I posted a few months back about JFK and Democratic snobbery.The thrust of that post was that Democrats, while claiming to be the party of the little guy – of the working class – in fact engages in a greater degree of snobbishness than the Republicans, who nominally favor the middle and upper classes and have little sympathy for the little guy.

Barack Obama this week has demonstrated that, for all his appeal to the little guy and his suggestion that he had a hard-knocks upbringing, he’s just as guilty of this as his predecessors have been. The comments in question came at a poorly-reported event in California, and ironically were only reported by a liberal blogger at the Huffington Post:

You go into 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.

The comments were made to a snooty crowd and so to some extent the snobbishness is not out of place. But of course these days you can’t tailor your message to audiences in such a way that you can cater to one with comments that will be taken hard by another, and Obama’s found out the hard way. Both McCain and Clinton have pounced on the remarks and made hay as much as they could. But this is just another signal that Obama may not be quite the friend of the little guy many think he is.

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