Barack Obama attended a fundraiser in Kentfield, California last Sunday. Kentfield's an exclusive and toney Marin County enclave in the San Francisco Bay Area (think multi-million dollar homes, each with a three Lexus garage carpeted in astro turf).
He was doing his legendary fundraising thing as only the Obamanator can, raising hands-over-fistfuls of money donated by wealthy, educated Americans -- the type who might hire feng shui consultants to install their Barack Obama lawn signs.
The Marin Crowd Greets Obama (as reported with photos by the Marin Independent):
The presidential hopeful stopped by an exclusive Kentfield estate on Sunday for a fundraising reception that drew more than 300 supporters with guests paying $2,300 each. But it was Obama's brief visit with fans lining Laurel Grove Avenue that had everyone outside the estate buzzing.
Noreen Kennedy (on the left above), whose son Ronan is a captain in the 101st Airborne and is stationed 30 miles south of Baghdad, stood on the street outside, but got a message to Obama via one of the guests at the reception during a question-and-answer period.
After the event, Obama walked down the long driveway of the Laurel Grove home with Secret Service in tow and made his way to Noreen Kennedy, who stood with other wellwishers.
"I've got my knickers in a knot," Noreen Kennedy said. "Just the fact that he took the time to talk to me, it was unbelievable. That man is simply amazing."
"Knickers in a knot" and knocked out for that rock star, Barack Obama. Time to feng shui the dog house -- it's just that exciting!
"You could just feel his presence."
But something else happened on this fateful Sunday. Like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon, the real Barack Obama emerged from his web-enhanced, packaged and polished political machine to reveal his true inner Obama.
The 46-year-old Democratic senator started the day in Atherton, made his way to Marin and then was due in at the Getty mansion in San Francisco for another event.
We're talking Billionaires here, folks. Their maids drive Lexus SUVs in this neighborhood.
But even neighborhoods like Kentfield and the posh mansion-filled heights of San Francisco have dark clouds once in a while. Last Sunday, standing inside an opulent mansion and surrounded by big-money donors, Barack Obama's calloused arrogance cast a deep shadow that reached from the Pacific Coast all the way back to Pennsylvania, and beyond. Mayhill Fowler from the Huffington Post reports:
And when he spoke to a group of his wealthier Golden State backers at a San Francisco fund-raiser last Sunday, Barack Obama took a shot at explaining the yawning cultural gap that separates a [Pennsylvania] Turkeyfoot from a Marin County. "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," Obama said. "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."
Obama made a problematic judgment call in trying to explain working class culture to a much wealthier audience. He described blue collar Pennsylvanians with a series of what in the eyes of creamy Californians might be considered pure negatives: guns, clinging to religion, antipathy, xenophobia.
The Harvard grad Obama let his condescending arrogance show, and what a display of rich arrogance was revealed - blaming Democrats for the failures of politicians like himself. Fowler continues:
I'm not sure this is what at least this lot of Californians needed to hear about Pennsylvanians. Such phrases can reinforce negative stereotypes among Californians, who are a people in a state already surfeited with a smug sense of superiority and, as an ironic consequence, a parochialism and insularity at odds with the innovation, prosperity and openness for which California is rightly known. (Of course, this is a generalization, and as such does not fit everyone; but as a state characteristic I stand by it.) Californians might be better served by hearing that Pennsylvanians have a strong sense of their place in American history, for here California is wanting. California needs to hear that other Americans have gone through hard times and survived, humor intact. Since Barack Obama sees himself as the candidate best able to unify the country, these are the messages he needs to carry and his frank words about Pennsylvania may not have translated very clearly.
The passage of time reveals the many faces of Barack Obama. His carefully crafted PR machine attempts to disguise and package this candidate, but it's all revealed eventually.
This reminds me of something my blog-mate Steve Crickmore wrote a couple of weeks ago, which I quote here in order to further illustrate who Barack is, who Barack isn't, and what his surrogates and packaging people want us to believe he is...
But it seems that white America wasn't so bothered that Obama had black skin, though some certainly are, but what scared white and non-black people is that they suddenly realized that the elegant, eloquent, slow to anger Obama, living by choice, in a ghetto environment for 20 years, where he was a community organizer, attended the leading prophetic Chicago South Side black church and consequently was exposed to some very inflammatory rhetoric by his pastor Jeremiah Wright.
Barack Obama did not spend twenty years living in a ghetto environment. He spent a few of his salad days working as a street-level organizer in Chicago, and since it was non-profit work he may well have been on a tight budget and/or may have chosen to live in the economically-depressed areas in which he worked during that brief period.
But by 1991, when Obama returned to Chicago after graduating from Harvard, Obama was putting those days behind him. Obama joined the faculty at the University of Illinois as a law professor in 1993 and he remained on the faculty through 2004, and joined the Illinois congress in 1996. Today, Obama lives in a $1.6 million dollar mansion of his own which his pal Tony Rezko helped him obtain.
He did not 'live by choice in the ghetto environment for 20 years" as Crickmore wrote. It's just more of the myth that's been sold to America through the marketing of Brand Obama.
But it's the kind of myth that causes rich folks like Noreen Kennedy to "get her knickers in knot" over Barack Obama, and as we can see from Obama's comments in San Francisco last weekend, the real Barack Obama is far-removed from the ghettos of Chicago and the main streets of small Pennsylvania towns.
The many faces of Barack Obama. How many more will be revealed?
"The people of faith I know don't 'cling' to religion because they're bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich," she said.
"I also disagree with Senator Obama's assertion that people in this country 'cling to guns' and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration," Clinton added.
"People don't need a president who looks down on them," she said. "They need a president who stands up for them."
Showing an apparent fondness for shoe leather, Barack proceeds to swallow his foot, then his shin and knee.
"I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter," Obama said in Muncie, Indiana.
Didn't Geraldine Ferraro say something that everybody knows was true?
Yes she did, and the Obama supporters promptly slammed Ferraro as an unimportant congresswoman from the Bronx, home of "those uneducated blue-collar Democrats", and in that swell foop threw the first woman Vice-Presidential candidate in the United States under the bus -- stopped -- and then back upped and rolled over her again.
Barack felt wounded when Ferraro spoke the truth -- but Barack is incapable of empathy with mainstream America. A large, dare I say majority, of Americans do not want to follow Barack Obama's lead. Barack has made it certain that he doesn't understand Americans.
We've been led by a dictator for almost eight years. We need experienced leadership to whom empathy is more than just a word used in a speech to push an emotional button, and knit those knickers in a knot.
'Empathy' is at the core of any great leader. Barack Obama doesn't have it.
Use of comments in ad is "completely fair game"
Asked if Obama's comments would pop up in an ad, Garin said it was too soon to tell, but added: "We'll look at how all of this plays out. I completely think it's fair game, and an important topic."
On electability, I asked Garin why we shouldn't be judging it by looking at general election polls showing Obama performing as well or better than Hillary in key states. Garin conceded that it was a "completely fair question." But he reiterated the Clinton campaign's argument that her ability to grow the Democratic turnout in the big states suggested her potential in the general election.
"Whatever we are seeing today," Garin continued, "Hillary Clinton's reputation isn't going to get any worse. And Barack Obama's isn't going to get any better. And I believe that Hillary Clinton's reputation can get a lot better in the months to come." (source: TPM)
"He regrets the wording of the remarks and he was sorry for the offense that anybody took from them," said Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod, "but I think the most important thing is that the essence of what he said is something he feels very strongly about. There is a real anger among many in the communities... they are tired of politicians who come around at election time and express their solicitude as part of a tactic and don't follow through on it."
I hope he's right. I hope America wakes up to the Obama farce. Axelrod thinks the good people who are the fabric of America just aren't smart enough to understand what Barack says so he attempts to redefine it and deflect it towards everyone but Obama. He trieds to paint us as angry, bitter Americans, instead of apologizing for Obama's condensending "clinging" remark.
He's protecting the crown jewels, the Obama Brand... so he piles on the arrogance again. He's trying to keep a lid on this, but this story is expanding in 360 degrees.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!