|The unemployment line: Mitt Romney's 47 percent?|
Over the years Slate's Will Saletan has often annoyed me, especially when he welcomed Paul Ryan to the Republican ticket with open arms (he later "broke up with him"). But today's article comparing Obama's famous 2008 "cling to guns or religion" comment with Romney's hidden-camera fundraising video statement is smart analysis and very telling in revealing the character of the two candidates for president in 2012:
But notice what else the recording shows. Obama tells his audience not to write off any group. He recommends humility and openness. Even in the most unlikely neighborhoods, among “people of every background,” he tells his volunteers they’ll find supporters.
He also advises the volunteers not to write off every voter who seems unreceptive. The tough reception, he suggests, might be just a “layer of skepticism,” a “part of them that just doesn't buy it.” Beneath that layer, the whole voter is more complicated.
In particular, Obama rejects the caricature of hostile white voters as racists. Instead of assuming that they just ”don’t want to vote for the black guy,” he asks his volunteers to focus on these voters’ economic concerns. He counsels empathy. “They feel so betrayed,” he says.
Will Saletan gets it just right this time. Good job.The whole thrust of Obama’s answer is persuasion.
|Rural white America: Obama doesn't write them off.|