The Electorate: John McCain is ‘Proud’ of Them, Taibbi, Not So Much

So, while the star of last night’s debate was arguably ‘Joe the Plumber’ (look for his debut this Saturday on SNL!) the exchange that caught our attention was when John McCain said: “Let me just say categorically I’m proud of the people that come to our rallies.” And even though he went on to say that inevitably there would be some crazies in large crowds he didn’t spend much time disowning the racist rhetoric he and Sarah Palin have lately been stirring up. In a similar vein, many of you may have come across yesterday’s NYT article, which talked to some voters in the South who seemed to be stumbling a bit on the fact that Barack Obama is black, or at least half black. Here’s a sample:

“He’s neither-nor,” said Ricky Thompson, a pipe fitter who works at a factory north of Mobile, “He’s other. It’s in the Bible. Come as one. Don’t create other breeds.”

“He’s going to tear up the rose bushes and plant a watermelon patch,” said James Halsey, chuckling, while standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot with fellow workers in the environmental cleanup business. “I just don’t think we’ll ever have a black president.”

Clearly these people do not represent the South as a whole, but still, wow. Which brings us back to a panel we attended last week, which was moderated by Rachel Sklar and featured Matt Taibbi and Hendrik Hertzberg discussing, you guessed it, the election. After the jump some nice polished video, courtesy of the folks at the Center for Communication, of Taibbi talking about the electorate. Also of note, though not on the video, is the part where Hertzberg points out that more often than not Democracy doesn’t result in the best candidate (take most of the 19th Century for example), what it does do is “give the candidate some legitimacy.”