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Daily Blog Buzz: Bittergate

2:50 PM, Apr 14, 2008 • By SAMANTHA SAULT
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Barack Obama's "bittergate" blew up the blogosphere over what would have been an otherwise quiet weekend. At a San Francisco fundraiser last Sunday Obama said,

You go into some of 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 nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. 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.

Obviously, this statement caused quite a bit of drama for Obama's campaign. Hot Air's Ed Morrissey "break[s] the statement into its component insults" and concludes, "It would be difficult to be any more condescending or insulting in so many ways to so many voters in a single sentence." And at Contentions Jennifer Rubin asks, "[J]ust how many religious voters and NRA members could there be in Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky and West Virginia?"

And Hugh Hewitt says quite simply, "The past 72 hours built on the disconnect many were already feeling about Pastor Wright's anger, and the corrosive effect on Obama's appeal will be profound and prolonged."

What does this statement say about Obama's beliefs? At Contentions, Abe Greenwald explains: "With last Sunday's revelation-that he looks at smalltown America and finds armed, hate-filled, irredentist religious zealots-the last piece of the Obama puzzle fell into place. He is not, it turns out, an agent of change; he is a walking checklist of modern liberal inanities." Michelle Malkin adds, "Now, we don't need to guess anymore what he's thinking when he's on the campaign trail in rural and small-town Pennsylvania. Instead of hard-working, patriotic, faithful Americans, he sees 'bitter,' 'frustrated,' resentful scary people whom he'll readily diss while sipping Chardonnay in Baghdad by the Bay." And Power Line's Scott Johnson concludes that Obama "looks down his nose at the mystifying enthusiasms of his fellow citizens as symptoms of psychic damage."

Obama, of course, tried to spin his statement and said that he regrets wording "things in a way that made people offended," which Goldfarb translates to "Sorry You're Too Stupid to Understand What He Meant." At Pajamas Media, Roger Kimball (via Instapundit) doesn't buy it: "I think we all know exactly what he meant. He meant that he regarded most Americans as bitter, small-town, gun-toting, God-fearing, xenophobic, unemployed isolationists who needed help. That is bad enough. Even worse, however, is the disgusting pretense that he actually meant something more emollient." And Michelle Malkin snarks, "Keep spinnin', pal. You're going to land right back into the gutter, with your bowling ball."

Still, Allahpundit says this isn't necessarily good news for Hillary either, since the Democrats' only solution is to "[n]ominate a former First Lady who's worth $109 million." But she can just drink her troubles away.

And what would Bittergate be without a little humor? At the blog Chris Matthew's Leg, the Oracle sums up the entire affair: "It seems small town Americans are prickly about having their feelings caricatured by hyper-ambitious, Harvard-educated, self-styled Messiahs for the entertainment and ego-massaging of Left Coast beautiful people. As crazy as that sounds."