May 22, 2012
NYC Letter: On The Fail Trail -- Ho-hum In The Heartland
Day 1,214 of CHOPE
Last week Mr. Biden gave a screech speech in Youngstown, Ohio. Mr. Biden was fired up. The crowd not so much.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio May 20, 2012 (Tribune-Review) - "Oh, 'The Valley' is going to turn out big for Barack Obama this year, big!" [Dave Betras, Democrat chairman for Mahoning County] said, spreading his arms wide for emphasis. [He] pointed to local manufacturer M7 Technologies' shipping warehouse filled with people waiting to hear Biden speak. "Turnout like today, a full room," said Betras, 52.
If his job is to turn out Obama supporters on Election Day, he may want to check on their allegiances before he buses them to the polls. Many Youngstown attendees at Biden's event do not support him or the president.
What follows are interviews with six attendees who where there to support the company, not the Obama-Biden ticket.
These were just six of more than a score of people interviewed who said they will not vote for Obama in November; they were the audience members not captured by TV cameras, who sat respectfully during Biden's 30-minute populist speech* while the party faithful -- gathered up and bused in by Betras -- leaped up every time Biden's voice rose.
Even so, those faithful voiced discontent -- and worry that some in their community have no reason to vote for the president next fall.
Joe Louis Teague, 70, a black community icon who has run several unsuccessful campaigns for local office, is in charge of coordinating the Obama campaign's voter registration in the Mahoning Valley. He is worried about the black vote because "people are discouraged." ... "I am going to be honest, I think he could have done more," he said of the first black president's attention to the black community. "I think he needs to do more."
Next up Mr. Obama gives it a try, pitching a more impressionable crowd -- that remained unimpressed.
JOPLIN, Missouri May 22, 2012 (TDC) - President Barack Obama’s high school commencement speech in the tornado-stricken town of Joplin, Mo., pushed a sharply ideological message and included partisan jabs and a call for military-style community action during crises.
Mr. Obama departed from his prepared remarks to complain about Congress blocking the magic of "his pragmatic political measures".
The jab was one of the few that got any response from the audience, which was muted in comparison to Obama’s usual audience of college students in Democratic districts. Before the speech, Obama shook hands with a group of students who swarmed to him in the gym where they waited for the ceremony to begin.
But a press pool report noted that "about half the seniors, all wearing burgundy caps and gowns, remained back."
Last year Joplin suffered a devastating EF5 multiple-vortex tornado. Two-days later Mr. Obama, the empathic president, phoned in his "deepest condolences" from London. Europa becked and Joplin could wait. For the next week the wrack of Joplin shared headlines with the feted Obamas. A year to the day Joplin High School returns the slight.
Earlier in the month, the incumbent president was sorely challenged in the West Virginia primary by an obscure inmate doing a 210-month stretch in Beaumont Federal Correctional Institution in Beaumont, Texas.
May 8, 2012 (BF) - With 96% of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, [inmate] Keith Judd was holding steady at 41% of the vote and had won ten counties.
... Judd ran particularly strong in West Virginia's coal country, carrying the labor stronghold of Mingo County, among others.
... The votes appear to be votes against President Obama rather than for Judd.
You think? A crank candidate doing prison time in Texas mounts a primary challenge against the incumbent president, and Mr. Obama can't make 60% of the party vote. Who saw that coming? [Pause.] Well, anyone paying attention.
May 2, 2012 (CNS News) - West Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he is not endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election,** saying the president "has apparently made it his mission to drive the backbone of West Virginia’s economy, coal and the energy industry, out of business.”
Which brings us full circle to Joe "Marie Antoinette" Biden, who "gets" the West Virginian voter.
BIDEN DOESN'T "BLAME PEOPLE"
FOR VOTING FOR A FELON OVER
OBAMA IN WV
May 18, 2012 (RCP)
West Virginians! Forbear and harken! No blame attaches to your humiliating vote!
Q: In the West Virginia primary a lot was made that this guy in a Texas prison cell was able to grab 40% of the vote in the presidential primary. What do you make of that?
Biden: Look, I come from a household where whenever there is a recession, somebody around my grandpop or my dad's table lost their job, a brother, a sister, a friend, or a neighbor. When you're out of work, man it's a depression. A lot of people are still hurt because of this God awful recession that we inherited that cost 8.4 million jobs before we could get going. And so, I don't blame people. They're frustrated, they're angry.
Flare to Mr. Biden, they're not frustrated and angry at Mr. Bush any more. They're frustrated and angry at the guys who said they'd turn things around if voted in. The sooner Campaign Barry "gets" that the sooner they can get started on their post-election résumés.
* The irony of Mr. Biden's "we get the lumpenproletariat" spiel wasn't lost on the reporter.
As Biden switched between fiery class-warfare rhetoric and whispers about his upbringing in neighboring Pennsylvania, two things stood out: no mention of coal or Marcellus shale natural gas -- the resources bringing prosperity back to this region -- and his talk of middle-class resentment.Posted by Damian at May 22, 2012 11:45 PM
"They don't get it! They don't get who we are!" he shouted about how Republicans don't understand the little guy in places such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
That's an interesting take from Biden, considering Obama's "understanding" of those same embittered, gun- and Bible-clinging voters that he famously described at a high-dollar San Francisco fundraiser in 2008.