Bittergate: Going Forward

1. As one Democrat who opposes Obama points out, "elitist comments like these are like catnip for the GOP." It's not reality that drives these characterizations, it's perceptions. Without putting too fine a point on it, nothing energizes the conservative political machine more than the scent of liberal elitism. Think of John Kerry and windsurfing; John Kerry and dirty jokes at his fundraisers; and then the pivots to simplistic morality plays by Republicans.

2. But Obama is not John Kerry; he is not Michael Dukakis. 2008 is not 2004. Obama is certainly much more comfortable in his skin, more confident, more "agile," as one observer put it. "Let's see him fight his way out of this one."

3. It's going to be a helluva fight. The onus is on Obama to figure out how to explain his elitist-sounding comments, stand by them, and not come off as condescending, elitist-sounding, Dukakis-esque or patronizing. His campaign faces its biggest political test since Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Can he pass it?

4. Is this the moment where 80% of the remaining superdelegates switch to HRC? I doubt it.... but once again, this controversy is not one ginned up by Clinton. So you can't blame her for it.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter

Scenes from a recent protest in New York City

Video

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life

The Supreme Court justice talks gender equality and marriage.

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In