April 23, 2008 [LINK / comment]
Hillary stays in the race
Hillary Clinton needed a convincing win in the Pennsylvania primary in order to keep her campaign alive, and that's just what she got: 55% to 45% for Barack Obama. In the Washington Post, Dana Milbank ridiculed the notion of a "point spread" (determined by the media) that Hillary needed to surpass in order to secure a meaningful win. He says the Democratic primary marathon is like the movie Groundhog Day, where every day is the same thing over and over again; he is clearly exhausted by the primary race.
Rush Limbaugh is taking credit for "Operation Chaos," encouraging Republicans to vote for the weaker candidate in the Democratic primaries, but that's just tongue in cheek. (I think.) As Sean Hannity pointed out, Democrats who urge Hillary to give up a hopeless struggle are reflecting the same defeatist mindset that many express with respect to the war in Iraq.
For me, it is gratifying that Obama's 3-to-1 advantage in campaign spending made little if any difference. That is the best antidote to "excessive" campaign spending. Sooner or later, potential donors will realize that they're wasting their money, drying up the source for all the televised negative ads. The "miracle of the marketplace."
Obama on small town "bitterness"
For someone whose reputation rests upon his eloquence and charisma, Barack Obama sure is putting his foot in his mouth a lot lately. His offhand remark that Americans who live in small towns often channel their bitter feelings by blaming foreigners for lost jobs, etc. says a lot about his contemptuous elitist attitudes. See Washington Post.
Having grown up in a small town, unlike Sen. Obama, I know what life is like in such a setting. Obviously, some small towns are nicer than others, but there is a clear difference in terms of the feeling of angst and desperation one encounters in big cities and suburbs. Most people who live in smaller cities and towns actually know and care about their neighbors, and they don't worry much about material status. That's why they are less prone to demand favors from the government.
The more I think about it, however, Obama may be on to something with his remark about "bitterness"... For example, some of the folks in SWAC Land are more than a bit perturbed by the results of the recent Augusta County GOP mass meeting, as though it signified the end of the world as we know it, and someone even called Sen. Emmett Hanger "evil." Such venomous attitudes must reflect some kind of psychological problem. How can anyone take seriously the idea of reconciliation with people who hold such bitter grudges??