Mrs Clinton's supporters look at Mr Obama's and see latte-drinking elitists. Mr Obama's supporters look at Mrs Clinton's and smell all sorts of ancestral sins, not least racism. The two groups neither like nor respect each other.Naff! It's funny to read about American politics in British magazines.
There are actually good reasons for irritation on both sides. The Obamaites are not just otherworldly. They are also weirdly cultish. All the vague talk of “hope” and “change” is grating enough. But many Obamamaniacs want something even vaguer than this—they want political redemption....
It is certainly impressive to see 20,000 people queuing for hours to see a politician. But should they worship their man with such wide-eyed intensity? And should they shout “Yes we can” with such unbridled enthusiasm? The slogan, after all, reminds any parent of “Bob the Builder”, a cartoon for toddlers, and Mr Obama himself rejected it as naff when it was first suggested to him. His supporters are rather like high-school nerds who surround the coolest kid in the class in the hope of looking cool themselves.
But there are also good reasons to be irritated with Mrs Clinton's beer-track Democrats. Blue-collar workers have certainly had a hard time of it. The Cleveland rustbelt is a decaying monument to good jobs that have been shipped abroad or mechanised out of existence. But one of the tragedies of this campaign is that both Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton have decided to ignore Bill Clinton's message—that the only way that America can remain competitive is to prepare people for new jobs rather than cling on to old ones—and instead engage in a silly competition to see who can bash NAFTA hardest.Even if you like Hillary's "culture" better than Obama's, it's awfully hard to believe that they are going to get from her what they see in her. There is more reason to think the Obamans — for all their dreamy dopiness — are more likely to get what he seems to promise: a turn of the historical page and at least a little racial healing.