The Corner

Hicks nix clique’s shticks

I’m about done with Obama over this mill-closures-drive-small-town-losers-to-guns-and-God business. If you’re running as a glamorous blank slate on which people project their own utopian fantasies, you’ve got to be very careful not to give the game away – especially when the game turns out to be the usual cliched elite disdain for the great unwashed. I mention in the current issue of NR how odd it is that Michelle Obama is in many ways more condescending on the stump than Teresa Heinz Kerry. Now her husband’s at it, too. As Ed Driscoll says:

Leave it to Obama to make John Kerry’s Brahmin hauteur seem earnestly goofy in retrospect. 

Quite. I had a ton of fun covering Kerry’s awkwardness with Americans but, in fairness, it was essentially a consumerist snobbery: he preferred the Newburgh Yacht Club for lunch over the local Wendy’s, he’d rather be windsurfing off Nantucket than rednecking at Nascar, etc. Obama’s snobbery seems more culturally profound, and unlike Kerry he can’t plead the crippling disadvantage of a priviliged childhood. Rather, Barack’s condescension reveals a man out of touch with the rhythms of American life to a degree that’s hard to fathom. As Michelle says, they “chose” to ”leave corporate America”, and Barack became a “community organizer” and she wound up a 350-grand-a-year “diversity outreach coordinator”. I’ve no idea what either of those careers involve, and most of us seem able to get along without them. But their remoteness from the American mainstream perhaps explains why the Obamas seem to have no clue how Americans live their lives.

And yes, I’m a foreigner. But it takes one to know one, and this guy seems weirdly disconnected from everything except neo-segregationist Afrocentric grievance politics and upscale white liberal condescension. Not much of a coalition.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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