Maybe I’m out of touch, but I don’t think Obama made a gaffe of any sort when he forcefully responded to the anti-immigration, anti-terrorism woman in a clip that’s being widely shown the past 24 hours.
To me it was perhaps his finest spontaneous campaign moment and one of the reasons I think he’s going to win.
If you haven’t seen the clip the woman was badgering Obama about “getting rid of the illegal immigrants” and terrorists, language which–whatever your stance on immigration–is offensive. (And by the way aren’t you getting a little tired of these Iowans who–because of the ridiculously unbalanced primary timing situation–are getting so arrogant about their supposed folksy wisdom? No, sorry, Iowa people, you’re not smarter than the rest of us, you’re just sooner; it’s the mere accident of geography not any particular civic discernment you’ve shown that is the only reason you’re getting all the attention now. Stop putting on airs of being rural savants).
Anyway it’s not surprising the immigrants/terrorists question drew a heated response from Obama, a response of the sort the Conventional Wisdom of the media has lately coalesced into saying he’s incapable of. Too nice, not a fighter.
But here’s what he said to the immigrant/terrorist questioner: “don’t think that I care any less than Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney about making sure that my daughters don’t get blown up.”
Wow! That remark packed heat, intensity and a kind of gut level understanding of the issue (plus fierce family values!) that complements his more visible studied and soft- spoken side.
I think the media’s gotten it all wrong about Obama and that he’s been slowly building a bond of trust with voters, cumulatively begun to connect with them on some deep level. I think he’s earning their respect for his solidity and dignity, and with that one remark demonstrated he’s no distant Dukakis-like figure. I say this as someone who’s endorsed Hillary but has begun to waver.
I think that one remark, straight from the heart is going to win him the primary and maybe the nomination.