Monday, August 11, 2008

Foreign exotic Hawaii

Talking head Cokie Roberts thinks it is elitist of Barack Obama to visit his grandmother in Hawaii:
As we've talked about before, in this year that should be such a Democratic year given all the other indices, he is tied in the polls and stage-sided in the polls and going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii does not make any sense whatsoever. I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place. He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time.

The correct way to keep in touch with the common man is to go stay in one of the eight houses your millionaire wife bought.

By saying such nonsense, Roberts is just showing how provincial and narrow-minded her own East coast pundit world is. Hawaii is a very middle class vacation destination for people on the West coast and no more unusual than going to Disney World in distant and exotic Florida. Obama is going to his home town to visit relatives. What could be a more middle class vacation than that?

Sometimes I cut Roberts some slack because I remember when her father died while visiting the state where I lived, distant and exotic Alaska. This, however, is insulting, not just to Hawaiians, but to anyone on the West coast. As a Southerner, she should have a clue about this kind of regional stereotyping.

Update: Roberts made the same tone deaf point on her other gig at NPR, this time calling Hawaii "odd" and "exotic."

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