Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Dishonest Hillary

I really don't want to return to the horribly overblown minutiae of the Democratic primary campaign. But since today's publicized gaffe hits particularly close to home, I figure it's worth a quick comment.

For those who are unaware, Hillary Clinton has been running ads attacking Obama for his allegedly elitist remarks about small-town Pennsylvanians. One ad offers several testimonials from Pennsylvanians purportedly offended by the remarks (although the controversy appears to have had little effect).

Today the Chicago Tribune reports that one of the "Pennsylvanians" in the ad is actually registered to vote here in New Jersey, where he has lived just about his entire life (though he was born in Allentown, PA). The man purportedly moved to Bethlehem, PA sometime since February. Prior to that, the man had lived his entire life in Somerville, NJ, which is smack in the middle of New Jersey.

Let's just say that I have a little more than a passing familiarity with Somerville. For starters, it is in fact a small, working class town. If that was all you knew about the place, you would think it would be exactly the type of place that would have been offended by Obama's remarks.

The trouble is that's where the similarities end. Somerville is far from the type of place where voters' biggest issues are "God, guns, and gays." It is a town that is probably almost 50% African-American and Latino, maybe more. The immigration issue is not something that will go very far with most of the town. Although it is a working-class town, it also sits smack in the middle of one of the wealthiest counties in the country. Moreover, it has been undergoing something of an economic revival for about the last 6 or 7 years after a decade or two of decline. The downtown area is now filled with excellent, moderately priced restaurants where 10 years ago there were vacant or run-down storefronts.

The point is this: while Somerville might be a small, working-class town, it is hardly the type of place where people would have been offended by Obama's remarks. That the Clinton campaign would use someone from such a place - which isn't even in Pennsylvania - in one of her ads is just more proof that this is a campaign built almost entirely on lies and deceit.

(More at memeorandum)