In Democrats’ minds, it was never a question of “How did we lose Main Street?” Instead, it was the fault of the “tea party” or of crazy right-wing Republicans.
Yet in interview after interview — in Colorado, along Nebraska’s plains, in small Iowa towns or Wisconsin shops, outside closed Ohio steel plants and elsewhere — many Democrats have told me they are furious with the president. Not in a frothing-at-the-mouth or racist way, as many elites suggest. They just have legitimate concerns affecting their lives.
These Main Street Democrats in seven battleground states supported Obama in 2008. Now they are disappointed by his broken pledges: Where is the promised bipartisanship? How could health-care reform become such a mess? What direction is the country going in?
Their overriding sentiment is uncertainty over where the president is taking the country. They have no idea but get the feeling it isn’t the direction that traditional Democrats want.
It does seem that there is a huge disconnect between what the self-appointed ‘elite’ say and do and what I hear daily from average people. Whether it’s gushing about how running marathon through a storm wracked city will “energize” the storm victims or the incredibly tasteless, debauched partying by the ‘famous’ right after the storm roared through, killing New Yorkers, there is something very different in the worldview of the well connected.
The petty meanness of the Obama campaign seems wildly out of touch with the voters that Obama needs to win a second term. They prattle on about Big Bird, binders and bayonets while FEMA runs out of water. Obama poses for pictures in a comic opera leather jacket and asks supporters to vote for ‘revenge’ while millions more are on food stamps than when he took office.
Zito spent a long time out talking to the average Americans on Main Street instead of engaging in group think with the media ‘elite’. I suspect she has a better grasp of the reality than the people in the echo chamber.
We’ll know soon.