged opportunities in his own life. This, when the true facts are known, makes him appear dishonest and exploitive.  



    Seems to me (5.00 / 7) (#61)
    by Steve M on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    that an awful lot of people, mostly Obama supporters, have a real problem figuring out what "elitist" means.  Small wonder the Democratic Party keeps having this problem over and over again.

    "Elitism" is not an issue of how much money you have or whether you fly around in a private jet.  The American people are more than willing to vote for people who do those things.  It's a question of coming across like you're better than everyone else - that's elitism.

    I can't believe all the people who think they can just argue the problem away.  "Obama can't possibly be elitist, he had a single mom!"  "Hillary is a millionaire!"  We'll never learn, will we.


    Seems to me quite a few (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by magisterludi on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:53:50 AM EST
    Obama supporters also have a problem with what it means to be "progressive".

    You mean, (none / 0) (#156)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:44:05 PM EST
    the American people have a choice whether or not to vote for people "who do those things"? Are you refering to campaign finance reform? Not voting at all?

    As far as how people "come across", that's about 99%
    dictated by, and rehearsed with, media consultants these days.


    That's the point. Alter thinks the elite stuff (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by Joan in VA on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:31:57 AM EST
    is cool and the populist stuff is lame.

    Didn't Jonathan Alter (none / 0) (#79)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:37:31 AM EST
    write a book about FDR?  I wonder if he argued that FDR didn't care about the working class?  I haven't read the book....

    Elitism (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:21:49 PM EST
    is a state of mind, not a bank statement.

    We are the medicine (none / 0) (#59)
    by lilburro on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:12:51 AM EST
    that's good for you but hard to swallow, apparently.  

    I wonder if the media keeps up this elitism b.s., if the media darling aspect of Obama will be counteracted at all...Hillary is benefitting from media backlash, perhaps McCain will?

    Lame things (none / 0) (#67)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:20:25 AM EST
    I don't think it's clear exactly what Alter thinks is lame, whether it's (as you say) appeals to working class (white) voters, or her remarks about working class whites, or her and her surrogates' stated beliefs regarding popular vote or winning states with higher electoral vote advantage.

    I did believe, however, that Alter was being a bit silly when I heard him say she should have bowed out earlier in the race.  It smacks of the very same coronation type dynamic Clinton herself suffered from. "Going out classy" in this respect strikes me as bowing to Obama.  Obama benefited from Clinton's stay in the race on the sheer number of Democratic registrants, the vetting of the Wright issue, and the identification of a voting group with whom he has much work to do.

    Of course, the extension of that remark is that Obama can't win states which favored Clinton in the primary. With the exception of a few states Democrats have a hard time winning anyway, I find this to be nonsensical, as primaries track a super preference and there's no indication, to me, at least, that Obama won't these voters' preference in November.

    So you think that Obama will carry (none / 0) (#82)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:40:45 AM EST
    Ohio, NJ, MA, NH, PA, and WV?  Good luck with that.  Not to mention FL and MI.

    I think (none / 0) (#84)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:52:43 AM EST
    (and I love questions like this) Obama can carry Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and, with luck and lots of work, Ohio....maybe Florida (hah).  I don't rule Pennsylvania out, depending VP choice, but I think West Virginia may be a lost cause.  

    What makes you think Obama can't any of these states?  I lived in Massachusetts a long time and think the state could be a good one for Obama.


    In Massachusetts ... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Cassius Chaerea on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:52:25 PM EST
    Obama will take a considerable hit because he's using the same campaign slogans as the unpopular and unlikely-to-be-reelected Deval Patrick, and because he's too stubborn to do anything about that problem. "Yes we can" will not work in Massachusetts.

    Well, I've lived here more than 40 years. (none / 0) (#130)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:05:18 PM EST
    The latest statewide poll showed Hillary beating McCain comfortably here and Obama about tied with McCain.  A lot of people here are very disappointed Deval Patrick, and since we already bought into the Axelrod, "yes we can" campaign that Obama copied, we aren't as impressed with him. Many women here are angry with Kerry and Kennedy for refusing to do anything about FL and MI.  I just think there is a good chance that Obama will not win MA.  Hillary would win here with no problem.

    There is no way Obama will carry Ohio, PA, NJ, or FL, IMNSHO.  No way.


    interesting (none / 0) (#132)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:23:37 PM EST
    Obama will carry MA and NJ.....I'll bet the farm on it.  You can come find me here and gloat (or collect the farm) if I'm wrong in November.

    I'm not interested in betting or gloating. (none / 0) (#135)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:51:12 PM EST
    I don't even know if it will be relevant.  I think there's a good chance that superdelegates will decide they want to win the election in November and nominate Hillary.  It's a long time until the end of August.

    good luck with that (none / 0) (#139)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:25:34 PM EST
    I think a brokered convention means a loss in November, but if it happens, well, good luck with that.

    Speaking of "phoney" ... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Robot Porter on Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:35:47 AM EST
    what about Alter's concern about Hillary's future in the Democratic Party?

    Um ... yeah ... right.

    Isn't it time for Alter to "go out classy?"

    HRC's future in the party (none / 0) (#94)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:20:24 PM EST
    will be predicted on its own merits...I also don't get Alter's point on that.  Even if you think, for the sake of argument, that our amorphous party resents her staying in the race, this country is a place of new beginnings.

    I don't think "the party" resents her in any case and I think she'll be a leader for some time.

    At this point (and I've gone back and forth on the issue), I don't care for her as VP.  But who knows?  If she goes back to the Senate, she'll do well there.  If she's nominated for an executive position, she'll do well there, too.  I don't think she knows how to do a bad job at what she's determined to do.

    Alter's typical (none / 0) (#106)
    by yourkidding on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:45:11 PM EST
    of the nonsense coming out of the 'left' side of the Dems.
    I'm so disgusted with people I used to respect (Obermann, Maddow, Brazile) that I now hope Obama wins the general.
     I look forward to seeing these same cheerleaders crying when they see what a disappointment Obama will be. They seem to have little to no understanding of basic democratic politics. If their sainted candidate actually wins, they are in for a nasty education.
      Obama is a politician, not a savior. He will do what all pols do, compromise. His current crowd of ill-bred children are going to have tantrums that will  keep them out of politics for good. It'll be fun to watch & hear, but ultimately sad.  

    wow (none / 0) (#134)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:32:51 PM EST
    I'm just floored with the level of resentment on the part of HRC supporters.  I just hope you all care enough about Roe and Iraq to vote for Obama in the general.

    I've tried mightily to see how Clinton has been robbed of the nomination and I can't see it.  She didn't start running a good campaign until it was too late to overcome the numbers, i.e., she didn't run a good campaign. Seriously: Mark Penn? Thinking it would be wrapped up by February 5? Not implementing a small donor campaign? You all point to "whispers of racism" from the Obama campaign but, even if that's true, both sides whispered to anyone who would listen about whatever would put them ahead.

    Remember when her husband lost the governorship? They learned a lot from that loss.  They'll learn a lot from this one. But a grown up doesn't blame everyone else for their loss, they accept it, learn from it, and try again at the same or some other endeavor. Hillary Clinton is too smart to think she lost this over sexism.

    You're floored by the level of resentment? (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 02:56:25 PM EST
    Where have you been?  It's nothing new.  And it's not about Hillary being robbed or whether or not she wins the nomination.  It's about the blatant, all-incompassing sexism and misogyny on the part of the Obama campaign, the media and the Democratic party leadership.  And it's not just women who are angry about it.

    this woman hasn't seen it and isn't (none / 0) (#137)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:07:49 PM EST
    angry.  I don't think a single poster here has made any kind of convincing case that Obama did anything of the kind against Clinton. Not one single time line of provable events, quotes, occurrences.  Just nothing but vague charges they played up the LBJ remarks.  It's a pretty weak case.

    What exactly did the Democratic party do that was sexist?  You mean Florida and Michigan? How is that sexist or even aimed at only Clinton, who agreed to the restrictions.

    What did Obama do?

    I'm seriously asking these questions.  I'm a feminist, I've worked for decades, I've paid for my own education, I've suffered the same workplace sexism women my age can lay a claim to and I don't see this.  Moreover, most of my friends of similar background in my city support Obama or are fine with voting for him in the general.


    Sorry, I don't have time to replay the (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:54:33 PM EST
    entire campaign for you.  Read the comments on this blog and others.  Read news stories.  If you honestly are interested in why millions of women are angry and will refuse to vote for Obama, then do your own research.

    I think a pro-Clinton blog isn't the best source (none / 0) (#146)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:39:05 PM EST
    for this kind of information, especially as a sole source of support.  I do read lots of blogs and news websites and still don't see it, so I'll take your answer as, "I got nuthin'."

    Shakesville (none / 0) (#159)
    by chrisvee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:58:27 PM EST
    Check out the Hillary Sexism Watch at Shakesville for more information.

    thanks, I've never seen this site before (none / 0) (#160)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:51:49 PM EST
    This is your site?  Anyway, I agree with most of what the blogger said up to link 18 or 19 (my internet connection burped at Sharespeare's Sister for some reason).  I'm hesitant to say this, because I couldn't read all of them, but though I saw many, many examples of media sexism (most of which I remember when they happened) and republican candidate sexism, I've yet to see anything that is said to be perpetuated or stated by the Obama campaign.  Like I've said, I've yet to read even most of the links. I'm not sure I'll be able to read all of the links, though I've bookmarked and will go back.

    I guess "you're likable enough" could qualify, except I saw that as unsucessfully riffing on HRC's semi-ironic and self-deprecating remarks.  But it did sound a little dismissive.  I know Obama has called one reporter "sweetie" and is a little patronizing to older women factory workers in the same manner. I doubt he'd be the same way toward male workers of the same age, but I don't see hardcore or obvious sexism or Obama campaign-institutionalized sexism.

    The other day, on the same show Chris Matthews (not one of my favorite talking heads) handed that right wing radio show his ass, he gave Ed Schultz a little hell for call Bush an idiot.  He said, "when you do that, you end the conversation."  As much as I dislike Matthews, he has a point (even though, in my mind, there's more proof that Bush is an idiot than Obama is sexist).  When HRC supporters voice their anger and rage at Obama, calling him a misogynist, yet don't give me anything meaty to go on, I want to say to them, "don't end the discussion in this way, because you'll have a hard time coming back and the Supreme Court needs you back."

    I'm not saying there isn't some inherent sexism from a male's campaign....I'm just not seeing anything worth "misogyny" or "sexism."  Plenty from republicans, plenty from the media; that's easy.  And I'm not saying that if the shoes were on different feet (Obama was losing and Clinton winning), that I and other supporters might not be going through this.  I just hope people aren't closing off avenues.  Maybe I just need to leave Clinton supporters to work through this.

    Anyway, thanks for the links and the new resource.


    You can easily find everything (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:26:06 PM EST
    you need to know about the sexism in this campaign right here at Talk Left.  BTD has written a long serious of posts about it over the past several months.  The Malign Acceptance of Racism--search for that.  Not that I expect you'll actually do it.

    that terms turns up nothing (none / 0) (#147)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:41:30 PM EST
    but I'll read Armando's posts on it.  

    I went back over 265 diaries and found two (none / 0) (#149)
    by ksh on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:54:19 PM EST
    with the term "malign" in them.  One complained about another's remarks about sexism in the campaign but offered no proof or even accusations that the Obama campaign has done anything sexist.  The other noted sexist remarks by the media and complained that Howard Dean and the DNC has been silent.

    So far, no instances of Obama's sexism and, arguably, one of the DNC's (being silent doesn't necessarily mean sexist. Could mean cowardly, but I'll give it to you).

    So I still don't see how Obama's been sexist.


    Why even bother with Jonathan Alter (none / 0) (#148)
    by bridget on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:50:40 PM EST
    just ignore him - he is one of the so-called liberal  pundits who assure TV facetime by bashing and ridiculing Big Dems like Gore and the Clintons for decades now.

    Also I have a pundit/pol rule: You are a regular guest on the Imus show, you are out.

    I can't help liking Craig Crawford. So I have decided to make an exception w. him ... and it wasn't easy for me ;-)

    Poisonous (none / 0) (#158)
    by chrisvee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:51:27 PM EST
    Alter's attitudes are poisonous to the Democratic Party. People will continue to vote for someone who mocks them or looks down upon them regardless of their economic or security interests.  He and his ilk will kill the brand.

    Plus, since when is faking an interest in things other people like lame?  In my neck of the woods, we call it dating.

    Appealing to working class voters (none / 0) (#162)
    by rczach on Thu May 22, 2008 at 04:59:37 AM EST
    Obama has appealed to working class voters.  He's specifically talked about the ability of working families a generation ago to raise 2 children on one income.  He's talked about US corporations shipping jobs overseas.