There's something about Obama

What is it that sets him apart from Real Americans? The Washington Post has some answers


Published February 4, 2010 12:04AM (EST)

The Washington Post says that President Obama is having trouble relating to middle class worries and concerns because he's an elitist who travels in a helicopter and his own airplane. (I hear he has his own private chef too!)

And now he is affecting a fake regular guy accent to fool people into believing that he is one of them, taking cues from his (respectively) frank and sensitive predecessors, Bush and Clinton. But it probably won't work. There's just something (presumptuous?) about him:

It is a tough sell for any president who lives inside what Obama refers to as "the bubble," but tougher still for Obama. His first year in office was defined in part by a paradox. He is a rare president who comes from the middle class, yet people still perceive him as disconnected from it. As he arrived in Nashua, nearly two-thirds of Americans believed that his economic policies had hurt the country or made no difference at all; almost half thought he did not understand their problems.

Hey, half the Republicans believe he's a Kenyan usurper and the rest think he's a Marxist terrorist sympathizer, so that takes care of the crazies. What about the normal people?

So it was little surprise in New Hampshire that, after Obama visited one manufacturing business, he was introduced at his town hall by the owner of another manufacturing business. Obama answered six questions from the crowd at a packed high school gym, referring to "folks" 13 times before aides indicated he had run out of time.

He lingered afterward for five minutes, shaking hands, slapping backs and exchanging hugs while his assistant, Reggie Love, followed to collect business cards and phone numbers. At 3:30 p.m., less than three hours after he landed in New Hampshire, Obama peeled away from the crowd, pointing apologetically at a cadre of aides and Secret Service agents who were suggesting it was time to go. The moment for direct connection had passed. Now it was back to the motorcade, onto his 166th flight aboard Air Force One and off to the White House -- back to a life apart.

There's just something different about him, something that makes the Washington Post believe he isn't like all those Real Americans he's trying to woo. I wonder what it is?

This narrative has been out there since the campaign as I'm sure you recall, but it's lately resurfaced. Maureen Dowd's demented scribblings gave it the imprimatur of village conventional wisdom. But the polls don't bear this out at all:

"Warm and friendly":77%
"Cares about people like me": 64%

Of course, it must be noted that Sally Quinn definitely feels that Obama is anything but warm and friendly and doesn't care nearly enough about people like her. If he wants to change this narrative it's going to take some concerted ring kissing of the Real Americans who live in the Village. When it comes to CW, they're the only ones who count.



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