James, I think you're right that Obama is describing real people, or as I like to describe the subjects of Bruce Springsteen's songs, Real People With Real Problems. But there is something vaguely pejorative about his description of these voters and his framing of their issues -- they're bitter, they "cling" to guns and religion, they have an "antipathy" toward immigrants and foreigners. This isn't helped by the context: Obama was giving this little sociology lecture to a bunch of Marin County fat cats.
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