Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Obama neglects a bunch of Americans ... most of them rural

That is the gist of John Harwood's story in the New York Times today.   The piece, titled "Dissent Festers in States Obama Forgot," starts with North Dakota as an example of those states, calling it the antithesis of Obama's political base and goes onto list other similarly neglected (and mostly rural) states:  Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Wyoming, and Utah.  An excerpt from Harwood's report follows:
Mr. Obama’s near-complete absence from more than 25 percent of the states, from which he is politically estranged, is no surprise, in that it reflects routine cost-benefit calculations of the modern presidency. But in a country splintered by partisanship and race, it may also have consequences. 
America’s 21st-century politics, as underscored by the immigration debate now embroiling Congress, increasingly pits the preferences of a dwindling, Republican-leaning white majority against those of expanding, Democratic-leaning Hispanic and black minorities. Even some sympathetic observers fault Mr. Obama for not doing all he could to pull disparate elements of society closer.
By way of "sympathetic observors," Harwood quotes Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist who worked with Clinton and Gore:
Every president should make an attempt to bridge the divide.  It’s a tall order. I wouldn’t give him high marks.
The story notes that Brazile is an African-American.  And speaking of race, Harwood notes:  
The sense of disappointment some feel extends beyond inattention to staunch opponents. Mr. Obama has not, for instance, traveled as president to the overwhelmingly poor, black Mississippi Delta, either.

No comments: