Wasn’t “Bittergate” Suppose to Damage Obama? – Updated

According to today’s Gallup poll Barack Obama’s numbers are not only “holding strong”, Hillary Clinton’s own poll results have even taken a dip.

Some analysts, like Justin Gardner of Donklephant, are beginning to wonder if we’re witnessing a “teflon candidate” in the making. I wouldn’t go that far. More likely we’re just witnessing good old-fashioned common sense in action. This manufactured “controversy” didn’t pass the smell test, plain and simple.

“Bittergate” was many things. It was manufactured, it was contrived, it was silly. What it wasn’t though was taken seriously by the very people that were supposedly offended. The fact of the matter is we are bitter. We’ve watched out communities decay, our jobs shipped off, our very way of life threatened while pundits tell us everyone’s doing just dandy.

Thankfully rather then back down Obama has gone on the offensive on this one.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIxmi3e2Vmo[/youtube]

For those who can’t watch YouTube video’s here’s a short excerpt.

Sen. Barack Obama sharply mocked his Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sunday night as he found himself defending his candidacy to white working-class voters for the second time in a month.

Sen. Obama accused Sen. Clinton of playing politics, and his campaign said she would say or do anything to get elected.

[…]

Sunday night at a steelworkers local in Steelton, Sen. Obama said of Sen. Clinton: “I expected this out of John McCain, but…I’m a little disappointed when I start hearing the exact same talking points coming out of my Democratic colleague, Hillary Clinton. She knows better. Shame on her.”

He also said he had chosen his words about Pennsylvanians badly. “They were subject to misinterpretation … and I regret that deeply,” he said.

“Misinterpretation”… if only that were true. Distortion would be a more accurate term but thankfully the voters don’t seem to be buying the negative spin. We know what he meant; it’s too bad the ivory tower chattering class can’t figure it out.

Does this mean the issue will go away any time soon? Not likely. Between Hillary’s diehards and the Republican party’s desperate need to find anything to pin on Obama we can expect to see this issue lurking in the background at least until November.

Update:

As Jonathan Singer of MyDD reminds us this recent polling trend happened smack-tab in the middle of the media feeding frenzy.

The important thing to note here is that two of the three days this poll was in the field (and thus presumably two-thirds of all interviews) came over the weekend, a period during which the airwaves were saturated with obsessing about Obama’s comments. In other words, this was not a particularly low information period of time but rather a period in which Obama’s admittedly poorly phrased statement was fresh in the minds of voters. Indeed, as Todd noted earlier today, Rasmussen Reports polling found that a majority of voters (all of whom were interviewed over the weekend) had followed the story at least somewhat closely, with 25 percent following the story very closely.

3 Responses to “Wasn’t “Bittergate” Suppose to Damage Obama? – Updated”

  1. Hey Dustin.

    Just wanted to warn you, I’m stepping on your toes on this one. Been working on a polling report for the past forty five minutes. Don’t worry, though, we welcome toe stepping here.

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