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Commentary :: Politics
Hillary stiffs waitress/Obama b.s.'s grief striken
08 Nov 2007
Are there candidates for the Democratic presidential ticket who are more aware? Let us hope so. Certainly the present frontrunners are simply more of the same in a different package.
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Remember back when Bill Clinton and Al Gore were campaigning in the heartland and when questioned about the price of a loaf of bread they were clueless? Today on NPR's Morning Edition they ran a <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16099751";>piece</a> about two women who encountered a similar dynamic on the present campaign trail. <p>

On her first day at a new job in Iowa, waitress Anita Esterday found herself serving Hillary Clinton and her entourage. Esterday, a single mom working two, sometimes three minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet, talked with Clinton about what her life is like. The NPR piece notes: "Esterday does not think Clinton got it. 'I don't think she understood at all what I was saying,' Esterday said, adding, 'I mean, nobody got left a tip that day.' " <p>

In Independence, Iowa on one of Barack Obama's swing-throughs, he met Geri Punteney whose brother has stage 3 lymphoma and leukemia, but had to work to keep his health insurance. Obama was, of course, sympathetic. He said to a tearful Punteney: "Tell your brother we're thinking of him. Maybe I'll write him a note before you leave today." She never received the note nor got any kind of message from Obama's handlers. <p>

Clueless? Yes. Phony and exploitive? You bet. Welcome to the top of the Democratic Party ticket. It's even worse on the other side with the Repugnicians. The problem actually is elitism and the basic disconnect inherent in a class-based society. "Let them eat cake" is as viable now as it was when a clueless Marie Antoinette was said to have uttered those words in regard to people having no bread. Are there candidates for the Democratic presidential ticket who are more aware? Let us hope so. Certainly the present frontrunners are simply more of the same in a different package.

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