domingo, 13 de abril de 2008

Obama reconoce ofensa a la clase obrera


El precandidato presidencial demócrata Barack Obama reconoció el sábado que sus comentarios sobre la amargada clase obrera "que se refugia en las armas o la religión" fueron completamente inapropiados, en un apresurado intento por contener las incesantes críticas desatadas por su actitud, calificada de condescendiente.

"No lo dije lo bien que debería haberlo dicho", explicó el aspirante.

Por su parte, su rival Hillary Rodham Clinton lo criticó en uno de sus discursos más vitriólicos pronunciados en esta campaña electoral.

"Los comentarios del senador Obama fueron elitistas y desconectados de la realidad", afirmó la senadora en Indianápolis. "No reflejan los valores y creencias de los estadounidenses", agregó.

"La gente no necesita un presidente que la mire con condescendencia", insistió Clinton. "Necesita un presidente que la defienda".

Obama comentó el domingo pasado en un encuentro privado de San Francisco con donantes acomodados que su incapacidad para atraer al electorado obrero se debe a que muchos de ellos se sienten frustrados por las condiciones económicas.

"Por ello, no es sorprendente que la gente esté amargada, se refugie en las armas o la religión o la antipatía hacia quienes no son como ellos o en un sentimiento contra la inmigración o contra el comercio internacional como forma de explicar sus frustraciones", sostuvo Obama en San Francisco.

Los comentarios, aparecidos el viernes en la página de internet del Huffington Post, desataron pronto las críticas de Clinton, así como del aspirante republicano John McCain y otros. Pusieron al descubierto el tendón de Aquiles de Obama: la imagen de un abogado de Harvard arrogante, elitista y condescendiente con aires de superioridad.

Su campaña electoral se apresuró a restar importancia a la caldeada situación creada con la clase obrera, cuyo voto necesita Obama en las primarias de Pensilvania e Indiana.

"Dije algo que todo el mundo sabe que es verdad, que hay mucha gente en pueblitos de Pensilvania, y aquí mismo en Indiana, en mi ciudad de Illinois, que está amargada", insistió Obama el sábado por la mañana en la Universidad Ball State.

"Está furiosa. Cree que la han dejado atrás. Cree que nadie escucha lo que está padeciendo" esa clase obrera, dijo el senador.


Por Jim Kuhnhenn y Charles Babington
The Associated Press
El Nuevo Herald
http://www.elnuevoherald.com/167/story/189208.html


Clinton Keeps Up Blast Over Obama’s Small-Town Remarks

SCRANTON, Pa. –Hoping to stoke the controversy over Senator Barack Obama’s remarks about small-town voters, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton made a hasty campaign stop in Scranton on Sunday and called his comments “elitist and divisive.”

“Senator Obama has not owned up to what he said,” Mrs. Clinton said, speaking at a news conference. “What people are looking for is an explanation. You know, what does he really believe? How does he see the people here in this neighborhood, throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, other places in our country? I think that’s what people are looking for, some explanation, and he simply has not provided one.”

In a message clearly intended for undecided superdelegates, whose votes could still go to her favor, Mrs. Clinton said that she believed that she is more electable than Mr. Obama and that Republicans could use his comments against him.

“I think it’s very critical that the Democrats really focus in on this and make it clear that we are going to stand up and fight for all Americans, and we’re going to stand up and fight for the values and the way of life of Americans in every part of our country,” she said, adding, “I’m running because I think I’m more electable.”

Mr. Obama recently told a group of fund-raisers in San Francisco that small-town voters like those in Pennsylvania “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” as a way to explain their frustrations. Since his remarks were revealed on Friday, he has tried to walk back part of what he said.

On Saturday, Mr. Obama said that he “didn’t say it as well as I should have,” and said that he meant that voters in economically depressed towns expressed their anxiety at the polls by focusing on cultural and social issues like immigration and gun laws.

But the Clinton campaign, seizing an opportunity to challenge Mr. Obama’s electability and political savvy, showed no sign of letting up on its barrage of criticisms over his words. Campaign aides said that Mrs. Clinton’s surrogates would continue to criticize Mr. Obama on Sunday, and Mrs. Clinton is expected to highlight the remarks during a forum on values and faith in Harrisburg, Pa., Sunday night. (It will be broadcast on CNN beginning at 8 p.m.)

Senator Evan Bayh, who campaigned with Mrs. Clinton on Saturday, appeared on CNN on Sunday and called the controversy “the kind of political issue that Karl Rove and the Republicans use to beat us over the head with, and that would be a tragic thing.”

Mr. Obama’s own surrogates defended him on Sunday. Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who has endorsed him, said on CNN, “He was trying to express the frustration that people feel, not only with this economy, but what’s been happening in Washington, where special interests have had a stranglehold on the process in Washington.”

In Scranton, the blue-collar city where Mrs. Clinton’s father grew up and where she spent summer vacations as a girl, the campaign chose a politically picturesque backdrop for Mrs. Clinton to shake hands and greet voters.

She walked down a side street lined by small houses, many with faded American flags in the windows, and was greeted by hundreds of supporters who stood on their front porches and screamed her name.

But if this block of Scranton seemed hospitable, the local newspaper was much less so. Though it prominently featured an article about Mr. Obama’s remarks on its Sunday front page, the editorial board on the same day endorsed Mr. Obama, calling Mrs. Clinton a “political lightning rod” whose administration would deepen political divisions.

Mrs. Clinton shrugged off the paper’s endorsement when questioned about it. “Well, that has happened in other places like Texas and Ohio,” she said.


By Julie Bosman
The Caucus
The New York Times Politics Blog
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/clinton-keeps-up-blast-over-obamas-small-town-remarks/index.html?hp