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Barack Obama, with 5 suits, puzzled by elitist charge

Two weeks after Illinois freshman senator and Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was flailed for telling a mansion full of rich San Franciscans that rural Americans are bitter about their economic woes and cling to guns and religion, the suit-clad presidential candidate was asked about well, his look.

At a gas station today in Indianapolis, where the presidentiIllinois Senator and leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama campaigning for Indiana's May primary says he doesn't understand the elitist charge aimed at him because he has only 4 pairs of shoes and 5 suitsal candidate had come to talk about energy policy, a reporter asked Obama whether he looks "too much like a GQ cover who's aloof, and therefore has an image problem, can't relate to working-class folk."

Looking down at his suit, Obama launched into a riff about clothes, looks, bowling and the irony of his being tagged as out of touch with working Americans.

"I think it is a fairly standard suit here," he replied. "You know, I haven't changed my approach to dressing too much. Michelle has asked me to clean up, because when she first met me I had one suit."

He noted that his wife finds the idea of her husband as an elitist dresser amusing, "because I basically ....

buy five of the same suit, and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly."

Continuing his requested sartorial assessment, Obama confessed that he has four pairs of shoes and has recently taken to getting a haircut more frequently because "my mother-in-law makes fun of me."

Apart from his clothes, Obama acknowledged that "there was concern about my bowling score. And, you know, I have committed to practicing bowling so that I'm better. "

Then he ribbed reporters, especially those who watched the candidate's sorry Pennsylvania bowling performance in person, for stories that suggested he had actually bowled 10 frames, calling it underhanded.

"You know how -- there was only seven frames, and two of them were bowled by a 10-year-old. And remember the little kid with the 3-year-old that we carried the ball and put it down the rail? And none of that ever came out. What happened?" Still, he confessed, "I make no claim -- I can't excuse away the first two gutterballs."

All the talk of his being an elitist, he said, has left him puzzled, he claims.

Then, he took a long breath and said, "It's true that both the Republicans and my opponents, to some degree, have been trying to paint me as this elitist, out of touch. It's hard for me to figure that out, given that I was raised with far fewer advantages than either of my two remaining opponents, that my work started off on the streets of Chicago as a community organizer, that my wife, Michelle, grew up in that same neighborhood with a mother and father who never went to college, and who worked as a secretary and a city worker, that we financed all our education on student loans, that I was raised in a setting, with my grandparents who grew up in small-town Kansas, where the dinner table would have been very familiar to anybody here in Indiana, a lot of pot roasts and potatoes and Jell-O molds."

Vowing to re-introduce himself to voters, Obama said however that he didn't want to "go out of my way to sort of prove my street cred as a down-to-earth guy. People know me."

-- Johanna  Neuman

Photo credit: Associated Press

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All of these folks are indeed dead and it might all just be a tragic coincidence--- But I wouldn't want to be on their list of associates (just to be on the safe side)!!!!!!!!!!!


This is what happens when you have dirt on the Clintons :

1 - James McDougal - Clinton's convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.

2 - Mary Mahoney - A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.

3 - Vince Foster - Former white House councilor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock's Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.

4 - Ron Brown - Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors.

5 - C. Victor Raiser II and Montgomery Raiser, Major players in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.

6 - Paul Tulley - Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock, September 1992... Described by Clinton as a "Dear friend and trusted advisor."

7- Ed Willey - Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.

8 - Jerry Parks - Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park's son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.

9 - James Bunch - Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a "Black Book" of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.

10 - James Wilson - Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.

11- Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.

12 - Bill Shelton - Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.

13 - Gandy Baugh - Attorney for Clinton's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.

14 - Florence Martin - Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.

15 - Suzanne Coleman - Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.

16 - Paula Grober - Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.

17 - Danny Casolaro - Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.

18 - Paul Wilcher - Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 "October Surprise" was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno three weeks before his death

19 - Jon Parnell Walker - Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guarantee scandal.

20 - Barbara Wise - Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.

21- Charles Meissner - Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.

22 - Dr. Stanley Heard - Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee, died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton's advisory council personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather and brother.

23 - Barry Seal - Drug running pilot out of Mena, Arkansas, death was no accident.

24 - Johnny Lawhorn Jr. - Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.

25 - Stanley Huggins - Investigated Madison Guarantee. His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.

26- Hershell Friday - Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.

27 - Kevin Ives and Don Henry - Known as "The boys on the track" case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the two boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.


28 - Keith Coney - Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, July 1988.

29 - Keith McMaskle - Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988

30 - Gregory Collins - Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.

31 - Jeff Rhodes - He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.

33 - James Milan - Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to "natural causes."

34 - Jordan Kettleson - Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.

35 - Richard Winters - A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.

THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE DEAD: 36 - Major William S. Barkley Jr. 37 - Captain Scott J. Reynolds 38 - Sgt. Brian Hanley 39 - Sgt. Tim Sabel 40 - Major General William Robertson 41 - Col. William Densberger 42 - Col. Robert Kelly 43 - Spec. Gary Rhodes 44 - Steve Willis 45 - Robert Williams 46 - Conway LeBleu 47 - Todd McKeehan

Quite an impressive list! Pass this on. Let the public become aware of what happens to anyone who might damage the Clinton machine

Apparently, Josh is part of the Obama machine.

As for the article, if Obama is confused by the elitist charge, he's just supporting the notion that he "doesn't get it." It was reported on another news site that Obama (and his peeps) refused to reveal what brand names he wears.

Senator Obama is not an elitist. He has never had any money until he wrote his best selling books. Yes, he went to great schools, but he had good grades and student loans that he just paid off a couple of years ago. He didn't get into Harvard because of wealthy parents, he went to the private school in Hawaii on a scholarship, not because his mother and grandparents had money. He owns one home which they purchased two years ago. How many homes does Billary own? TWO very large expensive homes.

Just to be fair, I want to know how much money Clinton's campaign spend on Hillary's custom made suits, matching jewelies, shoes, and other accessories like scarves. In addition to those spendings, the amount of payment to her make-up artist, cosmetic surgeon and hair dresser should be revealed. By the way, how often does she get her hair colored?
Hillary has been enjoying the time of her life during this presidential campaign. She has never been spoiled this much in her life as we can witness from the pictures of her past. I do not understand how her supporters tolerate the discrepancy between her luxurious appearance and populist messages.

Curious. Does Clinton (H) ever "launch into a riff"? Don't think I've ever seen that. But then, I guess there's a lot more Black male jazz players than white females and, as is now well-known, the MSM will do whatever it can to make sure everyone knows that Barack Obama is "the Black candidate". Thank you so much for your sensitivity and understanding.

Too much. Way too much. How can they say anything negative about Obama?

I am an Obama supporter. One of the reasons I am supporting Obama, is because I take him at his word when he says he wants a different kind of politics. He is looking at how can we make our dreams come true, our collective dreams of having a better country, and a better life for it's citizens.

This list of dead folks Bill Clinton supposedly had killed is not in keeping with what we need in American politics. Clinton was not responsible for the deaths of those folks, it is completely false. See for the truth about this. IF you support Obama, stick to why Obama will make a great president, and let Rush Limbaugh promote the lies.

I am still undecided, but I have to admit that Obama strikes me more and more as a hypocrite lately. He spent $1500 on one suit? Are you kidding me? That's not middle America! We make a good living, but I look at thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army and garage sales for name brand suits in great shape. I spend about $20 each. If my husband needs a 'nicer' suit for a special occassion, I'll shop the clearance racks or sale racks of major department stores like Burlington Coat Factory, etc. Hearing that Sarah Palin buys her own wardrobe at a consignment store in Anchorage says a lot!


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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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