After coming out as a Democrat for John McCain earlier in the day, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild made her first slip as a surrogate during a CNN appearance on Wednesday. In deflecting a question about whether or not she was bitter over Clinton's loss in the primary, the new McCain surrogate pivoted to a discussion of Barack Obama's notorious "bitter" remarks, but added a twist of her own -- describing the small-town voters Obama was talking about as "rednecks."
"Barack Obama went and called the people who have guns and cling to their religion bitter. The people out who are the rednecks or whatever are bitter," Rothschild told CNN's Campbell Brown. "If bitter is the easiest way for you to rationalize that, I truly with all my heart believe that John McCain will be a great president, then call me bitter. But it doesn't really advance the dialogue, Campbell, sorry."
What also may not advance the dialogue for McCain's campaign is the too-casual (and potentially insulting) use of slang to describe small-town voters. Though Obama was tagged for seeming to slight the beliefs of the citizens he was talking about, he was never accused of condescending to the level of using the phrase "rednecks" to describe them.
It could also be that Rothschild was clumsily trying to paraphrase Obama's old remarks. But that explanation is also problematic, since Obama never used the word in the first place.
Requests for a response from an Obama rep went unreturned. But if the multi-millionaire Rothschild becomes a frequent surrogate for McCain -- and should she continue to argue that Obama is unforgivably elitist in his own tone -- slips of this nature will likely not go unremarked upon for long.