Thursday, November 04, 2010
Paying the Bill for Obama's Elitism
I do not know if it would have made a different in the elections. I doubt it but at the margin there is no doubt that Obama's elitism hurts. It was displayed most prominently during the BP disaster. For me, though, the biggest missed opportunity was the Kagan appointment. Just think what a difference it would have made if he appointed an equally qualified southerner mid-westerner or rust belter . Maybe someone with an actual drawl! Just the photo ops would have been worth votes at least in the appointee's home state. Instead we get a privileged ex-Harvard dean. This Times article covers some of the problem. As it notes, Obama was not raised to be an elitist. Instead it was an acquired characteristic.
In some ways, everything works against him. I've know some pretty unpleasant people who get away with it because of a perpetual smile, an aw shucks manner or a boyish or girlish facial structure. And then there are people like Obama who seem stuck with a stern look, seem always stiff, and are so careful in their wording that it becomes excruciating to listen to. It's so bad that even the imagery of just having a beer does not work. These things he cannot control and it is ashamed. Somewhere in there there may be a non elitist who is afraid to show it because he has invested so much in getting the role right.
Unfortunately, now others pay the price.