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What was Obama thinking?3 min read

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Barack Obama should still win the Democratic nomination and is probably still the odds on favorite to win the presidency later this year, but why in the world would he say something so absolutely stupid.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Even his supporters should admit this was a huge political gaffe. Ignoring whether you think his sentiment is right or not, it was politically moronic to utter this to elite, wealthy donors in San Francisco about small town voters in the state where you could possibly deliver a surprise knock-out blow to your opponent.

But I’m not sure what was worse, his statement, his non-apology apology (“obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that”) or his explanation of his statement.

There are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois, who are bitter. They are angry… So I said, well ya know, when you’re bitter, you turn to what you can count on. So people, ya know they vote about guns or they take comfort from their faith, and their family, and their community, and they get mad about illegal immigrants who are coming over to this country, or they get frustrated about how things are changing. That’s a natural response.

In his original statement, Obama mentioned essentially four things small-town people “cling to”: Religion, Guns, Xenophobia and Anti-trade. In his explanation, he made it sound like he was describing those things as good. Those are things you can “count on” and a “natural response.”

I’m not going to question Sen. Obama’s devotion to his faith, but his record on the other three are mixed at best. He has voted consistently against gun-rights through out his political career. He describes being supportive of increased border enforcement as “anti-immigrant.” Surely Obama is not saying that being anti-immigrant is a good thing.

He also speaks about being anti-trade. This one is the most puzzling. He has stated his opposition to virtually every free trade agreement. He has attacking Clinton on numerous occasions about her husband’s administration’s support for NAFTA.

In another instance after his statement, he sought to diffuse the statement by referring to his faith as a “bulwark” and that he was not trying to demean the very faith he embraces. But what about the other three? His statement doesn’t make sense and neither does his explanation.

This may prove even more harmful to Obama than his former pastor, especially as people are beginning to compare his statements to another political philosopher who wanted change.