Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Is Obama Too Elite?

Some of the exit poll data from New Hampshire has the pundits speculating that, because Barack Obama is doing better among higher educated, and more well-off Democrats while Hillary Clinton polled better among the lower classes, he is now becoming a favorite of the narrow, new media elite, and Hillary Clinton is likely to roll on by capturing the real people.

If so, this impression will go down as one of the greatest hoaxes in political history. Hillary Clinton is no doubt sincere in her support for people in need. Heaven knows that I would be very happy with the empathy she could muster as president, but to suggest that she is a better candidate than Barack Obama for dealing with broken communities is to misjudge the case dramatically and, if you will pardon the irony, to completely ignore his superior experience. Barack Obama is a community organizer who understands both the multifaceted causes and consequences of poverty while simultaneously understanding that neither fierce class populism (Edwards) nor extensive government programs (Clinton) can alone address the challenges of America's communities in need.

I almost want to stop writing my reflections about Obama on a blog, since that seems to lend credence to those pundits who label him the candidate of the elite blogosphere (How these random musings have anything to do with elitism is hard to see, but I do understand the critique). Just because our (to borrow Kleinheider's phrase) parallel universe supports Obama does not mean that he all of a sudden loses his genuine EXPERIENCE in building communities and fighting poverty.

A good analysis of Obama and Edwards on the question of poverty and approaches to need can be found at: http://freedemocracy.blogspot.com/2007/07/david-brooks-edwards-obama-and-poor.html.

3 comments:

joe lance said...

I've started, then deleted or declined to publish, several posts dealing with this exact topic. I am glad you posted yours, because it showed me that there are others who feel similarly.

I don't understand Democrats who rally behind Edwards' combative posture as if it is going to SOLVE anything, were he to be elected.

On the other hand, I don't think all of Hillary's initiatives would necessarily be utter failures; I just don't want to elect the spouse (or any immediate family member) of the last sitting president.

So that leaves Obama as the result of a process of elimination, if nothing else; fortunately, there are also a whole lot of positive reasons to vote for Obama.

I'm an Independent, by the way.

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