Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Honest Ob

So this morning I wake up to NPR, and what I hear is this--a focus group of Pennsylvania women talking about candidates Clinton and Obama--in particular, wouldn't you know, Obama's statement about small-town Americans growing "bitter" over the apathy of the Clinton and Bush administrations (one has to guess that Reagan is hardly worth remarking on, on this matter).

As I said yesterday, it's a comment I don't understand all the fuss about.

But what caught my attention this morning was one woman who said that when she first heard Obama's statements, she thought, At last, somebody's speaking truth! But then she had a second, sobering thought, which was Oh, no, I can't believe he just said that. (I paraphrase, though without exaggeration.)

Now, she says, she's leaning towards Clinton, because she fears that Obama may be "too honest" for the general election.

Excuse me?

"Honest Abe" Lincoln must be rolling in his grave!

Of course, no chance of Honest Abe making it on America's campaign trail today. Not only might he be "too honest," but also he never smiled for the camera, and scarcely a sound bite (or even anything amusing) is to be found in all his Gettysburg Address.

Perhaps more troubling (to me, anyway) was the failure of the NPR interviewer to follow up with a question--such as "Do you really believe honesty is damaging in American presidential politics? Why?" Instead, the reporter's silence indicates that the woman had said nothing exceptional, nothing worth further inquiry.

So, this is how it is, is it?

McCain says he thinks the war in Iraq might go on for another 100 years, fine with him if it does, and the debate is only over whether he's getting his numbers right. Clinton lies bald-faced that she was caught in a crossfire in Bosnia, and she's given some good-natured ribbing over it. Obama says people the elites have taken advantage of for decades now, shipping their jobs to China and India and their sons and daughters to Iraq, are bitter (I might have said "pissed off"), and, all of a sudden, the man's not worthy of the presidency.


Is this what the country has come to?

All I got to say to that Pennsylvania woman on NPR is "You've got one thing absolutely right, then. Clinton's the one for you!"


Check out today's blog by Sam Stein at the Huffington Post: "Hillary Clinton on Working Class Whites in 1995: 'Screw 'em.'"

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