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America's turn: How bitter are you? Vote now

Boy, oh, boy don't these two Democratic presidential candidates -- Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York -- look really bitter over this fight over how bitter Pennsylvania is

For days now we've all been reading about how bitter or not bitter small-town Pennsylvanians are.

All three major remaining presidential candidates -- Sens. John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who started this whole thing by blabbing on in some ill-expressed psychobabble at what he thought was a closed fundraiser in the smallest of small towns, San Francisco -- have been trying to use bitter to their own political advantage.

Big shock there!

Clinton and McCain have bitterly attacked Obama over his bitter remarks and he admits he could have said it bitter.

Besides the fact that, yo, even Pennsylvania's large cities are small towns, the Keystone State has had its say.

Now, it's time for the rest of us to weigh in. Vote away.

And if your ballot requires further explanation, use the Comments section below.

--Andrew Malcolm

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well i for one am very bitter. been that way since about 2003. anyone who knows what our government and Big business is up to that is not reported by the corporate owned news networks would be very bitter too. most Americans don't know the crap that is pulled in their name and under their Flag.

I think Hilary Clinton is showing a major lack of class in her attack on Sen. Obama. There was a time I wish she would run for President. I must say I'm ashamed of her now. She tries to cover up her major liabilities by lashing out at Barak. She is devisive and low class and lack the integrity to run this great nation.


Damn right I'm bitter. Bitter that George Bush was not only elected, but re-elected. Bitter that the electorate can't see through the Clintons. Bitter that Senator Obama can't tell the truth without being attacked for it.

Barack has it sort of right, but just a tad off. Pissed is more like it, rather than bitter. But Washington has screwed up badly, and the situation gets worse as they try to fix it with their pablum solutions rather than real fixes. Americans have majority views on all sorts of important issues, but the beltway politicos respond to some other drummer. Until someone breaks the cycle, we are in for more of the bad stuff.

The only thing I'm bitter about is the media bias against Hillary Clinton.

Who could be bitter that the Clinton presidency, as well as the second Bush presidency, has sold our jobs to foreign slave labor markets? Bitter? Who? Me? Nahhh. I couldn't even be bitter about all the illegal immigrants from south of the border, let alone China's huge slave labor pool.

I'll just work harder, for less money, and eat less often, so that I can compete.

This is more about the arrogance of the Obama campaign than anything else. In an age of American Idol and the Internet, an elitist group of cynical and condescending campaign staff lead by David Axelrod is conditioning and manipulating a new generation of voter. These voters respond virally to professional, well-crafted You Tubes, silver-tongued speeches, chantable meaningless slogans, carefully selected campaign suits (for each specific audience) and highly customized advertising graphics (for each and every region & class of voter!). We end up with s a sexy, stunning at-first, invented candidate named Obama upon which we can blindly project any and all of our varied dreams and aspirations.
But eventually Obama's mask has to come off. Each day that passes another layer is peeled away. And underneath is none other than a slick, fancy talking, small minded, small time Chicago politician with lots of hidden personal and political agendas.

It is sad when truth becomes a dirty word.

Senator Obama's comments were right on the money.

My vote is for Obama.

Mr. Obama is absolutely correct when he states the the middle and lower middle class is bitter. We are in the largest economy the planet has ever seen and the real wages of almost all working people have been stagnant for the last 8-10 yrs. The elite classes, ie the republican capitalist 20% have wrecked the country in an ideological war fought by our sons and daughters and I, for one, am mad as hell and if I could would send the entire pack to the nearest unfriendly island for some reeducation. So bitter, ya I'm bitter.

I'm a carpenter and have two kids. For the last few years I've seen my income and opportunity slide downhill. I am completely bitter with this US government. I can fully relate to what he said.

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton found an effective way to settle their differences over disparaging remarks. Alexander was, by some accounts, the winner since he no longer had to endure his self inflicted torture. Aaron, on the other hand, was forced to spend the rest of his life dreaming and struggling for, what he imagined, could have been.

Since neither camp seems to remember that there are critical issues facing this country right now, perhaps they can take their respective camps to Mexico or Columbia and test Hillary's stated familiarity with weapons. They might consider doing us a favor and taking McCain with them. The good thing is that the winner won't be able to come back.

In other words, they should go try to entertain each other anally where someone cares.

Bitter? Not really.

Frustrated? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Neither party can get anything done, they are petty and unable to do the right thing for the right reason.

They all should be voted out of office ASAP and replaced by people who care.

Journalists today are a part of the problem of America going nowhere, the wrong direction and around in circles.
You don't get out and make a story, not find one, but make one.

THE POPE IS IN TOWN!!! It is time to ask the Pope questions: 1. Isn't it time he and the Vatican come here to LISTEN to American Catholics. If he does not, what makes him think we won't start an American Catholic Church? 2. Gay Rights. Go right after him and his delegation and spokesmen in this country We don't agree with the Vatican on this issue. 3. Celebacy. How come it isn't optional and so on......

I am bitter as hell. This presidency has really messed up US relations with the rest of the world and it's no wonder we are in a recession. I agree with what Barack Obama said.

REALLY BITTER---Obama's got it right!

Wrong question.

Ask who is "clinging" and what are they clinging to.

I'm bitter that Scientologists dont have to pay taxes for religious education while every other person in every other religion does. It's unconstitutional!

If you're not bitter about the current economy and the state of the world in general, yuo're not paying attention.

I think he was brutally honest about how people feel. That's not what the average American wants to hear about oneself. Politicians, in the past, have never been honest to the people. They have felt that people want to hear how 'good they are' and 'God fearin' and so on. This flare-up couldn't have come at a better time. It is up to us now if we want to hear the truth and are willing to stand up for our rights. Now we have a choice to vote for someone not afraid to talk about the untalkable truths. Thank God,; and us.

I would rate my bitterness 15 on a scale of 1 to 10. The US Government has sold out it's citizens to the highest bidder.

I guess I am not actually and literaly bitter but I am mad about the whole economic situation and the causes behind it. So if I voted yes it is mainly to state that I understand what Obama meant and fully agree with him about the situation many people in the states face.

American truly is a society of soap operas. We are always looking for drama from somewhere. That has never been more apparent than with the recent tongue lashings being given out by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of American media. Truth is, the majority of America is bitter and fed up with the state of US Politics. Small town Pennsylvanians, big city New Yorkers, and even hippies from Portland are fed up with big business running America. What Barack said makes a lot of sense to people who actually listened to what he said and what he meant. Instead we, as Americans, who as I mentioned are constantly on the prowl, have taken well intended words, and twisted them to create some entertainment. Will these words damage Barack enough that he lose the Democratic primary? Maybe. Will these words be enough to damage Barack's image? Maybe. But at the end of the day, if people are offended by the actualy words that Barack said, they are wrong. He explained what we as non-big business American's have been trying to put into words for a long time. Was it politically correct? No, but did it explain exactly what just about every American feels inside? Yes. And at the end of the day, that is why Barack Obama is the best thing that has happened to American Politics in a long time.

The mainstream media is pathetic. Fortunately there are alternatives.

I'm bitter about how the country as I know and love it has been taken away by the Bush administration. It's been replaced by a pre-emptive war we should never have been in with a non-questioning congress. It's immoral to do this to other people, and I'm disgusted and saddened by it! Shame on our country for allowing this to happen. All the deaths, wounded, suffering caused by our country! The economic cost has.been terrible too. You bet I'm bitter!

The Republican party has lost it's way. They told us they were for small government, fiscal responsibility, no nation building. We are now in the position today because of increasing the national debit by 4 trillion dollars and not representing the public but supporting big business interests over the national interests. Again, in the coming election we don't have a clear choice for president. Too much money is involved to get a fair candidate.

I'm not bitter, just frustrated that politicians use the American citizens as cash machines to line their pockets. Big business has all the major politicians under control due to cash contributions and there is nothing the average citizen can do since no politician will revamp a process that gives them access to virtually unlimited amounts of cash. Perfect example, oil man in the White House, and the price of oil has more than tripled under his regime.

I'm bitter that this stupid comment has stirred up a huge crapfest in the media while John McCain has repeated mixed up Sunnis and Shiites and made false statements about Al-Quaeda in Iran.

Yep, I'm bitter. Voting for Obama, he's right. People ARE bitter. They are upset that they are being left in the dust and that jobs are drying up. Who's to really blame? NAFTA? China? Who cares. We want solutions, not the head of who's responsible. I think Obama is the one making the most sense. McCain at close second. Hillary, well... sorry but I can't trust her at all.

Yes, Barrack said it right, just not very eloquently. I am VERY bitter over the status quo government and want a change. I am sick and tired of the Clinton era, their lies, the Bush era, their lies, and I'm MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE! AND MY VOTE WILL SHOW IT!

I am bitter, and I'm not offended by someone noticing it and trying to change it.

We're bitter that our economy is floundering, our job security is unstable, energy, health insurance and gas is expensive, our national debt is out of control, the mortgage industry is taking our homes, we wait in long lines at the airport and then we're told to be happy with everything for a $600 check.

Fix the debt, fix our real problems, don't bribe me not to notice that this country is spiraling and swooshing its way down around the sides of the world toilet.

I'm bitter about a lot of things in this country, not the least of which is that every four years we're given two big candidates who are deep into the pockets of big oil, big tobacco, big banking and big world despots. Why can't Ralph Nader debate? Why can't John McCain stand up to the republican party and still have a chance to run for president? Why are the two big democrats ripping each other to shreds over bullshit that's taken out of context in an unwinnable he-said she-said pissing contest?

I don't know. The least offensive thing to me right now is that somebody might realize I'm bitter and ready for change.

Obama got it right and no one else has the guts to admit it, poor pathetic Mc Cain and Clinton, still the delusional duo

yes,for lack of a better word. bitter, knowing that we are making history by being the last of the middle class.As we work harder to be in the ranks of the working poor.

Bitter I am...and my response, by the way, indicates that I am bitter about Hillary's approach to this whole campaign. So, be sure to count my vote accurately!!!

Bitter, disappointment, low moral, lack of faith in our government. I could go on and on but the real issue here is who is really going to bat for americans whom are struggling and yes victems of a government that has turned and looked the other way from a host of injustices.

I am from a small town, and I am very bitter about Obama's remarks. Actually, to tell you the truth, I have been bitter for quite some time now, the way polititicans have been in general. I own guns and I like to hunt, and I am sure ticked off when they try to pass laws to take them away from them. At least I have the solace of my religious beliefs, and the shared fellowship I get as a regular church goer. But in any case, I can't believe what Obama said. It simply isn't true that we are bitter, and have lost all hope of government action on economic issues that affect us, and then turn to other issues like guns and religion, as some sort of substitute. Only an elitist would think that, because certainly that isn't the way we are. It just makes me feel more bitter.

Yes, i am bitter.

Bitter that our liberties go away and no one utters a peep, bitter that as a country, we are less respected than 6 years ago, bitter that GW thinks he has been doin' a good job and bitter that both parties and all candidates get dragged into this kind of debate!

I'm bitter about how crappy the mass media is at covering the presidential candidates.

Webster's New World College Dictionary:

Bitter adj. 2. ... showing sorrow, discomfort or pain, 4. characterized by strong feelings of ... resentment, cynicism, etc.

Maybe the Los Angeles Times should hire a reporter that can use a dictionary. If anyone is not bitter after 8 years of George Bush, they must be dead from the neck up.

I'm bitter about the waste and damage of the Iraq War. I'm bitter that my government for the past 8 years seems to be leading us in a dangerous direction. I'm bitter about the harm done by fundamentalist thinking, regardless of what country or what religion fosters it. I'm bitter about the small-mindedness of our political system, and the sound-bite culture of the media that turns people into cartoons. However, I'm not bitter about the current slate of candidates, and am delighted that, for the first time in a long time, we have two Democratic candidates who are smart, thoughtful, strong, intelligent, and worthy of respect. Not to mention I'm delighted to see how far we have come that these candidates come packaged in different genders and races than would have been thought possible even 20 years ago. I'm also delighted to feel that, even if a Republican won, it would be a Republican who actually seems to think about things, and doesn't follow a rigid party line. I think the 2008 election offers us the opportunity to move away from the fear/control politics of the last 8 years toward something that might actually make our country stronger. So you go, Hillary and Barack and John. Stay tough, stay strong, stop sniping and being petty, stop making up stories to make yourself or someone else look better or worse. You're a good bunch. Don't screw it up with politics as usual. Give us something to be proud of, no matter who wins.

My god!! Who would be voting for her if it wasn't for her husband? Time to break the cycle people, get rid of the old and get the new in there. And that includes congress. Vote them ALL out in 2008!!!

Yes. I'm bitter. I'm bitter that Obama cares more for his own giant ego than he does the welfare and future of this country. Way to go. You could have been in the White House for 16 years... and now you've all but ensured that we'll have President McCain. Hope it was worth it.

Damn right I'm bitter. My mortgage went up $400-$500 a month for 4 months until I refinanced. Many of my neighbors are losing their houses and equity and the big three mortgage lenders walked away last quarter with record profits. I'm paying $4.00 a gallon at the pump and Exxon posts record profits. We're involved in a war that jackass Bush got us into for all the wrong reasons. Sure Sadam was ruthless, but the region was stable. Or at least a lot more stable than it is now. And the only way it will remain stable is if we stay there. Forever? I'm voting for change precisely because I AM bitter.

Count me among the "bitter". I am sick of state and national politicians who make millions of dollars a year telling me how great and hopeful and "hard working" I am. Every time they ask for my vote, they promise they'll scrub the Rust Belt with political strength liquid CLR. Then... nothing. CEOs get mega million dollar paydays and tax breaks for outsourcing my local economy, and mt local Ace Hardware gets the shaft from Walmart 6 miles out of town.

Here's a tip: If you make eight figures or more a year, you don't get to speak for the "working man." You are milking your billionaire base through sweetheart book deals and "consultation fees" and trophy figurehead boardroom appointments and megamillionaire spouses.

Do I sound bitter?

The media seized on the word "bitter," but the real issue was Obama saying residents of small towns had "antipathy" toward different people -- i.e., that they were racists. Of course, media outlets are too much in love with Obama to focus any critical attention upon his false allegation of racism, but it's right there in front of our eyes.

I think that Obama will get some gun owners and church goers to vote for him with his remark. What a savvy dude.

For all of you saying that you are bitter or angry, please share what behaviors or modes of thought you cling to.

Is it guns? Religion? Antipathy toward people who aren't like you? Anti-immigrant sentiment? Or anti-trade sentiment?

Or are you bitter, but different from those sorry goobers Obama was talking about; better educated and informed, more thoughtful, above that sort of thing?

Of course we are bitter unless we are among the very rich. The middle class to which I belong is going down for the count and when the one candidate who is willing to speak the truth does so, both McCain and Clinton jump all over him and try to pretend it just isn't so. Check your gas bill. Check you grocery bill. Check your childrens' tuition payments. Check your health care costs. Check your retirement investments if you have any. . Remember those vacations? Not any more. Yes we are bitter

I'm Bitter as hell and I won't take it anymore. The revolution to take back control of our government is here and Barack Obama is the Candidate who can deliver it back to the American People.

Go Barack!

People deserve what they get. Unless it impacts them directly, they just sit on their proverbial but* and let it happen to them.

Enron, Rite-Aid, Adelphia, Worldcom, etc (corporate greed)

Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Jim West, etc (political hypocrites - sex scandals)

The lists go on and on. Yet no one cares enough to actually stand up to government to change the status quo.

How long before food is no longer on the shelves, even those with insurance can't afford the premiums and increased co-payments and Rx costs?

Will people decide to march when they can't walk from hunger or their medical condition prevents them from doing so?

The future is bleak. And the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of the train coming straight for you.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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