Too 'European'

  • Matthew Price
  • 3 Nov 08, 04:37 AM GMT

What may not be obvious to some people, especially many of those reading this from outside the borders of the US, is how strongly many here feel about the possibility of an Obama presidency.

I'm not talking about those who want him to be their next leader. I'm referring to a large part of the country - many of whom I have met while following John McCain from rally to rally - that believes he should not be president.

This is not because of racism. There are some who do not want a black man running their country, but they are not a sizeable part of the electorate from what I have seen in recent weeks. I may be proved wrong on Tuesday, but I think that's the case.

Instead, many I have met in the last few weeks see Obama as a threat to their image of what their country truly is.

In Ohio last week I chatted to a group of men and women in their late 50s (I'd guess), who were waiting for John McCain to turn up. One told me he'd been excited by Obama when he first came on the scene. A woman agreed. Others murmured their understanding of what they were saying.

What had changed their minds? It boiled down to a sense that he was just a little bit too different. He seemed to have a different outlook, something they weren't quite sure about. Something unfamiliar.

Yes, they'd been helped along in forming this opinion by some of the rumours circulating about Obama, but I didn't sense that such rumours were the main reason for their doubts about him.

For many the fact that Barack Obama is different is intoxicating. For many others it is something that leaves them unsettled.

I'm not talking about the kind of people who yell at me outside rallies and demand to know why the media will not report the "fact" that Obama was not born in the USA. Please, just read this from a very reputable source.

This is about the people who simply feel his policies, and his approach would not be good for this nation. This is why John McCain's focus on "Barack the Redistributor" has hit a chord with many segments of the population here.

Remember Obama's comment about people clinging to their guns and their religion? Millions took that as criticism of those who go to church every Sunday, or who own a gun.

Remember also when Michelle Obama said: "For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country"? In New York (where I am based) many I spoke to said they knew where she was coming from. Many millions though across this country did not have a clue where she was coming from. It simply sounded downright unpatriotic.

I have met many in the last few weeks who fear their country - if Obama becomes president - will be weakened.

That is because - for millions here - Barack Obama is not what they think of when they think of an American. For many I have met, he's simply too "European".


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