“I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me,” Barack Obama told the AP in the early 1990s, as Joel Kotkin reminds us, in this passage highlighted by Instapundit:
Many of the administration’s most high-profile initiatives have tended to reflect the views of urban interests – roughly 20 percent of the population – rather than suburban ones.
When the president visits suburban backyards, it sometimes seems like a visit from a “president from another planet.” After all, as a young man, Obama told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”
Add that to Obama’s previous utterances regarding other aspects of America that induced in him a sense of ennui as a young man. In 2008, Jim Geraghty spotted this telling passage in a book by David Mendell titled Obama: From Promise to Power:
“[Obama] always talked about the New Rochelle train, the trains that took commuters to and from New York City, and he didn’t want to be on one of those trains every day,” said Jerry Kellman, the community organizer who enticed Obama to Chicago from his Manhattan office job. “The image of a life, not a dynamic life, of going through the motions… that was scary to him.”
And then there was this classic bit by Michelle Obama on the campaign trail:
“We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”
Flash-forward two years, as Doug Powers runs down what is likely an incomplete list of the numerous industries that Obama, once in power, punitively demonized with either harsh rhetoric, harsh legislation, or both, and then asks:
Only one question remains — what area of the private sector — aside from the slip-and-fall attorneys — isn’t hated and vilified by the Obama Democrats?
And of course, Obama has thoroughly demonized Republicans, both as a group and individually by name before and after taking office. And the Chamber of Commerce. And Fox News. And Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. And even “the Professional Left,” in a crude effort at triangulation. And many of America’s previously stalwart foreign allies have felt the cold shoulder as well, starting with England.
And note the 20 percent number that Kotkin quoted above. The president has rather consistently backed issues approved by 40 to 20 percent of the public, a trend that seemed to only increase this summer, perhaps explained by an attempt to rally his moribund base. But for the rest of us it’s an awfully perplexing strategy.