On Friday night in Terre Haute, IN, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama used a town hall meeting to speak about voter frustration and anger at the politics as usual campaigns of Hillary Clinton and John McCain. “And for 25, 30 years Democrats and Republicans have come before them and said we’re going to make your community better. We’re going to make it right and nothing ever happens. And of course they’re bitter. Of course they’re frustrated. You would be too. In fact many of you are. Because the same thing has happened here in Indiana. The same thing happened across the border in Decatur. The same thing has happened all across the country. Nobody is looking out for you. Nobody is thinking about you. ”
Obama said that people think that politicians don’t care, so they vote on wedge issues. “And so people end up- they don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody’s going to help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns, and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. And they take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington. So I made this statement– so, here’s what rich. Senator Clinton says ‘No, I don’t think that people are bitter in Pennsylvania. You know, I think Barack’s being condescending.’ John McCain says, ‘Oh, how could he say that? How could he say people are bitter? You know, he’s obviously out of touch with people.'”
John McCain’s comment seemed to bother him the most. “Out of touch? Out of touch? I mean, John McCain—it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt after taking money from the financial services companies, and she says I’m out of touch? No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania. I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois. People are fed-up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.”
It’s no wonder McCain’s comment bothered Obama. Is it possible to be any more out of touch then supporting a war that the vast majority of Americans disagree with? McCain and Clinton are both out of touch. I think Clinton’s comment that people aren’t bitter here in my state of Pennsylvania proves that. People in PA are bitter because they have seen most of the good paying jobs vanish. They have seen gas prices go up, and their purchasing power go down because of a war that they never asked be fought. What the people in PA are feeling is the same thing as residents of every other state. Many of them are tired of a government that appears not to listen to, or care about them.
Barack Obama has tapped into a deep seeded feeling that is running through our nation right now. It is an emotion that neither Clinton nor McCain can grasp. They don’t want to admit that now more than ever the nation needs its confidence restored. It needs to believe in its leader again. We need to see our capacity for good after two terms of misdeeds. Clinton and McCain are both linked to the Bush years, but Obama represents a new future, and this is why he is such a strong presidential contender.