The comment in question, which Obama gave here in town on Sunday April 6, related to the frustration of working-class voters with economic conditions:
"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 has apologized if his comment was poorly phrased or caused offense, as reported in Saturday's Chronicle, but also stood by his remarks (after clarifying them):
"So I said, well you know, when you're bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people, they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community. And they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country."
After acknowledging his previous remarks in California could have been better phrased, he added: "The truth is that these traditions that are passed on from generation to generation, those are important. That's what sustains us. But what is absolutely true is that people don't feel like they are being listened to."
The Chron quotes former state Democratic Party chairman and current Clinton adviser Tom Hendrickson saying rural voters don't need "liberal elites" telling them what to believe.
Clinton made the following quote before factory-workers in Indianapolis:
"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."
"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.
Conspicuously absent is any mention by Clinton of people's antipathy to people not like them. Perhaps this is because she is just as much a liberal elitist as Barack Obama, if not more so (What's more elite than getting head from the President?). Or perhaps it's because Clinton's reaction to Obama's comment has been to prove him right by playing off the very insecurities and bitterness she criticizes him for mentioning.
On Wednesday April 9, The Colbert Report's regular segment, The Word, was discussing the potential for the Clinton campaign to purchase the island nation of Palau. Stephen Colbert mentioned how Clinton could help Palau fight the scourge of illegal dynamite fishing, "where fisherman throw a bunch of bombs in the water and hope for something dead to float up." Next to Colbert's head, a message popped up in the usual space: "Clinton Campaign Strategy." --Alex Brant-Zawadzki