Not a pretty sight: Hillary’s new best friends
Can Deliverance country help deliver Hillary the White House? Charles Laurence reports
Beards, bellies, bosoms and ballooning bottoms: meet Hillary Clinton's New Best Friends. As the former First Lady faces her Last Stand, she has stooped to claiming that only she can win for the Democrats because "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans" will never vote for Barack Obama.
Her resounding victory in West Virginia proved the point when it comes to the 'back hollers' of Appalachia, the dark valleys of an America fabled for poverty, threat, snake-handling pastors, moonshine whisky and the lethal feuds of Hatfields and McCoys.
She scooped a resounding 70 per cent of an electorate of which nearly all are white, 25 per cent have no education beyond high school and half have family incomes lower than $50,000, which is barely getting by.
West Virginia is the redoubt of the hillbilly and his heirs, the white trash. It is the country of the movie Deliverance (left) with its inbred fiddle players and homosexual rape. It exports illegal handguns to urban ghettos. Dysfunctional families live like tribes, hunting meat and gathering berries, dumping broken trucks in the front yards of home-hewn log cabins. They are the faces of prize-winning photojournalism: Susan Lipper's Grapevine Hollow and Rory Kennedy's documentary American Hollow.
Obama is winning elsewhere because he is young, black and charismatic and so represents hope for a new America which can outgrow racial division at home, and hubris abroad. So Hillary is trying to revive the electoral power of the crude - and, more often than not, crudely racist - white male.
The horror is that she may be right to do so. It was the 'hard-working Americans' who gave the Oval Office to Bill Clinton because he once astro-turfed his pick-up truck for al fresco sex, and then eight years later gave it to Dubya Bush because he looked like he could handle a six-gun. ·
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