Back at the beginning of 2007, just after the Democrats had retaken (barely) control (Hah!) of both the House and the Senate, I submitted my thoughts that Barack Obama was simply too much of a political unknown quantity for him to be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate. I did then, and I do now, wish sehr heartily that Al Gore would've jumped his stiff neck back into the ring and scooped up the young Senator from Illinois as his running.
I wish I were wrong...
I wish I were wrong...
Maybe Not 'Bitter,' But Aware of the Loss
In Western Pa., Witnessing a Steady Decline
(T)Yet they find it hard to get worked up about the comments -- as do other Pennsylvanians, judging by polls that so far show little damage from an episode Clinton has worked hard to exploit. Years of watching the decline of the town they have lived in since their family arrived from France in the 1920s has, they suggested, provided perspective that keeps them from getting caught up in 24-hour cable and Internet outrage.
Bob Jeanmenne almost always votes Republican (though he's a Democrat) and Michael almost always votes Democrat (he hasn't decided whom to support next week). But both doubt that Obama's remarks will affect the primary.
"He overstepped his statement, and didn't realize what he was saying. It was a Freudian slip -- he said what's in his mind," said Bob Jeanmenne. "But I don't think it will make much difference."
This town 30 miles south of Pittsburgh illustrates the challenge Obama faces with older, blue-collar Reagan Democrats in the Rust Belt -- a weakness Clinton backers warn may yet hurt the Democrats if he is the nominee. Most Democrats interviewed here said they would vote for Clinton, citing her experience and their fondness for her husband's administration, as well as their unfamiliarity with Obama. Some said they will vote for Obama if he is the nominee; others weren't sure.
Yet while questioning elements of Obama's remarks, residents showed little personal offense. Some, including potential Clinton supporters, questioned her claim to be a grittier alternative to Obama, noting her personal wealth and her husband's signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, blamed for job losses.
"She'd be okay, but he's more for the people," said Teena Papa, 39, a restaurant worker who appreciates Obama because he was raised by a single mother, which she is.
[Bitter is as bitter does -or- Just stop lying and give us an opportunity]