"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 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."
And given a chance to attack Barack Obama on something that has nothing to do with race, Hillary Clinton makes her move.
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. Our faith is the faith of our parents and our grandparents. It is a fundamental expression of who we are and what we believe. I also disagree with Sen. Obama's assertion that people in this country "cling to guns" and have certain attitudes about immigration or trade simply out of frustration. People of all walks of life hunt — and they enjoy doing so because it's an important part of their life, not because they are bitter.Of course, one has to get over the irony of Clinton playing the anti-elitist card, but Obama might as well have put his comments in a Tiffany box and wrapped that box in a shiny bow. Faith and guns? Ben Smith at the Politico calls this more of a general-election wedge issue than a Democratic Primary one, but I'm not so sure about that. Rubbishing faith and guns certainly could anger a substantial number of people in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and get them to the polls.
Out of context are not, Obama's comments are not only insulting, they're stupid and hypocritical--especially for a man who seems not only to have gone church-shopping solely for the purpose of furthering his political career, but who picked a church that serves up a heaping helping of bitter and crazy conspiracies. Even if you drop the gun argument and the anti-immigrant argument, you're left with the insinuation that people believe in religions because they're stupid and angry. Regardless of the philosophical merit of the statement, that sort of debate is best saved for the halls of academia and not to be dragged out onto the campaign trail.
If Hillary Clinton's ad team isn't making spots centered on Obama's original remarks--or even his attempt to walk them back, which only seemed to dig the hole deeper--I'll eat my hat.