The Bigger Gaffe

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight fame dissects the demographics of the recent US elections in Esquire:

If Bill Clinton was the first black president, then Barack Obama might be the first urban one. He is the only American president in recent history to seem unembarrassed about claiming a personal residence in a major American city.

And the future of America is urban, with populations in cities growing much faster than in the reliably Republican rural areas.  They’re also easier to canvas.
During the election campaign (or was it the Primary campaign, its all a bit of a blur), Obama’s one gaffe was to pity rural voters who “cling to religion and guns.”  He was universally panned at it threatened to compartmentalise him as a candiate without mass appeal.  The gaffe went through several news cycles.  Meanwhile, John McCain and Sarah Palin spent their entire campaign proudly drawing a distinction between urban elites and the so-called “real” America in the rural areas.  At the time, it seemed to be your normal, run-of-the-mill Republican campaign rhetoric.  With hindsight, it was one huge gaffe.


Just remembered this link, which describes the “Bittergate” gaffe, how it came to be reported, and the tough decision taken by the ‘citizen journalist’ who reported it.

“A candidate should never play political scientist”

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