Jim Webb, the junior senator from Virginia has been saying some very interesting things in relation to Obama’s Appalachian problem. it seems to me that Webb would make a very interesting choice to join Obama on the ticket, that he could at a stroke indicate his determination to reach out to the one constituency that has resisted his charms, and Webb’s comments suggest why it is so important that they should be included. Pat Buchanan posed the leading question to Webb in the above interview, who appears to back up Buchanan’s point that people have been showing extraordinary insensitivity to those people, and this points to some very real problems with real elitist attitudes in the Democrats that allow the Republicans to exploit. I think Obama actually is one of the very least-worst offenders and, as Webb suggests, given a chance to make his case he could appeal to them. This whole issue of ‘elitism’ in American politics and culture is one that I want to address soon. It is a fascinating area that says a great deal about modern ‘progressive’ and ‘intellectual’ assumptions.
It also strikes me that Obama is very wise to defer selecting his running mate for as long as possible, and to defer any official start to the process until Clinton has conceded. It is bad enough smashing the dreams of the junior senator from New York and her supporters without adding a string of bitter VP hopefuls to the trail of destruction. As things stand he has them rallying to the cause of the inevitable nominee, training their fire on McCain (and setting aside their friendship with the senior senator from Arizona). This could become a powerful unifying force to counter Clinton’s refusal to concede.
Update: Matt Yglesias points out an interesting Al Jazeera report on Obama’s Appalachia problem that he reckons wouldn’t air in the US.
Update II: Al Giordano explains who is not going to be on the ticket. It appears Clinton has approached Obama and he has declined, which explains the recent Florida antics. George W Bush took the presidency through his adversaries systematically underestimating him, and it looks as if the same is happening with Obama. HRC may be finding out that Obama’s a tougher negotiator she bargained for and no appeaser. She surely burnt her bridges a long time ago and put down the hammer while she is behind. She will surely make much better headway with the new power centre in the Democratic party with a lot less attitude.