Is Barack Obama a snob?

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

The Illinois senator’s analysis of what motivates working-class voters came after chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton accused him of looking down on such voters. Clinton rebuked Obama on Friday for similar remarks he made privately last Sunday to a group of donors in San Francisco.

“People don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody is going to help them,” Obama told a crowd at a Terre Haute, Ind., high school Friday evening. “So people end up voting on issues like guns and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. They take refuge in their faith and their community, and their family, and the things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.”

The Huffington Post Web site reported Friday that Obama, speaking of some Pennsylvanians’ economic anxieties, told supporters at the San Francisco fundraiser: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years. … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

In Terre Haute, Obama said he did describe some voters as bitter when a donor asked why working-class voters in Pennsylvania were not getting behind his campaign.

“Well, that’s not my experience,” Clinton told a Drexel University crowd, describing the state’s residents as resilient, optimistic and hardworking.

“Pennsylvanians don’t need a president who looks down on them,” she said. “They need a president who stands up for them.”

Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Republican candidate John McCain, described Obama’s comments as “condescending” and “out of touch.”

In Terre Haute, Obama chided McCain for not responding promptly to the home mortgage crisis and criticized Clinton for voting for a bankruptcy bill supported by credit card companies.

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

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said Friday night, “Instead of apologizing for offending small-town America, Senator Obama chose to repeat and embrace the comments he made earlier this week.”

Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for McCain, said Friday: “Only an elitist would say that people vote their values only out of frustration. … You can’t be more out of touch than that.”


  1. Ardie

    Randi Rhodes is right about Hillary, she is a FW.

    Never forget what Bill Clinton did to America with his support of Milton Friedman’s disaster capitalism. He signed NAFTA and added to the already giant sucking sound of American jobs going to low wage countries.

    Wake up people. Hillary isn’t going to change. We need a revolution–not more of the same. It is time to change our economic model from Friedman’s neoliberalism to neo-mercantilism.

    America first, good paying jobs first and if that means tariffs, like wage tariffs, so be it.

    Read about the fraud of free-market and free-trade policy and how the U.S. really became a super power. It wasn’t with free-markets and free trade.

  2. Dr.D

    For the life of me,I can’t see why everybody thinks that Obama would be any different than the rest of them.To me he’s just an added chapter to the same old story.Folks,do me a favor and read this short article that I’m attaching, and then get back to me with your opinions. Thanks, Ed

  3. Carl Nemo

    President Obama is “spot-on” concerning the frustration of the citizenry. The reason that “Billary” and “McPain” jumped on the situation like hungry hounds on a biscuit [thanks TJF :)] is that they know so too!

    These two smug “running dogs for the NWO” both out of touch with the electorate, were jerked up by the short hairs when they heard never truer words issued from President Obama’s mouth.

    Obama is bright, articulate and “published”…! We need a bright, thoughtful man in the Whitehouse for a change, not faux “downhome” pols; ie., a Ford in every garage and chicken in every pot liars who are out to terminally destroy this once great Republic…!

    Sorry Jim Kuhnhenn, maybe Obama’s is too intellectually rich for your blood, but not mine…!

    Obama is “truly” a friend of “we the people”, regardless of his flaws imagined or in actuality. I think savvy citizens know what these other two mattoids are all about…no?!

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. Sandra Price

    Incog. Do you really want the government to clamp down on making loans to people? You do not want the new home owners to be responsible for their own debts? Apparently many of you do not think that Students and new homeowners can learn the process of loans and using a credit card to pay their bills.

    Many catalogs sell products and even open their own credit cards. The problem comes when their credit card debts are sold to other loan agencies. Immediately the interest rates go up. I’m sorry you tend to blame everyone except the person requesting a mortage loan.

    I don’t blame anyone but the fool who believes the TV ads for their loans. Obama is playing to these people and will bring in Big Daddy to cover the ignorance of the people. Is it possible that Americans are too stupid to arrange financing for their homes and businesses?

    You blame the Lobbyists when they hand money to a Congressman and he changes or edits a congressional bill.

    It would seem as if you guys want to hand everything over to the government to protect your poor choices. This is nothing but a generational problem and I fear you and the others cannot take the time to locate a loan morgtage on your own. You cannot elect congress reps who have integrity. Is everyone here lacking in logic and rational decision making choices?

    You apparently need big daddy to lead you around by the hand and pick up the pieces of your errors. I’m in the wrong generation here and came from a generation who whipped the enemies in WW2 and made our own way from then on.

  5. neondog

    Some would call people who make less than a dollar a day poverty stricken. I call them slaves.

    Ed, it might help your portfolio for these peoples to maintain status quo, but I don’t think it will help get your camel through the eye of that needle.

  6. neondog

    Black child raised by middle class white grandparents in the state of Hawaii!!! Now there is an elitist for you.

  7. Mindfull Balance

    Obama is not a snob, but Hillary and McCain might be.
    It is crazy for Hillary to ask us to believe that she is the blue collar supporter. Obama was instrumental in bringing a higher minimum wage to Illinois while he was state senator there. Bill Clinton brought us NAFTA and a busy prison industry to compete with American workers. He is currently flying around on private jets and buying up uranium mines while Hillary is calling Obama supporters, like me, “hypnotized latte drinking elitists”. Talk about insulting people! Would Hillary have us believe she sipped a beer after being shot at by snipers in Bosnia?
    McCain on the other hand married a beer heiress, owns 8 homes, and calls Obama “out of touch”.
    I sure hope Obama wins the nomination sooner than later, so we don’t have to listen to this nonsense any more.

  8. Dr.D

    neondog,Thanks for your response.Although I’m not quite sure how to answer such profundity.
    If you are referring to ‘a dollar a day’as the status quo,I would surely say that we are ‘poverty stricken’,because we are surely losing ground in a system designed to benefit the ‘money changers’.Jesus said that ‘It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to attain the Kingdom of Heaven’,I believe that he was referring to those same ‘money changers’,NOT us.
    If I missed your point,please let me know. Ed

  9. Dr.D

    My goodness neondog,An incandescent bulb just went off in my head.What a freakin’ dummy I am! GEEZ!! I’m only trying to help. Ed

  10. Paolo

    Oh, fer cryin’ out loud!

    Talk about twisting words! Obama was not demeaning poor folk. He was just saying what he said: that many have given up on the ability of Washington to do anything to help them economically.

    Speaking as a libertarian, I would have to say those people are right. Washington cannot produce a single widget; all they can do is tax some people in order to give goodies to others. That is known as a zero-sum game.

    Obama, a classic “progressive,” thinks Washington can somehow pull the levers and make the economy go. Can’t be done, folks: the best solution is for Washington to cut the federal budget by about 90 percent, cut taxes accordingly, and watch the economy grow. No, it won’t happen, because of entrenched interests is keeping things the way they are.

  11. rury

    Barack Obama will win the Pennsylvania primary, the Democratic nomination and the 2008 presidential election because he cares about embittered, left-behind people and will do things to positively impact their lives.
    Clinton and McCain are the superrich elitists who prefer the status quo to real change.

  12. Dr.D

    My Goodness! Obama could care less about you or anybody else.He is a career POLITICIAN,the same as Hillary or McCain.The only thing that they care about is personal aggrandizement at YOUR expense.Wake the EFF UP!!

  13. 33rdSt

    allow me to paraphrase:
    mixed race child raised in the 60’s and 70’s by a white mother and white grandparents, who did down and dirty community organizing in the ghettos of Chicago when he could have been gobbling up big bucks in the Big Apple. Now there’s an elitist for you.

  14. sherry

    Sandra, AGREED!
    I too, feel for anyone about to lose their home. That said, don’t people read their contracts?
    When I applied for my first mortgage, I was told I could qualify for so much more. I was single and felt its better to stick with something I am comfortable with. My mortgages have always been relatively small, using equity to move up rather than credit.
    Thankfully, when this house sells, I will be mortgage free!
    A real estate friend sold a house to a young couple who had 4 full time jobs between them in order to qualify for a McMansion. He begged them not to buy such an expensive home.
    They bought the house, and didn’t have the funds to purchase
    window treatments.
    Banks need to do a better job of regulating the way they extend credit. People need to do a better job of learning to manage credit. The government can’t fix that. We have to fix ourselves.

  15. sherry

    Obamaobts are happily in dream land. And Ed, you won’t feel the love it you don’t love Obama, because most of the posters here are solidly in the tank for Obama.
    Pssst. Hal hates Hillary.

  16. incog99

    I suggest you watch the documentary “Maxed Out”. Some of the poor folks are illiterate and do not know what they are signing, and yes, they are too stupid to be making contracts. One poor family lost their government subsidised loan to an subprime loan and they couldn’t sign their name so the lender printed it and they copied it.

    The “Subprime” issue is a ruse by the way. These large unregulated wall street banks took risky bets in derivatives and exotic instruments and lost big. Now the tax payer is bailing them out (resulting in inflation and a falling dollar). If you buy the line this is about bad mortgages you are naieve. These big deregulated banks were gambling.

    That aside, the problem has spread into good mortgages, folks who didn’t make bad deals, they lost their jobs as a result, perhaps in the Real Estate or banking industy and they cannot fine replacement jobs. Not everyone now losing thier homes are stupid as you imply.

    Yes, I believe in personal responsibility too but there are circumstances coming where that will not matter. I just hope your financial house is in order since the fallout is still happening.


  17. sherry

    33rd, how ya reckon he got that million dollar home? Workin in the ghetto must pay well……

  18. landers

    Yes, Obama is so courageous for telling us the truth about the bitter feelings of small town America. He’s truly a remarkable man. I just have one question, though. Why did he make the comments at a private fund raiser in San Francisco? You would think a man,with such courage, would speak at a Pennsylvania town hall meeting. And all this wisdom about middle America from the same guy that sat in the Wright church for 20 years.

    Got to love him.

  19. zagg

    Obama’s “unity” is hateful and ugly. I don’t exactly see him leaving a trail of love behind him.

    I am for Clinton because I would LOVE to have the Clinton years back. Times were good when her husband was in office. I am hoping for more of THAT.

    It’s too bad that Obama is deliberately attacking the President’s legacy. That’s not the sort of “unity” I respect.

    But, yeah, he is deliberately invoking the “snob meme” to attack Clinton and scapegoat her supporters, to appeal to hatred disguised as righteousness, also to split the middle and lower classes against voting their own economic interests.

  20. Sheep

    To Dr.D and Sherry:

    Thank you for letting us know that you are the small minds in the small towns that Mr. Obama spoke of. Now we know why ignorance is so ramped in those small towns!

    Obama 08′

  21. sherry

    Aww, Sheep, I see you are living up to your name. I am feeling the love for which the Obama camp is so infamous.

  22. Nogood

    I agree, Clinton and McCain are the ones “out of touch” and yes, people are “bitter and angry”. Frankly, I am pissed off!!! Pissed off at these “public servants” that somehow have it in their feeble minds that we are the “servants”. I am angry about all the lies that we have been told. Bitter about the decline of this great country, due to the greed of our politicians. Every damn elected official should be tried, convicted, and sent to prison for treason.

  23. RichardKanePA


    Bill Clinton, and every President before him, starting with Reagan, pretended to be ordinary Joe’s, until we now actually have a President who honestly claims that he doesn’t read much.

    Hillary and Obama should stop having to pretend to be ordinary people or else we might end up again with a very ordinary person in the White House.

    I would like to refer back to “McCain will be as if he was Bush high of speed”

  24. geb353

    Obama ‘gets it’ — if HRC or Old Mac think an American ponying-up $3.50+ a gallon for gas ISN’T a little bitter [while losing his job to cheap foreign labor, retaining no medical coverage and a grindingly collapsing economy] then, as candidates for US president, these two might as well be from Mars.
    This stuff is not NEW; get out in the real world and you’ll see.

  25. Pangaea


    Why would anyone be pissed-off?

    (Jumping the snark on water skis)

    I’m beginning to understand/embrace/overlook the 2nd Amendment’s lack of a perfunctory “future’s rationality”.

  26. Janet

    Obama is right and he had the courage to say it. It was obvious what he meant. Leave it to HRC to jump in and put a different spin on it. As for being out of touch, there is nobody more out of touch with the American people than McCain, except for Bush and Cheney.

    I’d refer you back to McCain’s comments about the housing crisis, not wanting to bail out irresponsible homeowners.

    This reminds me of John Kerry’s joke about Bush being a c student and winding up in Iraq. His opponents jumped on that and purposely put a different meaning to it.

  27. Joe-in-PA

    Obama is right.

    Go to any of the old steel towns in western Pennsylbama and you’ll find the exact people he’s talking about. Yeah, he’ll be chastised by the phony righteousness of Hillary, but what he said is the gospel truth, and we all know there’s little room for truth in American politics.

  28. incog99

    If my home were in forclosure I’d be bitter too. Senators and talking heads on CNN who make huge salaries don’t get it.

    The credit crisis is not over yet. Housing will not bottom for another year per my money manager. Those who say that American’s are not bitter are out of touch.

    Let’s see if this gets posted, I didn’t even use the P word and it got deleted.


  29. Sandra Price

    I tend not to blame the government for the home buyers who signed a contract without reading the small print, or asking for permission before the lender sold the mortgage. This is stuff we should be learning in our schools and from our parents.

    But since the government has stood by watching the academic failures in our schools, they indirectly should be responsible. In 2000, I attended a meeting by the RNC that was supposed to look at the academic problems and advise Bush on what to do. He came up with Leave no Child Behind…. Not a single child gained anything from this act and the teachers learned how to teach by the tests.

    8 years ago our White House ignored a generation of Americans and only a handfull of us across America removed the kids from public schools and found the academic institutions.

    I’m more than bitter with America at this time and am also pissed off at all the candidates.

  30. incog99

    I agree our schools teach our kids NOTHING about finance and how to handle money. Their first experience with credit is at college when the big banks swoop down and sign up every 18 year old in sight. These large corporations begin preying on the young very early.

    In the documentary Maxed Out, directed by James D. Scurlock, they state, due to the Bush administrations new bankruptsy law, that the only way out of debt will be death. In this film, one woman in a nursing home gets an offer for a car loan. Two mother’s speak of how their college student kids hung themselves in their dorms because they felt like losers after the collection agencies came after them. Yes, many folks in the good ole USA are bitter. These corporations need to be reigned in. Yes, many unqualified folks were given mortgages, but only after Washington “deregulated” the banks to the degree they got greedy. Still many folks who have been paying mortgage for years and years were suddenly out of work due to NAFTA and other great agreements which ignored the plight of the American.

    The documentary ends when they find this woman’s mother’s bones in a car in the Mississipi river. She had a gambling problem and had secret debt. One day a collector called her husband. In fear, she drove to Walmart and got 7 dollars worth of gas and drove her car into the Mississipi river so she would not be found out. It ends with the crane raising the car.

    Yes, many Americans are bitter. Washington has favored the corporation to the point of corporatism. My friend, things must change.

    Obama might have chosen a poor example (guns and religion) but his idea is correct. There is trouble in River City.