Did anyone really think that Barack Obama’s comments in San Francisco really amounted to a gaffe, a misconstructed statement that didn’t reveal a bigotry against small-town Americans and generally anyone between the two coasts? If so, the chief Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe has ripped the lid off of the hatred and condescension found on the hard Left towards, well, almost everyone else. In an interview with National Journal, Plouffe tells Linda Douglass that McCain attracts the racist vote:

Q: Well, one of the things to which some Democrats point — the Clinton campaign has not said this publicly at least, but one certainly hears it in talking to supporters in more of a background way. Look at the racial polarization in the last several contests — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Mississippi — is that going to be a problem? Is race going to be a problem for Barack Obama in the general election?

Plouffe: We really don’t think so. I mean the vast, vast majority of voters who would not vote for Barack Obama in November based on race are probably firmly in John McCain’s camp already. And I think if you look at the Democratic voters who are voting for Senator Clinton in some of these states, when you sort of look beneath it and you project how this is going to happen, Barack Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. He is going to be articulating policies and ideas that they believe in. They won’t agree with John McCain on issues like the economy and health care. And so I think that we are going to get the vast, vast majority of Democratic voters.

Because, you know, that voters in the Midwest and rural and exurban areas are nothing but embittered xenophobes who cling to guns, religion, and an antipathy to people who don’t look like themselves. He just seconded Obama’s comments to the Billionaires Row crowd in San Francisco. It wasn’t a slip or a gaffe; it’s what the Obama campaign really believes.

And here’s the big issue with that statement. Obama hasn’t failed to garner these votes in a general election. He has failed to attract Democrats in these areas in the primary. Apparently, according to Plouffe, at least some of that has to come out of a racist motivation.

Plouffe wants to cast the general election in racial terms in a way that he can’t in the primary. Obama can’t win a Democratic primary by insinuating that the suburban, exurban, and rural whites that overwhelmingly chose Hillary Clinton did so from a racial animus. He has no such limitation in the general election. The message? Don’t act like all of those racists voting for John McCain. And the sad part is that will probably work with some centrists and independents, and even sadder yet is that Plouffe — and Obama — apparently believe it. (via Ben Smith at Politico)