I had pretty unpleasant morning at the gym, (made all the more unpleasant by my recent absence….but that is another matter) — where I, too watched Obama on TV. I was struck by how much less comfortable he looked in front of an audience of ordinary, middle-aged, middle-class, black men and women in South Carolina than he has in front of solid white audiences elsewhere. The confidence and mastery and charm weren’t working.
I checked my reaction with my trainer, Pedro, who agreed, (but wanted me to pay attention to the task at hand — which I am sure I should appreciate). Pedro is a 26-year-old legal immigrant from Ecuador, who is looking forward to casting his first American vote in the primaries. He is unshakeably for Rudy. He had a funny story to tell about going to register, handing the forms to the clerk at the Board of Elections, a stern looking black woman, who checked all the information, then, when she got to the “party affiliation,” slot, looked up from the paper, fixed her glare, and asked if he was absolutely sure he had checked the right box. When he said “yes, is there a problem?” she just shook her head in disgust. I am pretty sure I’ve got the only Republican trainer on the West Side. And I hope Obama creams Hillary on Saturday.