Some of the more classic moments of the 2004 campaign were failed candidate John Kerry’s continued attempts at proving he was just a regular guy. With Ohio a big time swing state in the ’04 race, Kerry decided to garner some publicity by going duck hunting. So about two weeks before the election, Kerry walked into a Pike County, Ohio store and in dumbed-down grammar asked “Can I get me a huntin’ license here?” Of course, Ohioans saw right through that thinly veiled publicity stunt and thus the Buckeye state went to President Bush.
And now the candidate Kerry has endorsed in the 2008 race is following suit.
Visiting VFW Post 1954 in North Liberty, Ind. (Thursday) evening for a "mix and mingle" photo op, (Senator Barack) Obama suddenly had nothing but booze on the brain. “I’m going to see if I might get a beer in there,” he announced, unprovoked, as he strode through the parking lot--with an armada of pool photographers in tow. Arriving inside, the senator immediately told the crowd why he'd come: “I’m not going to give a speech or anything, I just want to stop by … and maybe get a beer as well.” Still, he managed to shake a few hands--before abruptly noticing that the cameramen were “blocking the bartender.” "I’m going to have a Bud," he declared with a quick glance at what the assembled vets were drinking.
Pretty savvy, eh? Now I’m not one to suggest that I know whether or not Obama likes his brewskis. But when I heard the audio clip of his placing an order for the Bud, it sounded as awkward and unnatural as Kerry’s request for a “huntin’ license.” Add that to the fact that Obama questioned the intentions of Hillary Clinton for doing virtually the same thing.
Speaking to steelworkers in Pittsburgh last month, Obama mocked his rival for seeking to boost her blue-collar cred with a boozy photo-op at the Bronko Restaurant and Lounge in Crown Point, Ind. where she reportedly chased a shot of Crown Royal with some Old Style beer. "After all, you've heard this kind of rhetoric before," he said at the time. "Around election time, the candidates can’t do enough for you. They'll promise you anything, give you a long list of proposals and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer."
Obama himself must have been overcome with some of that Pennsylvania bitterness. After all, it appeared Hillary stole his idea.