Friday, September 05, 2008

GOP aims to paint Obama as elitist vs. small towns as Democrat slates trip Tue. to southwest Virginia

"Speaker after speaker at this week's Republican National Convention defended small towns from the perceived slights of urban elites," Peter Wallsten and Doyle McManus write for the Los Angeles Times. "Cultural affinities, which President Bush played on heavily to paint 2004 Democratic nominee John F. Kerry as elite and out of touch, are now central to the campaign strategy of GOP presidential nominee John McCain."

The Arizona senator "is an unlikely standard-bearer for the forces of family values, given his admissions over the years of his failures as a husband, or for the advocates of small-town living, with his millionaire wife and multiple homes," Wallsten and McManus write, but the strategy was confirmed by McCain's selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, " who cast herself as a symbol of small-town values."

While the strategy worked for Bush in 2004, "Its effectiveness this year is uncertain," the Timesmen write. "Democratic voter registration has surged in several battleground states, and voters worried about the economy say they generally favor Democrats over Republicans. The economy, rather than any cultural issues, consistently ranks highest among voter concerns."

But Republicans are trying to exploit Obama's remark to California donors about small-town voters clinging to religion and guns. The Times notes this line from Palin's convention speech: "In small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."

Obama "will combat the attacks by visiting economically depressed areas," write Wallsten and McManus, the newspaper's chief political writer and Washington bureau chief, respectively. (Read more) Those are likely to include the Appalchian parts of battleground states; Obama is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting at the high-school gym in Lebanon, Va., in the heart of southwest Virginia, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. UPDATE, Sept. 7: "Some political analysts believe the Appalachian vote could determine whether Obama or Republican John McCain will carry Virginia and grab its 12 electoral votes," The Roanoke Times reports.


Onedia Hayes Sylvest said...

The GOP just has so much barnyard fertilizer out there. When did McCain ever been a grassroots organizer for people who are out of work with little expectation for new ones.

Also, It really drives me nuts that people who use a limited vocabulary and have limited interest in broadening their knowledge or viewpoint label articulate, well-read, and knowledgeable people as elitist.

Do we really have to dumb down to get elected. Oh what was I thinking? It worked before. But frankly I want a president who is smarter than I am. I have almost forgotten what that is like.

Enough ranting, I will go away quietly now.

A Bitter, Bitter Man :) said...

Hi I just came across your site and wondered if you wouldn't mind linking to my blog, "Bitter White Folks for Obama" - I'm trying to get the working-class, rural, white, Protestant "Appalachian" demographic (and their descendants and diaspora, of which I am one) behind him as much as I am able by sounding off from my own vantage point. From what I've been reading about Obama's "Appalachian Problem", this is going to be an absolutely crucial task for the next two months as it may be them who decide where things go (many of those battleground areas, for instance in eastern Ohio are primarily Appalachian migrants to the North). My biggest obstacle so far is that my blog is not yet showing up in Google even after almost a week of existence because not enough other sites are linked to it yet, although I've already gotten over 400 hits even without that - so would you mind linking to it so that I can start making more of an impact? I'd really appreciate it! I'll link ya
back. Jason.