"Elite" Obama on the Front Lines--McCain AWOL

In case the media has not shown you, Barack Obama is on the front lines of the flood, helping residents clean up and start over. Working, not just a photo op. On the ground, not just a fly-over.

What is this? A President-to-be that actually gets down and dirty with a rescue effort? And, not only a President-to-be, but an "elite" President-to-be at that!

Of all the mischaracterizations heaped upon the Obamas, none has seemed more ridiculous than the charge that they were "elite." This son of single mother who was on food stamps for a while, this community organizer who was able to pay off his college loans only because of his best-selling book...he is called elite.

But, John McCain, the son and grandson of Admirals, who played around in college like the son of the privileged and who later dumped his injured wife for a glamorous heiress....he is the common man? Apparently, in the same way that "all hat, no cattle" George W. Bush was sold to the country as a rancher.

John McCain's campaign is full-to-the-last-drop with DC lobbyists and establishment figures. So much so that they cannot get out of one another's way as they exit, stage-right, when their conflicts-of-interest are revealed.

And, yet, they call the Obamas elite.

John McCain wrote into his campaign finance reform bill an exception for people who use family-owned planes. That was so he could fly in his wife's private jet without having to account for it.

And, yet, they call the Obamas elite.

When Katrina struck, George Bush was not the only one AWOL. John McCain was partying at the Bush so-called ranch that he bought just for the 2000 campaign. And, who can ever forget Barbara Bush's comment: "these people (Katrina victims) were disadvantaged anyway, so this is working out well for them"?

And, yet, they call the Obamas elite.

As soon as Barack Obama became the presumptive nominee, he made the Democratic National Committee conform to his strict fundraising policies -- no PAC money, no lobbyist money.

And, yet, they call Barack Obama elite.

Barack Obama is not only aiding the relief effort himself, he is asking his campaign donors to help out as well. All 1.5 million of them.

Where is John McCain in this effort? Is he pitching in to help? Or, is he off to another party at the Bush "ranch"? In his wife's jet?

Barack Obama should do more days like this. Go to Wisconsin, go to Iowa, go to Indiana, go to one place after another that has been flooded, and just roll up his sleeves. Not just for an hour, but for a day.

Pitching in directly has already delivered a powerful message about what Barack cares about, with whom he sides, and the people whose priorities need not only a voice, but action.

John McCain's absence from the frontlines has delivered his own message.

The American people have a clear choice.