You have to give Hillary credit. Despite she and Bill racking up over a hundred million dollars in income over the two Bush terms, and despite having been the establishment candidate, she has managed to position herself as the voice of the white working class. Even better, more specifically, the male white working class, one of the pillars of her success, along with the Hispanic community and older women.
Meanwhile, Obama, whose single mother lived on food stamps, is being seen and portrayed as elitist and out of touch. Since his remarks at a fundraiser (to a group of "San Francisco democrats") about how disillusioned people "cling" to their faith or to their guns for solace, he has been trying hard to reposition himself as a regular guy. He even went bowling just before the Pennsylvania primary, although not very well (after a dismal game he declared that his economic plan is better than his bowling. "It has to be", someone shouted.)
While Hillary certainly wasn't born with a spoon in her mouth like some others of our recent Presidents.
I wonder what it says about our country that to be seen as elite is a bad thing. As conservative hero William Buckley Jr. observed in the 1960s, he’d rather “be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone book than by the 2,000 members of the Harvard faculty.” Shouldn't we want to elect the creme de la creme, the smartest guy (or woman) to our highest office?
Tarring democrats with the label of elitists, portraying them as out of touch with the values of "real, hard-working Americans" is a tactic that goes back to Nixon and has served the republicans well until now.
But maybe what many Americans resent is not the drive to make it to the top, but rather the sense that the guys at the top form a self-perpetuating clique, an exclusive society from which all our leaders emerge, from the left or the right. What matters is not that someone underprivileged managed to make it through Harvard or Yale, but rather that so many of the people in power come from those same institutions - irrespective of whether it was easy or difficult for them to make it that far. The "good old boys network" rules. It's not what you learn at those institutions, it's the connections that you make...
That feeling is probably reinforced by the almost dynastic nature of our recent elections, with two families pretty much monopolizing the Presidency for the past twenty years. Maybe that is reason enough to give someone else a chance this time, even if Obama did graduate from Yale...