May 19, 2008

"Some of those states in the middle."

Mickey Kaus latches onto that Obama phrase. Scroll up from here to find the passage I'm talking about. (Why is it so hard to link to Kaus? What are you supposed to do if he doesn't have the word "link" at the bottom of the post you want to talk about. No wonder Glenn links to him by saying stuff like: "MICKEY KAUS has been blogging up a storm. Just keep scrolling." Why isn't the timestamp at the end of a post clickable? I know Mickey has to put a lot of time into worrying about Mexico taking over the Southwest, but doesn't he want to be linked? Come on!)
Today's Obama Gaffe to Ignore: No point covering this, Mr. Halperin, sir. Move right along. Obama's our nominee. We're stuck with him. Here he explains his impending loss in Kentucky:
"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle." [E.A.]
Cling Alert! ... As emailer "S" notes: 1) "Last time I checked, Illinois was more 'nearby' Kentucky than Arkansas. Heck, they even touch." 2) "[I]sn't there something a tad condescending in his reference to "some of those states in the middle"? ...
Is this too hard on Obama? Maybe so, but he needs to avoid saying things that resonate with his disastrous "bitter Americans" comment.

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
rhhardin said...

A couple of those states have really tricky capitals, too.

Kirby Olson said...

There could be a fun presidential quiz. Instead of asking candidates to yammer for an hour about policy questions, it would be fun to give them a map of America and have them fill in states, and then put in the capitals, as well as major cities, rivers, mountain chains, and other geographical features of which they are aware.

They would have an hour to work on it, and the maps would be enormous -- twenty feet by twenty feet so that the camera could zoom in on all the mistakes they were making as they tried to draw in the Oklahoma panhandle, for instance, or to get the Kentucky-Illinois border just right.

It would be laughs for the whole family.

Another fun evening would be to have them draw in the whole world.

It would be wonderful to see all the blank areas. I think this would give us a better idea of their minds than just having them yammer for an hour.

It would be especially fun if the test was arranged without their being able to study up.

Obama would be trying to get in 57 states, and wondering where on earth Kentucky sits, while Clinton would make Florida and Michigan much larger than they really are.

Bob said...

Basically Obama is going to sink like a stone with what Walter Russell Meade referred to as Jacksonians.

More information about these strange people can be found here.

vet66 said...

Obama is so out of touch he doesn't connect his own dots. They all add up to his disdain for those of us in the so-called "flyover states" clutching our Bibles, cleaning our guns (defensive tools), and disdain for them varmint people who are not like us.

Note to Obama, if you want us to lay off your wife, tell her to quit talking! Otherwise, she is fair game for analysis. Unless of course you sleep in seperate rooms! That would be a seperate topic.

AllenS said...

Obama is talking about states 51 through 57.

Freder Frederson said...

Anyone who has lived in Illinois knows exactly what Obama meant--It was a slip up but not surprising.

Some states are demographically two (or more) states. Virginia is actually Alexandria and Arlington and the rest of Virginia. New York is NYC and 'upstate'. Illinois is the Chicago Area and 'downstate'. While the geographic state of Illinois indeed borders Kentucky, there are two distinct demographic groups in Illinois. Obama is from the Chicago Area, which is a lot further from Kentucky (both physically and culturally) than Arkansas.

Reynolds knows this as Tennessee splits itself between east and west Tennessee (the dividing line is roughly Nashville). A person in Memphis would probably say that 'their' Tennessee was closer to Mississippi than Virginia and it would make perfect sense.

Pogo said...

"Anyone who has lived in Illinois knows exactly what Obama meant"

Yeah, I used to live in Illinois. Obama meant "you know, those people".

AllenS said...

"Some states are demographically two (or more) states"

Other than Michigan, I can't think of any others.

John Z. said...

Wow, what a rationalization Frederson. So in your world, Obama cannot make a mistake -- what seems like a mistake is really just a failure on our part to think on the man's level.

Have you ever read a book called "The War of the End of the World" by Mario Vargas Llosa? If you haven't, pick it up sometime. Read the scene where the followers of Antonio Conselheiro resorted to analyzing his stool, after he became too ill to speak. That's what you remind me of.

former law student said...

Obama does well in the Northeast, North Central, Northwest, South, and Southwest. He doesn't do well in "some of those states in the middle."

Both Kentucky and Arkansas are south of the Mason-Dixon line -- heck they're both in the SEC. (No Illinois college belongs to the SEC.) So, while it's true that a finger of Missouri separates them in the Little Egypt section of the country, Kentucky and Arkansas have a lot in common.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Other than Michigan, I can't think of any others."

California. State of Jefferson Northern Ca. (and I don't mean San Francisco) is nothing like the rest of the State. In fact, we are all pretty embarassed to call ourselves Californians. :-)

Henry said...

"Some states are demographically two (or more) states"

Other than Michigan, I can't think of any others.


Allan, by that definition, New York is two states.

* * *

Obama is an East-West kind of guy.

C'mon baby, drive south (speaking of driving music).

Paul Zrimsek said...

Florida and Louisiana are also in the Two States category; in both cases, only the northern part of the state is Southern.

I don't think this resonates with Bittergate all that much (unless you buy Freder's "defense" that Obama said it because he's out of touch with people in the southern half of his own state). Making a big deal out of it would be a mistake, but after eight years of "Bushism of the Day" I will not be denied my chuckle.

Joe said...

"taking over the Southwest."

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Otto "What was that middle thing?"

Original Mike said...

How many times have we heard politicians blame a poor showing on the fact that "I'm not well known"? While that may be true for some pols in some cases, it's usually bunk, as it is here. Earth to Obama: Everybody knows you by now.

Sloanasaurus said...

Obama is from the Chicago Area, which is a lot further from Kentucky (both physically and culturally) than Arkansas.

Freder is right with his analysis. But it was that analysis that Obama was trying to avoid by saying these people were more familiar with Clinton because she is more well known.

Obama's gaff revealed that he was really making a bitter type of commment to explain why he wasn't doing well there. Obama was blaming his lack of popularity on these peoples ignorance rather than his message.

Chip Ahoy said...

Scrolling the difficult to link sites: Here's an idea, you could say "find" or "control F" and provide us some juicy unique word or phrase that takes us, dear and valued readers, directly to the spot on the page. Just trying to do my part in building a better world.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Joe. Fixed.

Paddy O. said...

I think Freder is exactly right in what was going on in Obama's mind. I'm certainly closer to New Mexico than Oregon, even though California borders Oregon.

However, this doesn't really help because Obama is a senator representing his whole state, not just a representative of Chicago. And he's basically saying that he doesn't relate to even his whole single state. Clinton (Bill) was certainly from Arkansas but related to people from all over. That's charisma and intelligence. I'm told Obama has those, but I keep wondering where it actually is in practice. It feels like an Asch conformity test, everyone says it enough and we want to go with the popular kids. I'm looking forward to the general election for him to step up his game a little, where he's confronted with his weaknesses a little bit more. Hillary shares many of his weaknesses so can't confront him like McCain can.

California, by the by, is more like three or four states really, because the Central Valley is quite a different place from the coastal regions of North, Far North or Southern California.

Paddy O. said...

I just remembered a curious related story.

About ten years ago or so the city of Fontana, and I think the county of San Bernardino, were experiencing a lot of growth and needed teachers. So they advertised where they thought they could get people who would best fit into the local culture.

They went to Kentucky and Oklahoma. Paid for folks there to move and settle into this Southern Californian, but decidedly not LA, region. Fontana has the nickname Fontucky because of this.

And really since space curves and all that, everyplace is really as close as another in the big picture.

Chip Ahoy said...

Reading this post and the comments to it that divide us unnecessarily and unnaturally create a stress within my kind and gentle mind that caused me to bake a batch of sourdough bread and muffins that had been cold proofing for two days made from a naturally occurring yeast culture that was collected during the winter season in Denver and cultivated so that the surviving cells were the heartiest of all and resulted in bread with a particularly pleasantly mild tang. And to drink coffee from a Mason jar prepared with an excess of vanilla extract.

Freder Frederson said...

Florida and Louisiana are also in the Two States category; in both cases, only the northern part of the state is Southern.

Actually, I know a Cajun who claims a Yankee is anyone who lives north of I-10.

And of course New Orleans isn't even part of the U.S., maybe even the planet.

I don't know what this obsession is with requiring that Obama relate to everyone. He only has to relate to a majority of the electorate in states representing a majority of the electoral votes, which as Bush learned in the last election, doesn't even require garnering a majority of the popular vote.

The rural vote, for all your handwringing about how Obama just doesn't "connect" with rural voters, is about 20% of the total population. It is certainly a much less monolithic bloc than the black vote, which Obama has wrapped up, and depending on turnout, and white disgust with rumors of McCain's illegitimate black baby (assuming the Obama campaign takes on Karl Rove as a strategist), could tip a traditional Republican state or two in the deep south in Obama's favor.

Besides, I am much more concerned about McCain's inability to distinguish Shia from Sunni than the literal interpretation of Obama's comments on the geography of Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.

gophermomeh said...

This is just really splitting hairs on the subject of cognitive geographies. Physical and and cultural geographies don't usually align so conveniently...

Kirk Parker said...

Paul Z.,

"(unless you buy Freder's 'defense' that Obama said it because he's out of touch with people in the southern half of his own state)."

Well, he's a Democrat politician from Chicago--how could he not be out of touch with the southern half of the state?

John said...

"OBAMA: 'We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK'... "

If we had a media that was actually interested in providing unbiased coverage, that statement would be front page news and on every late night talk show monologue. The jokes write themselves, "if I eat this sandwich somewhere a kitten will die and a foreigner will hate America."

That statemen is downright chilling. Does Obama really view people's eating habbits as something in his power to change? The more I watch this man the more he makes my flesh crawl.

SteveR said...

I don't have a problem with his analysis or his geography, but he needs to be more careful with his words. Both Gore and Kerry lost votes because of the same type of issue. A Democrat running for president cannot afford to lose any "states in thne middle".

Crimso said...

"Reynolds knows this as Tennessee splits itself between east and west Tennessee (the dividing line is roughly Nashville). A person in Memphis would probably say that 'their' Tennessee was closer to Mississippi than Virginia and it would make perfect sense."

While I agree with your take on KY, AR, and IL, I am compelled to point out that those of us in Middle Tennessee don't see it that way (and actually, neither does the rest of the state). That's why there are three stars on our flag.

former law student said...

OBAMA: We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK

I don't get the objection; it's only common sense: No country is going to sign up to sacrifice their lifestyle while we in America are still living high on the hog. Now that they finally can, the newly rich Third World countries are going to want to drive Mercedes and eat steaks, instead of riding bikes and eating rice and fish guts.

Crimso said...

And by saying we don't see it that way, I'm referring to the division of the state of TN, not your take on KY, AR, and IL.

rdkraus said...

John

Unlike me, and you apparently, most people don't think there's anything all that unusual about the gov't telling them what they can eat, what kind of car they can drive, and what temperature to set their thermostat at.

That, more than anything else, is why this country is going down the tubes.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Freder said Besides, I am much more concerned about McCain's inability to distinguish Shia from Sunni than the literal interpretation of Obama's comments on the geography of Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Really? We'll you should be more worried that Obama thinks Afghans speak Arabic or that we need to send agricultural experts to Bagdhad.

Face it, Obama is as much a dunce as the rest of them.

Freder Frederson said...

Unlike me, and you apparently, most people don't think there's anything all that unusual about the gov't telling them what they can eat, what kind of car they can drive, and what temperature to set their thermostat at.

The government has been doing this directly and indirectly for a very long time (e.g., why do you think most food is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar now). Deal with it.

John said...

"Now that they finally can, the newly rich Third World countries are going to want to drive Mercedes and eat steaks, instead of riding bikes and eating rice and fish guts."

As they should. We should be celbrating that as an unqualified good. Instead, nitwits like Obama view it as an excuse to control the American public and exercise his will to power.

It is funny if not surprising that after 8 years of calling Bush a fascist, liberals have embraced a real life fascist in Obama.

Freder Frederson said...

That, more than anything else, is why this country is going down the tubes.

And since this country probably does this less than most other countries, the reason we are going down the tubes must lie elsewhere.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Freder I don't know where to start; every word of your post was crap.

A simple Google search will tell you that McCain and his wife adopted an orphan; not a word about it being illegitimitely his; except on the Dem smear sites.

As far as the urban/rural bit- teh US Census (and I suppose this is where you got your numbers) list as 'Urban' any area with more than 500 inhabitants per square mile. I'm there are a lot of people living in areas like that who would not consider themselves urban.

I also guarantee that had Obama failed the Shia/Shite test you would be loudly proclaiming how the difference doesn't matter anyway,

Just for the record, which face do shave in the morning?

Jim Hu said...

This particular gaffe has extra nuances!

Summary:
As a Presidential candidate, shouldn't Obama be aware of SCOTUS cases involving his state (esp. if they happened while he was running the Harvard Law Review)?

The email complaint is amusing too.

Susan said...

"What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas."

Really? She's better known because she comes from Arkansas? Not because she lived in the White House for 8 years?

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't know what this obsession is with requiring that Obama relate to everyone. He only has to relate to a majority of the electorate in states representing a majority of the electoral votes, which as Bush learned in the last election, doesn't even require garnering a majority of the popular vote.

Well said Freder. Except it is this very reason why Bush is hated so much by Democrats (he ran right rather than running center). If Obama thinks he can win with only a partisan electorate, than an Obama Administration will be the third Bush term.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

As far as state division go, Kentucky is not monolithic either.

The Northern quarter is very industrial, the South eastern Quarter is Appalachia, the Southwest very Southern and the Central section is very urbane and cosmpolitan. Hell, Lexington, once the center for tobacco, has even banned smoking in most public venues.

Just proof I guess that each state is not as single minded as we are lead to believe.

Sloanasaurus said...

Besides, I am much more concerned about McCain's inability to distinguish Shia from Sunni than the literal interpretation of Obama's comments on the geography of Illinois, Kentucky and Arkansas.

Except Freder, you know very well that McCain's sunni/shia gaff was just a slip of the tounge, while Obama's Arabic speakers and kentucky comments were much more than slips, they were idea based gaffs.

Michael_H said...

Chip Ahoy -

I'm with you on the vanilla in the coffee thing. I also add cocoa powder, chipotle powder, cinnamon and cream. This recipe was given me by some of the Mexican guys I see for breakfast at a local diner once in a while.

The Mexican coffee tastes great, to the point that I now think regular black coffee is incomplete without vanilla, chipotle, cinnamon, cocoa and cream.

Freder Frederson said...

A simple Google search will tell you that McCain and his wife adopted an orphan; not a word about it being illegitimitely his; except on the Dem smear sites.

Actually, that was a Republican smear, almost universally accepted as being engineered by Karl Rove (hence my reference to him) prior to the 2000 South Carolina primary. And the push poll through which the rumor was spread almost certainly led to McCain losing that primary.

Sloanasaurus said...

As a Presidential candidate, shouldn't Obama be aware of SCOTUS cases involving his state (esp. if they happened while he was running the Harvard Law Review)?

How come Obama hasn't released his LSAT scores and college grades? It would be interesting to see how he did. Also Obama needs to relese an x-ray of his lungs. As a 25 year smoker we have the right to know he isn't dying of cancer.

John said...

You can divide Presidents on a continuum of arrogance from Truman modesty "I hope I am worthy to be the people's president" to Carter arrogance "I can only hope the people of this country are worthy of me being their President". Obama would be off the scale and perhaps get the arrogant end of the scale named after himself rather than Carter.

One need only to read the Michele Obama speech about how an Obama presidency would challenge the people to rise above themselves and improve to realize this and with what distain and condescension the Obamas view the American people.

What is interesting about arrogance is that it rarely accompanies accomplishment. It can but it doesn't have to. In fact accomplishment can often give a person a sense of humility if for no other reason that the person of great accomplishment understands first hand the luck and hard work it takes to succeed.

The Obamas have none of that. They are both affirmative action babies. After school, he was a community organizer and all around scmoozer in the far left circles of Chicago. Her of course with her "Black Experience of Blackness in the Black Community at Princeton and how it is viewed by the Blackness in the Black Community At Large" senior thesis. In short, they both know just enough to be dangerous but think they have it all figured out.

Maguro said...

Freder's first comment is spot-on. Obama, like our governor who is rarely if ever seen in Springfield, is from what we in southern Illinois call the State of Chicago. Very different from the part of Illinois that borders Kentucky. Nonetheless, he's supposed to pay lip service to the idea that he represents the whole state so he'd better sharpen up.

Freeman Hunt said...

As far as state division go, Kentucky is not monolithic either.

Good point. Arkansas is not monolithic either.

vbspurs said...

Bob wrote:

Basically Obama is going to sink like a stone with what Walter Russell Meade referred to as Jacksonians.

Geek alert. History Channel International is broadcasting a 2-hour special on Andrew Jackson tonight, 8 PM.

Here's an interesting excerpt from Bob's link:

Looking for a Jacksonian President? Ronald Reagan was very much a Jacksonian, as is our current President, George W. Bush.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Anyone found a better Obama USA map?

Wurly said...
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former law student said...

jim, I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Obama is apparently unfamiliar with the "principles of riparian boundaries, including accretion, erosion and avulsion" that were issues in the historic case of Illinois v. Kentucky, which allowed Illinois fishermen to fish without having Kentucky licenses.

I'm also kind of surprised to learn that, say, the freepers, are all under 65, with high school diplomas.

Along with their good old boys, Southern belles, and bass fishermen, Arkansas contains a lot of Midwest expatriates, including Chicago retirees.

But how did Affirmative Action help Obama graduate magna cum laude from the blind-graded Harvard Law School? Wouldn't the 90% of his class who graduated with lower GPAs have been far more likely to have been unworthy of admission?

Further, in terms of sheer numbers, the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action have been white women. http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/journals/nwsa/nws10-3.html
Note that Hillary did not graduate with honors. Nor was she an editor on Yale's top law journal; she had to settle for a secondary journal at Yale. Thus Hill is far more likely to have been an undeserving admit.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

The statement reflects either sloppy thinking by Obama or is specifically designed to divert attention from Hillary's time in the White House.

Isn't it obvious that this is yet another mistake from a rookie politician who, if he even thinks of people who are not like him, are exceedingly vague to him?

People who matter to Obama:

New York Times readers; Ivy Leaguers; BoBos who know the price of arugula more than they do the price of a Slushy at Dairy Queen; people who live in "important" States, not the flyovers.

His condenscending attitude is his biggest handicap, and his wife's.

He reminds me of Hillary Clinton in 1992, with her Not Ready For Prime Time $25 hair frosting and her scrunchies, talking about how she could've stayed home and "baked cookies", but instead, she decided to do something with her life.

He reminds me of Teresa Heinz Kerry saying Laura Bush never had a "real job", later apologising when someone told her, hey she was a teacher and a librarian, ain't that real enough for you?

Hillary was able to transform herself enough so that those very women she dissed 16 years ago, are voting for her in droves.

I don't think Obama has that luxury.

Balfegor said...

How come Obama hasn't released his LSAT scores and college grades? It would be interesting to see how he did.

I suspect you'll be disappointed. Unlike Kerry & Gore, C-student mediocrities posing as valedictorians, I think Obama really is quite intelligent. He's just inexperienced, and lacks some basic knowledge of the things he wants to pontificate about.

Freeman Hunt said...

Along with their good old boys, Southern belles, and bass fishermen, Arkansas contains a lot of Midwest expatriates, including Chicago retirees.

Good old boys and fishermen, yes. Southern belles, no. And the expatriates are from *everywhere*, lots and lots from both coasts. In fact, I live in the explosively growing northwest corner, and most of the people I know did not grow up here.

XWL said...

At this point, not only will Sen. Obama fail to become President, but if the GOP in Illinois get their act together, he may have a tone of trouble becoming a two term Senator.

He ran virtually unopposed in 2004 due to some CA divorce court shennanigans (if those Ryan court docs stayed sealed, there might never have been a Sen. Obama), and in 2010 he'll have the scent of loser wafting off him, along with a vaporous record of many speeches but no legislative action whatsoever.

As others have mentioned, IL isn't just Chicagoland, there's also a big chunk of 'Upper Kentucky' in Southern Illinois, and right now, his strength in Chicagoland may not be enough to balance out his weakness in Southern Illinois, so long as he's threatened by a credible candidate (which given the state of the GOP, they may have trouble coming up with a credible alternative to a 2nd Obama term).

He'll probably pull an Edwards and not run for re-election, thus avoiding the embarrassment of claiming to be a national figure while being unelectable in his own home state.

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...

Wasn't it one of those states in the middle that helped jump-start Obama's campaign in certain key, and even unexpected, ways back on Jan. 3 Give me a few minutes: the name'll come to me ...

vbspurs said...

Good old boys and fishermen, yes.

How about the Jews, Freeman? Where are they located?

I'm prodded to ask after having read Thomas Friedman's latest piece: Obama and the Jews. It's not one of his best, but he did get in this conclusion.

"Personally, as an American Jew, I don’t vote for president on the basis of who will be the strongest supporter of Israel. I vote for who will make America strongest."

Doesn't sound like a flyover Stater, a BoBo, or any other niche type voter. That just sounds like an American to me.

This is what Obama lacks, a broad appeal based not on issues, but on an easy understanding of what is most important to Americans (a strong America).

Friedman also got in a little nice dig at Maureen Dowd.

Cheers,
Victoria

Titusloveprofusion said...

Doesn't Obama live in one of those states in the middle?

I could fill in all the states and capitals on a US Map.

I could do it on a world map too.

I am a geography machine.

One of my favorite state capitals is Montpelier Vermont. It is so cute and small and new englandy I just love it.

vbspurs said...

Wasn't it one of those states in the middle that helped jump-start Obama's campaign in certain key, and even unexpected, ways back on Jan. 3 Give me a few minutes: the name'll come to me ...

Ooh! Ooh! Teach, pick me pick me!

...Reader, that was when the nation knew nothing about him, he was the young knight in shining armour come to save us from the Hilldabest, and the caucus activists threw their weight around in the room.

Since Rezko, bitters, guns, religion, and Wright, it's been a whole 'nuther ball game.

Bill said...

As far as state division go, Kentucky is not monolithic either.

"Good point. Arkansas is not monolithic either."

Heck, even Rhode Island isn't monolithic.

reader_iam said...

Obama's a Chicogoland pol, sure, but it's not like he'd be entirely unknown in other parts of Illinois. Or that he hasn't appeared in a number of those areas, including border-state ones.

Also, fun fact: Does everyone recall that after Obama announced his candidacy in Springfield in February 2007, he then went to Louisville, Kentucky, for one of his first two official fundraisers?

Titusloveprofusion said...

Frankfort Kentucky is another small capital city sandwiched between Louisville and Lexington.

Thank you.

Revenant said...

While the geographic state of Illinois indeed borders Kentucky, there are two distinct demographic groups in Illinois.

I give you 7 points out of 10 for that attempt at rationalizing. Bonus points for arguing that Obama doesn't even represent half of his own state.

Titusloveprofusion said...

Very few state capitals are the largest cities in their state.

An exception to this is Boston, MA

Thank you.

Titusloveprofusion said...

Madison has one of the most beautiful capitol buildings.

Albany is definitely one of the worst.

reader_iam said...

Well, Victoria, the NATION might not have known him, but he's referring to some of those states in the MIDDLE. I'm pointing to the irony that some of those states in the MIDDLE knew him, at least by comparison a little more earlier than the rest of the nation. And it is ironic.

Perhaps the problem is not that some of the middle states don't know, or didn't know him, but instead that now they know him rather better.

Titusloveprofusion said...

When I was in high school in Wisconsin there was a cruisy bathroom in the state capitol building in Madison.

There was also a cruisy mens bathroom in the basement of the Elvhem (sp), by the library.

There was also one in the Humanities Building and also one in that Helen C White (is that the name) library.

I wonder if they are still there.

Titusloveprofusion said...

Oh, also there were a couple in the Memorial Union in the basement by the pool table and upstairs by the travel agency.

reader_iam said...

Heck, even Rhode Island isn't monolithic.

Nor is Delaware, second smallest. Oh, it's not so marked these days, what with all the development and etc., but even as late as the early '90s, you still regularly heard "Northern Delaware and Slower Delaware." And if you're a serious cyclist, you can bike from Wilmington to Rehoboth in a day, for pete's sake. (I would never be that insane, but my father did it once, decades ago.)

Revenant said...

He only has to relate to a majority of the electorate in states representing a majority of the electoral votes, which as Bush learned in the last election, doesn't even require garnering a majority of the popular vote.

You need to update your talking points a little bit. Bush won a majority of the popular vote in the last election -- the first candidate to do so since 1988.

You're thinking of the 2000 race.

reader_iam said...

Another fun fact: Did you know that Springfield, IL is about 103 miles and 1 hour, 45 minutes from St. Louis, MO, whereas Springfield, IL is about 201 miles and 3-1/2 from Chicago? Springfield is the state capital of Illinois. Obama spent at least some time there. I suspect he's not entirely "unknown" in those parts.

vbspurs said...

Perhaps the problem is not that some of the middle states don't know, or didn't know him, but instead that now they know him rather better.

There you go.

It reminds me of McCain's SNL schtick about "a lot of cons you don't even know about yet".

The remark about state monolithism is also important. Obama's thinking reflects that for him, they are indeed monolithic.

Cheers,
Victoria

the wolf said...

I used to say that Obama was the kind of guy who I would like to have a beer with, but I could never vote for him. Now I don't think I could stand to be in the same room with the man.

Phelps said...

Someone should tell Obama that the TVA done wired everyone up wit' the 'lectrics. They got television now, they don't have to wait for the coach from Arkansas to get news in Kentucky anymore.

Sloanasaurus said...

used to say that Obama was the kind of guy who I would like to have a beer with, but I could never vote for him. Now I don't think I could stand to be in the same room with the man.

But, if you wanted to go to a communist type rally holding a che-era photo of your master while screaming at the top of your lungs for populist totalitarianism, wouldn't Obama at least fit your minimum requirement?

vbspurs said...

One more, RIA, if I may:

I suspect he's not entirely "unknown" in those parts.

Blog enthusiasts learn to parse comments very finely, the better to comment on topics.

So IMO, despite the strangeness of "middle states"/Kentucky v. Arkansas v. Illinois, he meant simply this:

"Kentucky is like W. Virginia. It's full of people who will never vote for me, but will vote for Hillary, because Arkansas is closer in spirit to both these States."

But he can't actually say that out loud.

Cheers,
Victoria

bearbee said...

Read the scene where the followers of Antonio Conselheiro resorted to analyzing his stool, after he became too ill to speak. That's what you remind me of.


I've been laughing for five minutes envisioning type and process.....

Is simiilar to reading entrails?

reader_iam said...

[Tongue firmly in cheek:]

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe that "to know me is to love me" and those who believe "familiarity breeds contempt." Politicians (with Obama as exhibit A) appear to fall into the former; whereas voters tend (and progressively, in campaign seasons) to fall into the latter.

A rather inconvenient disconnect, dontcha think?

Melinda said...

Where exactly are these tubes the country is going down? Are there pipes in Portland Maine, Miami Beach, Los Angeles and Seattle?

Or just one big pipe somewhere in, you know, one of those middle places?

Methadras said...

His douchebag index is growing evermore.

Freder Frederson said...

You're thinking of the 2000 race.

Oh yeah.

Jesse said...

Meh. I grew up in Michigan and went to school in Illinois. His comments don't bother me.

Furthermore, he represents Illinois and his mother and grandparents were from Kansas. I don't think it's a sign of some deep-seated contempt for the Midwestern US.

Melinda said...

Friedman also got in a little nice dig at Maureen Dowd.

Yes, but couldn't that statement be made on any day?

reader_iam said...

Middle America, the Great Culvert between the East and West coasts of the USA.

vbspurs said...

Yes, but couldn't that statement be made on any day?

Ah, but rarely this baldly, Melinda.

And speaking of baldly and who McCain reminds one of, I said on my blog...

Nikita Khrushchev

reader_iam said...

You know, Victoria, I'm sure that is what he meant; and I won't dispute Jesse's conclusion, either. But he is persistently tripping himself up in the same area, and in too similar of ways, and at some point you begin to wonder what's up with that, especially given what's supposed to be one of great political strengths.

vbspurs said...

His douchebag index is growing evermore.

The only index not in recession.

former law student said...

Southern belles, no.

You've obviously never met my friend The Rice Princess and her cohort. Whatever their occupation, they specialize in charm, appearance, hospitality, and gracious living.

vbspurs said...

Reader, before I go off to lunch, I'll quote Sloanasaurus about that, who I think has said it best:

Obama's gaff revealed that he was really making a bitter type of commment to explain why he wasn't doing well there. Obama was blaming his lack of popularity on these peoples ignorance rather than his message.

These little unintended snipes are not going unnoticed. In fact, people are expecting them now.

What is mindboggling, is that Obama keeps stepping up to the plate, and hitting a bloop single each time.

Cheers,
Victoria

ricpic said...

Friedman's risen above being a mere parochial Jew who worries about the survival of Israel during a fedayeen loving Obama - who's basicly a fedayeen himself - administration.

No, Friedman's made the great move up from being concerned for ones own to being a disinterested suicidalist.

Buford Gooch said...

Anyone ever put together the notion Begala stated (in regard to not being able to win with eggheads and African Americans)to come up with the conclusion that this is the perfect combination to vote for an African American egghead?

World Politics said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

Also, I can only make so much of the fact that Barack's Kansan background. Viewing the family history, and having read Obama's "Dreams of My Father," it strikes me that the family was more interested in getting away from rather than embracing those roots; in fact, one gets the sense that they alienated at least his mother. Which is absolutely fine with me. I have no inherent problem with that. But to then turn around and claim it as a shield against those who question one's attitudes toward a particular area (etc. or whatever) doesn't really fly all that well, or at least it's reasonable to think/predict that it won't with at least some significant sector of people out there.

World Politics said...

Dear Ann,

I enjoyed your blog not to mention your appearance in WPR.

I am not sure why Obama attempted to explain away something just for the sake of explaining away. I mean sometimes it is prudent to admit the predicament and his efforts to tackle it.

Amare
http://talkpoliticsinamerica.blogspot.com/

vbspurs said...

Ricpic wrote:

Obama - who's basicly a fedayeen himself

Whaa?

Liz said...

The more I learn about Sen. Obama the more I realize he really is a post-modern candidate. That is, in the sense that he has no real connection with the United States and doesn't see the necessity for one. It's a place that by sheer chance is on his birth certificate. So, no need to be truly cognizant of how many states there or where they are located. No need to understand how many of his fellow citizens live their lives. And a sense that he's more worried about other countries than he is about the United States. Such an odd package in a candidate running for our highest office. He is that "Citizen of the World" that I've heard far too much about. I don't want to elect a president of the world, but a president of the United States. Sen. Obama is running for the wrong office.

Billy Beck said...

"There could be a fun presidential quiz. Instead of asking candidates to yammer for an hour about policy questions, it would be fun to give them a map of America and have them fill in states, and then put in the capitals, as well as major cities, rivers, mountain chains, and other geographical features of which they are aware."

It was a favorite parlor trick of FDR's: he would point to a map of the United States, and challenge a visitor to draw a line from any point on the map to any other point. When it was done, he could name every county that the line passed through -- no matter how long -- as well as local officials and all sorts of trivia about it.

I think FDR should burn in hell, but when it came to electoral politics, he was no ignoramus. He always had it all wired.

Darwin said...

i am from california. i lived in sf/berkeley before moving to nyc. i reserve the right to say 'those states in the middle' over someone who comes from a state i flyover in my shuttle between the coasts.

(and i don't consider lake michigan as a north coast)

reader_iam said...

who's basicly a fedayeen himself

Oh, please.

Henry said...

Victoria paraphrase Obama: "Kentucky is like W. Virginia. It's full of people who will never vote for me, but will vote for Hillary, because Arkansas is closer in spirit to both these States."

But he can't actually say that out loud.


The funny thing, Hillary's supporters have no problem loudly proclaiming the inverse:

"Kentucky is like W. Virginia. It's full of people who will never vote for Obama, but will vote for Hillary, because ____________ [fill in the blank]."

vbspurs said...

"Kentucky is like W. Virginia. It's full of people who will never vote for Obama, but will vote for Hillary, because ____________ [fill in the blank]."

___Obama thinks they're white hicks who are bitter and cling to their guns and religion."?

Until he said that, he didn't have many problems with whitey, Henry, if that's what you were implying.

Cheers,
Victoria

Henry said...

Here's the new campaign song: David Byrne's The Big Country (song starts at 2:12)

I see the shapes,
I remember from maps.
I see the shoreline.
I see the whitecaps.
A baseball diamond, nice weather down there.
I see the school and the houses where the kids are.
Places to park by the fac'tries and buildings.
Restaunts and bar for later in the evening.
Then we come to the farmlands, and the undeveloped areas.
And I have learned how these things work together.
I see the parkway that passes through them all.
And I have learned how to look at these things and I say,

(CHORUS)

I wouldn't live there if you paid me.
I couldn't live like that, no siree!
I couldn't do the things the way those people do.
I couldn't live there if you paid me to.

I guess it's healthy, I guess the air is clean.
I guess those people have fun with their neighbors and friends.
Look at that kitchen and all of that food.
Look at them eat it' guess it tastes real good.

They grow it in the farmlands
And they take it to the stores
They put it in the car trunk
And they bring it back home
And I say ...

(CHORUS)

I say, I wouldn't live there if you paid me.
I couldn't live like that, no siree!
I couldn't do the things the way those people do.
I wouldn't live there if you paid me to.

I'm tired of looking out the windows of the airplane
I'm tired of travelling, I want to be somewhere.
It's not even worth talking
About those people down there.

Goo Goo Ga Ga Ga
Goo Goo Ga Ga Ga

ricpic said...

Fedayeen: an Arab guerrilla

Fits Barak Hussein Obama to a tee.

barry said...

Freder wrote: "I don't know what this obsession is with requiring that Obama relate to everyone. ... The rural vote ... is about 20% of the total population."

We obsessed types are not talking so much about rural voters as about working class non-black voters, who live all over. A man who does not relate to, understand, or respect such people has no business running for president on the Democratic ticket, in my old-fashioned view. And, he is not likely to govern in their favor.

vbspurs said...

Fedayeen: an Arab guerrilla

Fits Barak Hussein Obama to a tee.


Ricpic, have you ever been accused of being a bigot on another blog? Just wondering.

Cheers,
Victoria

cardeblu said...

""Kentucky is like W. Virginia. It's full of people who will never vote for me, but will vote for Hillary, because Arkansas is closer in spirit to both these States."

That is exactly what I thought, too--more a matter of demography than geography, which is bit more damning at least imo.

wgh said...

I live in one of them thar middle states. Kentucky, in fact. And I have to admit, Arkansas "feels" closer than Chicago. But then I was never very good in geography... or cipherin'

ricpic said...

There's a difference between being a bigot and taking the blinders off. Try it, Victoria, and you'll see the world as it actually is, not as the concocted fantasy you've created to make Victoria fell good about herself.

ricpic said...

Obama's a stranger in a strange land. A Melvillian confidence man unimaginable as president if we weren't so facockteh far gone.

Freder Frederson said...

What is mindboggling, is that Obama keeps stepping up to the plate, and hitting a bloop single each time.

You really shouldn't use sports analogies you don't understand. A bloop single is a perfectly acceptable hit. It gets you on base safely and is a strategic play. It is exactly the opposite of what Obama did in this case.

No need to understand how many of his fellow citizens live their lives.

What a load of crap. From FDR on, there were only two presidents that came from truly working class backgrounds--Truman and Clinton. You had a few that were certainly middle class but spent most of their lives in the rarefied air of politics or Hollywood (Nixon, Reagan). Most of the rest were just plain old rich.

And give me a freaking break, of the three candidates we have left, Obama has the most modest background, as much as Hillary may pretend otherwise. McCain is the son of a freaking Admiral for God's sake!

ricpic said...

Obama's nothin' but a hound dog
Crochin' all the time,
He ain't nothin' but a hound dog
Crochin' all the time,
Nothin' but a facocktah meshuggah
And he ain't no mishpucah of mine.

ricpic said...

Clinton came from an underclass background.

Freder Frederson said...

Until he said that, he didn't have many problems with whitey, Henry, if that's what you were implying.

Sorry Victoria, but he did, especially in the states of the Confederacy. You can sugarcoat it all you won't but there are still a lot of racist hardworking white folks who just aren't going to vote for a black man. I just don't buy that they are offended by Obama's elitism but dumb enough to fall for Hillary's fake "woman of the people act".

integrity said...

This grotesque overreaction from the hicks is rioutously funny. Over a non-offensive statement?

Where were y'all during the last eight years while a corrupt, scumbag fratboy destroyed the reputation of this country?

I wish Ann would just admit to being a racist hick and stop with the fraud of pretending to be anything other than a racist hick.

I have followed this blog and watched Ann and her groupies avoid every single crime perpetrated by the Bush administration, virtually every day.

Morons.

Victoria,

If all you have to do with your time is overreact to inoffensive comments then you have way too much time on your hands.

If you need a job I can check out your resume.

We have to get you busy.

Too much time on your hands.

P.S. I run thorough background checks on everyone before I hire them. Don't forward your resume unless you have a very clean background (no mental health problems).

vbspurs said...

You really shouldn't use sports analogies you don't understand.

I understood it enough to win my boyfriend's Yahoo Plus MLB league, Freder. 15 guys, 1 girl.

A bloop single is a perfectly acceptable hit.

Bloop single is predicated on surprise of placement, because his sallies are not line-drives or a rope down the middle.

Strangely though, he's not whiffing either.

He's actually a previously promising Double AA guy, in his fourth year in the bigs, a safe career .261 hitter, has good speed, but may lack an inherent desire to dive for balls when they're hit hard at him.

When that happens, he tends to get angry and blame his coach and the fans for their lack of support.

That analogy proficient enough for you, Freder?

Cheers,
Victoria

John Stodder said...

You had a few that were certainly middle class but spent most of their lives in the rarefied air of politics or Hollywood (Nixon, Reagan)

You've got Nixon and Reagan's biographies both wrong. And Eisenhower didn't come from great wealth, nor did Johnson.

So let's see, your theory applies to all presidents since Roosevelt except Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. What a great theory. It's true 33 percent of the time!

I think what you meant to say is that none of the successful candidates for president came to the job straight out of ordinary life. No heating and air conditioning repairman jumping from that to the White House. They had to win a couple of other offices or achieve some other notable success first. They are all exceptional in some way. Well, duh.

Here's the core truth that if Freder doesn't want to deal with, Obama must. Live by biography, die by biography.

Obama presents himself to the public as its next president on the basis of his special qualities as a person, rather than his experience or qualifications. Okay, fine. That makes comments like this fair game for criticism, because the only real issue he has told us to pay attention to is who he is. If "who he is" includes a prejudice against certain types of people, those people have every right to find it a matter of concern.

AJ Lynch said...

Integrity:

It is a relief to know you have been watching Ann's blog.

Tell me, do your standard background checks include real crimes or just those that were witnessed by your nutroots brain?

Bob said...

Freder - your ignorance of the military is apparent. Try looking up what a General or Admiral currently makes. While its a decent wage its certainly not rich. Pay now for military is much better than it was back during McCain's father's day. And of course there is that fact that there's 20 plus years spent working yourself up the rank/pay scales. Once you obtain Admiral you get lots of perks but the pay is modest.

John Stodder said...

He's actually a previously promising Double AA guy, in his fourth year in the bigs, a safe career .261 hitter, has good speed, but may lack an inherent desire to dive for balls when they're hit hard at him.

When that happens, he tends to get angry and blame his coach and the fans for their lack of support.


Victoria, your boyfriend is a lucky man.

I'd say Obama's more like a guy who rose quickly through the minor leagues based on his hitting prowess, who arrives in the bigs a little ahead of schedule and continues to tear up the league at first. Not just Rookie of the Year results, but possible MVP. His team starts printing up World Series tickets, because he's carrying them to the top.

But after a couple months, the opposing major league pitchers and managers finally spot all the holes that weren't apparent in the minors or in his first few weeks in the majors, and suddenly, his numbers start to fade, raising the question of whether he's just a one-dimensional player. He also seems vulnerable to a major league curveball, and gets a reputation for complaining to the umps about getting rung up on outside pitches. His batting average starts to dip dramatically in the second half of the season, although because of his hot start, his season average still tops the league.

The baseball beat writers are heavily invested in his success, so their stories tend to minimize his whiffs and muffed plays. But when the rare writer questions whether he's really as talented as he first appeared, he becomes withdrawn and stops talking to the press entirely. Despite that, he still gets laudatory coverage even on 0-4 days, although amongst themselves, the beat reporters are starting to have questions of their own.

The question is, can he adjust to how he's being pitched to in time to save his season, and his team's?

M. Simon said...

"Downstate Illinois" is also West of Chicago.

And I ought to know. I live in Rockford.

Bob said...

Integrity: I will sleep tonight comforted in the knowledge that you stand watch on this blog. If and when the Obamamessiah is elected you can provide a list of racist hicks needing some "reeducating". We all sleep sound tonight knowing you are Ann's sheepdog.

M. Simon said...

I don't know what this obsession is with requiring that Obama relate to everyone. He only has to relate to a majority of the electorate in states representing a majority of the electoral votes, which as Bush learned in the last election, doesn't even require garnering a majority of the popular vote.

Wrong Election

Revenant said...

From FDR on, there were only two presidents that came from truly working class backgrounds--Truman and Clinton.

Four, not two. Four out of nine.

Truman (farmer/livestock dealer)
Nixon (laborer/shopkeeper)
Reagan (shoe salesman)
Clinton (nurse/car dealer)

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

John, your scouting report was all that and a bag of Freetos.

The question is, can he adjust to how he's being pitched to in time to save his season, and his team's?

Maybe he just needs to sleep with an ugly fat girl, to get out of his slump?

Hey. Worked for Mark Grace.

Cheers,
Victoria

M. Simon said...

It is certainly a much less monolithic bloc than the black vote, which Obama has wrapped up, and depending on turnout, and white disgust with rumors of McCain's illegitimate black baby (assuming the Obama campaign takes on Karl Rove as a strategist), could tip a traditional Republican state or two in the deep south in Obama's favor.

McCain does have a black baby its true. Adopted from across the waters.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

I just don't buy that they are offended by Obama's elitism but dumb enough to fall for Hillary's fake "woman of the people act".

I don't understand why you can't understand that Democrats voting for Hillary in the primary doesn't mean that they are "buying" her act and that many are just voting AGAINST Obama.

When you are given two completly unappetizing choices for a dinner you're being forced to attend, you can either chose the least disgusting of the two or you can chose to not eat at all.

At least with Hillary, people know what the unappetizing crap that they are getting is.

Bob said...

Victoria, it would appear the latest slump stopper is a golden thong.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Integrity:

Your post does not convince me that Victoria has too much time on her hands, but it definitely convinces me that you personally lack any semblance of integrity.

reader_iam said...

M. Simon, now don't be confusing people about geography--though I know it can be fun, as when I tell people I live north of the Mississippi River.

M. Simon said...

But how did Affirmative Action help Obama graduate magna cum laude from the blind-graded Harvard Law School?

Grade Inflation

It is an epidemic at Harvard. You can look it up.

vbspurs said...

Victoria, it would appear the latest slump stopper is a golden thong.

Gak, Bob! How could I forget. I totally missed a grapefruit thrown at me.

Randy: Thanks. :) In fairness, I do have a lot of time on my hands. I take care of my dad, who is poorly, whilst my freelance writing and investments keeps us going. Not that I'm complaining. But as they say, baseball is the only game where sacrifices are appreciated. :)

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

I think Freder is right about the whole "gaffe": Chicago seems a lot farther from Kentucky than any part of Arkansas, and that's immediately what I assumed Obama meant when I read the statement.

He subsequently undermines that point by going completely off the rails and showing that he ignores all of Obama's gaffes, not just the trumped up ones, and is willing to embrace the trumped up McCain gaffes.

blake said...

And, yeah, the dichotomy between parts of states is pretty common. Upstate New York versus NYC and its suburbs, Philadelphia versus the rest of Pennsylvania (even Pittsburgh, apparently?).

Here in CA, the cow counties have tried to split off more than once, but they don't have the political juice.

I still say we break the country down into 400 states.

Yeah, it'll make "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?" that much harder, but representationally speaking, it makes a lot more sense.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Oregon is not in the middle, but... 75,000 people showed up yesterday to hear Obama speak in Portland, yet a Suffolk University poll released today shows him with only a 4% lead. Another poll, released just before that pegged a 5 point lead. Up to now, he'd been leading Clinton by double-digits for weeks, and heavily outspent Clinton in advertising. It looks like his numbers went down as the inevitability of his nomination became apparent. I'm not sure this is a good sign.

It will be interesting to see what the actual numbers are when announced tomorrow. Because everyone in Oregon votes by mail at their convenience over the course of 30 days prior to the due date, odds are good that the vast majority cast their ballots by Friday.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

But how did Affirmative Action help Obama graduate magna cum laude from the blind-graded Harvard Law School?

Grade Inflation


Oh for the luvva Pete -- Are you just being cute?

Grade inflation is the rising tide that lifts all boats. It does not make some airborne. In other words, the top ten percent remain the top ten percent, no matter how inflated the grades are. From

http://www.law.harvard.edu/ocs/employers/HLS_Grading_System.htm

Harvard Law School recognizes the achievement of attaining and maintaining high grades through graduation honors. Students who graduate with a general average of 7.20 and above are honored with the distinction of graduating summa cum laude. The top 10% of the class, excluding summa, are honored with the distinction of graduating magna cum laude. Finally, the next 30% of the class, after magna are honored with the distinction of graduating cum laude.

William said...

Isn't basketball his game: quick moves, can steal the ball but not the big man you want under the basket.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

(Duplicate deleted above)

I'm sure you organize your time as appropriate, Vics. (Truth be known, my terse comment was due to baggage from the CFL thread where someone posing as a know-it-all, the manners of a spoiled brat, and the social skills of 5-year-old revealed that he was in fact 65 years old.)

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

FLS is right about Obama's performance at law school, I think. As his rapid rise up the political ladder has shown, he's a very smart individual. Whether or not he is arrogant, elitist, provincial, and/or qualified is another matter. John Stodder's comments on those various subjects have been informative.

reader_iam said...

FLS: I've tried explaining that myself in real life (not necessarily with regard to Obama), but I get a blank look. So good luck. There's definitely something to the concept of grade inflation, but it doesn't play out in that particular fashion.

Hoosier Daddy said...

McCain is the son of a freaking Admiral for God's sake!

Oh yeah, practically royalty. Does that mean the Marines have to genuflect when he walks from Airforce One?

reader_iam said...

I mean, to put it simplistically, even if things were arranged so that 100% of people got A's, there'd still be a top 10% of that 100%.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sorry Victoria, but he did, especially in the states of the Confederacy.

The Confederate States of America went the way of the do-do bird in 1865. Just an FYI there.

You can sugarcoat it all you won't but there are still a lot of racist hardworking white folks who just aren't going to vote for a black man.

Yes because we all know that the 90% of the black folks who's vote Obama has sown up are voting purely on the issues.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I understood it enough to win my boyfriend's Yahoo Plus MLB league, Freder. 15 guys, 1 girl....

That analogy proficient enough for you, Freder?


Don't be too hard on Freder Victoria. His real expertise is in physics not baseball.

Liz said...

"What a load of crap. From FDR on, there were only two presidents that came from truly working class backgrounds--Truman and Clinton. You had a few that were certainly middle class but spent most of their lives in the rarefied air of politics or Hollywood (Nixon, Reagan). Most of the rest were just plain old rich."

Mr. Frederson, I don't see how that precludes candidates from seeking to understand and respect a great proportion of the people they want to lead.

Maguro said...

Does that mean the Marines have to genuflect when he walks from Airforce One?

No, even better - he had a reserved parking space at the commissary. Overprivileged bastard.

Revenant said...

I'd love to know how Clinton qualifies as NOT having "spent most of his life in the rarefied air of politics". He got out of law school at age 25, ran for office the first time at 28, and at 30 was Attorney General of Arkansas. He's been in politics ever since.

Ralph said...

Bob, McCain's mother is an oil heiress. Not a Rockefeller, but he did go to a good boarding school, and not on Navy pay or a scholarship.
Coolidge & Hoover were both born poor, Wilson's father was a Presbyterian minister (educated, middle class). That leaves only Roosevelts, Kennedy, & the Bushes who grew up rich.

james said...

The offensive thing about the "disasterous" comment wasn't the "bitter" part, it was him talking to a bunch of people who have antipathy towards people not like them, about how the rest of us dumb rubes have antipathy towards people not like us.

For some reason, that wasn't the part that was focused on. Even by Obama's critics. I hope it's not because they share the underlaying assumption.

It's one thing to be bitter - Obama would know. His wife is. So is his Reverend. So are his neighbors, Bill & Bernadine.

It's another thing to have antipathy towards those who aren't like you.

Oh, wait...Obama's wife, minister (past and current), neighbors, and wealthy donors have that, too...nevermind, I guess. He's saying us dumb rubes are just like those closest to him after all.

I guess I'm not offended, then. Even though I live in one of those 57 States somewhere in the middle. :p

former law student said...

Yes because we all know that the 90% of the black folks who's vote Obama has sown up are voting purely on the issues.

Hey, Obama's 50% whiteness doesn't bother those black folks; why should Obama's 50% blackness trouble those white folks? Plus blacks have been voting for white Presidential candidates for years and years and years. Yet the first time a half-black man runs for office, whites close ranks with their 100% Caucasian sister. Frankly it doesn't seem fair.

Ralph said...

James, good point. My b-i-l constantly snears at the close minded Christians all around him. We all want to look down on someone, but politicians should have the grace to hide it.

Revenant said...

Ralph,

Eisenhower may not have "grown up rich", but his dad WAS a college-educated engineer. That was pretty far above "working class" at the turn of the century. Ford's family was similarly well-to-do.

Ralph said...

whites close ranks with their 100% Caucasian sister
Hillary ain't getting 90%, is she?
Remember, these are (largely) Democrats, the enlightened ones, voting on racial lines.

Maybe the early Hillary voters were voting for McCain to stick the Repub base with a nominee they loathe.

George said...

Finally, someone's pegged the Obama crowd....

They're the Eloi Elite! Twee Folk! Hobbits! Child-Voters! Cuties!

Tiny unobtrusive creatures who love peace and quite and good tilled earth!

It's an Aesthetic Movement in the Era of Gwyneth.

...Tom McGeveran in the NY Observer

Revenant said...

blacks have been voting for white Presidential candidates for years and years and years.

So what you're saying is that the only reason blacks voted for white candidates is because they didn't have an alternative.

tizona said...

Guess geography wasn't taught in Constitutional Law, huh?

I'm starting to think Obama couldn't find his ass, with both hands.

former law student said...

the only reason blacks voted for white candidates is because they didn't have an alternative.

The alternative is always not to vote. Yet black folks swallowed their pride and disappointment and voted for white folks anyway.

tizona said...

Simple question....Why is it, that race continually come up in these postings?

Save the softball answer because Obama is half Kenyan ancestry.

Revenant said...

Yet black folks swallowed their pride and disappointment and voted for white folks anyway.

The only folks who have to "swallow their pride and disappointment" before they can vote for someone of another race are racists.

Methadras said...

I'm starting to wonder when Obama's fawning, ball-holding apologist, Andrew Sullivan's sock-puppet is going to show up.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So what you're saying is that the only reason blacks voted for white candidates is because they didn't have an alternative.

Let's say you're black. It's 1984. Reagan is too right-wing for you. Do you really want to vote for Walter Mondale? No. No one really wanted to vote for Walter Mondale. He's Walter Mondale.

somefeller said...

But how did Affirmative Action help Obama graduate magna cum laude from the blind-graded Harvard Law School? Grade Inflation.

Grade inflation may be an issue at Harvard College, but it isn't an issue at the Law School, I can assure you. Make no mistake, Obama earned every academic accolade he got at HLS. That obviously doesn't in and of itself make him qualified to be President, and may not even be a relevant qualification at all for that office, but let's not claim his academic standing at Harvard Law School was the product of anything other than hard work and ability.

dick said...

FLS

Sorry to be so late but you need to check your history and geography. Kentucky is not south of the Mason Dixon line. There is a reason Tennessee and Kentucky were called Border States and that reason is that the Mason Dixon line went between them with Kentucky north of it and Tennessee south of it.

Pogo said...

Obama repeatedly makes the novice speaker's mistake regarding not knowing your audience.

His comment is perfectly understood by those who already agree with him. They find nothing offensive in it at all. He is at his most comfortable speaking to these folks. He knows which lines will endear him, what he can criticize without fear, and what words strike straight at the heart.

But his audience is more than the wine sipping, statist, Prius driving, big city, highly paid World Citizen Americans.

To other folks, words like this look like a mistake, or an insult if not said in error.

I don't rightly know if he can win without the Democratic voters who seem to "know" Hillary better. Obama and his supporters seem to think so.

Revenant said...

Let's say you're black. It's 1984. Reagan is too right-wing for you. Do you really want to vote for Walter Mondale? No. No one really wanted to vote for Walter Mondale. He's Walter Mondale.

Let's say you're NOT black -- how does that sentence change? What, *white* liberals were enthusiastic about Mondale?

Trooper York said...

It is simply not true that whites do not vote for blacks. In fact millions of white people voted overwhelmingly for black candidates this year.

For the NBA All-star game.

That should count for something.

Roost on the Moon said...

Sir Archy!

Come and tell Dick where your boys Mason & Dixon drew their line!

vbspurs said...

His real expertise is in physics not baseball.

Fortunately, Randy, I know little about physics. :)

Guys, anyone else watching the HCI special on Andrew Jackson?

Two anecdotes:

When he became the first elected Representative from Tennessee, and in his first vote, voted against the House's measure honouring George Washington.

Reason? The hero of the United States had signed the Jay Treaty, in effect, a betrayal as Jackson saw it, of everything Washington stood for.

He continued fighting with Washington, because, in the words of the voice over:

"He saw them as elitists. He was a man of the people. They were complex. He was simple"

Another:

When he was appointed local judge in his hometown, he once took up his flintlock pistol, and went hunting a guy who had previously refused to go peacefully when his arrest warrant had been served him.

The guy surrendered, saying:

"Jackson was the only one who had 'Shoot' in his eyes."

I love this guy.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Re: Grade Inflation, Obama.

Count me in the column of those who don't buy that argument for Obama.

I think you have to give credit where credit is due. He had good intellectual genes.

Sure, his supporters may say he came from a broken household with a mum on foodstamps, but his grandmother was Vice-President of a bank. His FATHER left his family to attend Harvard to study economics, himself.

(I notice few people are inferring he might be a Legacy student, though he qualifies)

More interesting is how he parodied himself in the Harvard Law Review Revue (the graduating editorial's satirical publication):

"“I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice fisherman,” a mock self-tribute begins. “My mother was a backup singer for Abba. They were good folks.” In Chicago, “I discovered I was black, and I have remained so ever since.”"

Heh. Abba.

But then there's this.

"Newspapers and magazines swarmed around the first black student to win the most coveted spot at the most vaunted club at one of America’s most prestigious institutions. In interviews, Mr. Obama was modest and careful. (In a rare slip, he told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”)"

Whoops.

Cheers,
Victoria

Seven Machos said...

There is no special black-people grade inflation.

Obama is a super-intelligent guy. There's no question about that. In fact, it's the primary reason he'll make a bad president. He is the type who is confident that a bunch of smart people like him can prescribe policy that will magically solve wholly intractable social, political, class, race, and international problems.

Richard said...

"[I]sn't there something a tad condescending in his reference to "some of those states in the middle"?

It's Obama's flippancy, his cool-talk expressions, that will be his downfall. What's wrong is that he's never failed at anything he's tried, so he still thinks it's because he's just that good. It's going to be quite a fall to watch.

Simon said...

Richard said...
"[H]e's never failed at anything he's tried, so he still thinks it's because he's just that good. It's going to be quite a fall to watch."

His people will cling to the notion that it was the incipient racism of those bitter people in the middle states that did him in.

Simon said...

Paddy O. said...
"However, this doesn't really help because Obama is a senator representing his whole state, not just a representative of Chicago. And he's basically saying that he doesn't relate to even his whole single state."

Why should that be a surprise? You can win a Senate seat comfortably in Illinois without getting a single vote from outside the Chicago metro area.

Seven Machos said...

Especially with so many of the available posthumous votes in the area.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"The alternative is always not to vote. Yet black folks swallowed their pride and disappointment and voted for white folks anyway."

The flaw in this statement is the assumption that there is a defensible or coherent reason to be disappointed by the necessity of voting for a candidate whose skin pigmentation is different to one's own, as opposed to some legitimate reason such as less than full agreement with the candidate's views, or agreement with their views but disappointment with their character.

Seven Machos said...

How sadly wrong and distorted Former Law Student's world view and understanding of simple facts appears in little dribbles throughout this thread.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hum hum hum hummy hum hum.

Hum hum hum hummy hum.

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Chup chup chuppa chuppa chup chup.

Stuck in the middle with you.

Hum hummy hum hum

Hum hummy hum.

Stuck in the middle with you.

*bows*

marbledclay said...

I don't know why a presidential candidate of any party even discusses more than one state at a time, by state names or as a region. There's hardly anything to be gained by doing so, and plenty that can go wrong.

vbspurs said...

Guys, did you watch PBS' American Experience tonight?

(Yes, another TV reference)

They had FDR's life story. I was reminded of the earlier special I mentioned about Andy Jackson; I had said I loved him, but you know, he made some very horrible decisions. The Trail of Tears definitely comes to mind.

And then, as I was watching FDR's story unfold, they mentioned how he interned the Japanese and how he okayed plans for the atomic bomb.

It's hard to measure Obama, McCain, Hillary against two of the greatest Presidents this country has known.

But I couldn't help wondering as I watched, who has today what it takes to do not what is "right", but what is beneficial for America?

Because history judges these men well, despite all their lapses as both men and Presidents.

My own responses are McCain yes, Hillary I think so, Obama, don't know.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

I'm off Jackson at the moment, because I think he did to JQ Adams what Jefferson did to his dad.

I think all three would do what they thought was best, it's just a matter of how that equation works out.

vbspurs said...

O/T: Just bought the Amazon Kindle e-Book reader.

It apparently allows you to read blogs online, and I would be over the moon if that included Althouse. Does anyone who have the Kindle, know if that's so?

I'm excited about this purchase. :)

blake said...

Doesn't Althouse actually have a Kindle?

vbspurs said...

Oh snap, so she does. She even vlogged about it!

I didn't think of asking Ann, since after seeing that Audacity of Hope hardcover book in the Brooklyn cafe, I didn't imagine she did.

I just received Obama's book from Amazon today, BTW. I should've waited one day, then it would've been my first Kindle book!

Thanks, Blake. :)

bearbee said...

And then, as I was watching FDR's story unfold, they mentioned how he interned the Japanese and how he okayed plans for the atomic bomb.

For the most the media loved him.

He did a lot of things behind the scenes and apparently without the knowledge of Congress. In an effort to support Britain in her fight for survival, he *gasp* lied to an isolation-minded American public, granted the navy permission to stalk, provoke and then attack German submarines, used subversion to provoke Adolph to declare war on the US.

On September 4, 1941, the first clash came. The Greer, a U.S. destroyer, spotted a German submarine and called in a British plane to bomb it. The sub and the destroyer exchanged fire, with little result. But Roosevelt used the incident to further his intention to get America into the war. On October 17, German subs attacked the U.S. destroyer Kearney as it escorted a British convoy. Several crewmen were injured. On October 31, Nazi subs sank the U.S. destroyer Reuben James, killing 115 men. FDR

He initially held back on the true damage at Pearl Harbor.

How would a 24/7 news cycle reported events?

It is difficult to speculate the progession and outcome of events if the UN had been in existence.

re: Kindle, I'm a book marker-upper.

Fen said...

The flaw in this statement is the assumption that there is a defensible or coherent reason to be disappointed by the necessity of voting for a candidate whose skin pigmentation is different to one's own, as opposed to some legitimate reason -

And isn't it funny that its always the self-proclaimed tolerant enlightened post-racial folk who stumble over that one.

Sloanasaurus said...

Victoria,

Tell us about the Kindle. Is it worth the $400. What is good or bad about it?

Paddy O. said...

Why should that be a surprise?

Oh, it's not a surprise. It's just not a good quality. Because it suggests that doing the least amount to get in is what is done. It suggests the talk about reaching out to other sides and bringing people together is merely talk.

A man who stays in Chicago as Senator is not going to leave Washington as President, and he will seek to impose the views of a narrow constituency upon everyone. And he will fail at it, because people like to at least feel they are important, even if they aren't really. Something Hillary has realized.

It's not a surprise at all. But we've been told that Obama is new and different, so should be surprising. He's just a standard politician, riding a wave of other people's expectations.

Henry said...

Victoria,

Fill in the blank was for Freder's benefit (see his 4:15 pm). Freder said what Obama really won't say -- because Obama sticks with small gaffes, not great, paranoid, election-killing ones.

But I think the David Byrne song is closest to the mark. Obama's geography is not North vs. South. It's Urban vs. Rural. If instead of saying "I'm not very well known in that part of the country" he had said "I'm not very well known in that country part of the country" he would have been close to the truth.

I'm not sure why this urban/rural split in the vote is surprising, or why (not being a fan of Thomas Jefferson or the Clintons) anyone would consider the rural vote more virtuous than the urban.

Obama can easily win with an urban-focused campaign. Like any candidate he just needs to get enough votes from the margins of his appeal to overcome his opponent's base.

former law student said...

dick said...

FLS

Sorry to be so late but you need to check your history and geography. Kentucky is not south of the Mason Dixon line. There is a reason Tennessee and Kentucky were called Border States and that reason is that the Mason Dixon line went between them with Kentucky north of it and Tennessee south of it.


Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Mason Dixon line, which separates Pennsylvania from Maryland, is at 39 degrees, 43 minutes, North latitude. Kentucky ranges from 36° 30′ N to 39° 09′ N, meaning all of it is south of the Mason-Dixon line. But if I can educate one person, I've done my job.

there is a defensible or coherent reason to be disappointed by the necessity of voting for a candidate whose skin pigmentation is different to one's own

I wonder if fen/simon/sloan would feel the same way if our nation had only had black Presidential candidates for its entire history. Would they have voted for the Rev. Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes, I wonder. Would they really have swallowed their ethnic pride and voted for Condi Rice instead of Ronald Reagan?

John Salmon said...

It's well past time to consider the possibility that our would-be philosopher/king isn't very smart.

Simon said...

Paddy O. said...
"It suggests the talk about reaching out to other sides and bringing people together is merely talk."

That certainly ain't news. I have no idea how so many intelligent, perceptive people bought into the idea that Obama is a unifying (or at least depolarizing) figure - I have to assume that he gave them a blank canvas and they projected their sincere desire for such a candidate onto him.

former law student said...
"I wonder if fen/simon/sloan would feel the same way if our nation had only had black Presidential candidates for its entire history."

Of course.

"Would they have voted for the Rev. Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes, I wonder."

Of course not. I wouldn't vote for Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes, unless they ran against each other, in which case, yes, of course I'd vote for Keyes as the lesser of two evils. But my lack of inclination to vote for them has nothing to do with their race. That canard is silly - no one would vote for any African-American, and no one (or at leasta vanishingly small number) would vote against any African-American.

"Would they really have swallowed their ethnic pride and voted for Condi Rice instead of Ronald Reagan?"

"Ethnic pride"?! Don't you have a confrontation with the national guard over integration to get to, Governor? A good candidate is a good candidate, and a bad candidate is a bad candidate. Their race doesn't enter into it. By your lights, I presumably have to swallow my "ethnic pride" to find myself more closely-aligned with Justices Scalia (Italian-American) and Thomas (African-American) than with the only WASP on the court, Justice Souter.

vbspurs said...

Bearbee, Re: FDR:

It's my opinion that total war as was experienced in WWII and partially in WWI, is impossible in the modern age.

Blackouts, rationing of essential foodstuffs, petrol, and clothing, continuous draft in the millions, strict media self-censorship, propaganda films, war bond rallies, "loose lips sink ships" mentality, carpet-bombing because "all's fair in love and war"...

All of that and more, everything it takes to win a war to the death against an enemy who intends to crush you and kill your culture and people is verboten today.

Nuclear war has made that an impossibility because ironically it's a possibility. Why sacrifice your lives when you can obliterate the enemy?

(Not that that would happen, necessarily, but that's the greater message of the bomb)

Re: Kindle, can you Althouse on yours though?

Fen Arrives Thurs. Will blog about it's benefits in a couple of weeks, but will let you know here my first impressions! :)

Henry Oops, yes, I realised that after I read a few of your other posts.

John Salmon Re: Obama not smart.

No, seriously, it's not that he's not smart. But he IS like Adlai Stevenson.

Being intelligent is a rare high, in part because you know it, and you know others know it too.

Sometimes this turns inward, and you become cautious about what you say because you don't want to seem unpopular, you're too canny, etc.

When it turns outwards, it's catastrophic because the disdain is palpable.

They may be inspirational on some level, but they make the worst leaders.

(Remember, the posts stop on the front page at 200, but continue after hitting reply)

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

I wonder if fen/simon/sloan would feel the same way if our nation had only had black Presidential candidates for its entire history.

We've been voting for religious candidates for our entire history, and that doesn't bother me as an atheist. Having the candidates be a different race from me would matter even less, since race isn't even remotely as important to me as religious belief is.

Would they have voted for the Rev. Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes, I wonder.

That's easy -- Alan Keyes.

Would they really have swallowed their ethnic pride and voted for Condi Rice instead of Ronald Reagan?

I don't have "ethnic pride". Ethnic pride is for losers who don't have any real accomplishments to feel good about.

Fen said...

fls: I wonder if fen/simon/sloan would feel the same way if our nation had only had black Presidential candidates for its entire history. Would they have voted for the Rev. Jesse Jackson or Alan Keyes, I wonder. Would they really have swallowed their ethnic pride and voted for Condi Rice instead of Ronald Reagan?

Ethnic pride? I'm a mutt who's family assimilated as Americans [no hyphen] a long time ago.

As for black presidential candidates, race makes no difference to me. I campaigned for Micheal Steele here in Maryland. I would do the same if he were running in this election.

I wish you could understand how bizarre Obama's racism is to me. I come from a Marine Corps background, where skin color was as relevant as hair color. Wouldn't you rather live in that world?

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