We all know that George W. Bush won the presidency because he was the candidate voters wanted to "have a beer with" (even though he wasn't suppose to guzzle any himself). Same thing happened in 1992, when beer-gut Bill Clinton faced off against Chablis sipping George H.W. Bush. Now Barack Obama is in the process of locking up the 2008 race -- by gaining surprising support from beer guzzlers in the pivotal state of Pennsylvania. It may be just enough to deny his opponent the big win she needs in that state.
This comes despite Hillary Clinton's shot-and-a-beer video saturating the market.
A new poll for McClatchy Newspapers, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and MSNBC, which questioned 625 "likely Pennsylvania voters" on April 17-18, found Hillary Clinton favored by hunters, bowlers and gun-owners - by a wide margin, nearly 2 to 1. Surely, this should mean that a resounding defeat for Obama is in the cards, but the overall poll numbers found him trailing by only 5%.
That's because something else is "brewing." Call it a "draught Obama" movement.
It turns out that a rare grouping where she does not have a solid lead is among beer drinkers. They split evenly between her and Obama. And there are a lot of them in Pennsylvania.
"Clinton seems to have won the better part of the culture clash," a McClatchy story noted, "leading among hunters by a margin of 56-31 percent, among bowlers by 54-33 percent, and among gun owners by 53-28 percent," the story added.
"Her shot and a beer gambit apparently didn't pay off, however; self-identified beer drinkers split 44-44 percent between the two..." And that should be a good cross-section, too, as sports fans, African-Americans -- and college students, of course -- are all known to favor beer over wine.
And Obama is now courting this vote, taking a few sips of Belgian ale at a brewery in Bethlelem yesterday, and exclaiming, "That's a tasty beer there!" He did, however, refuse a reporter's request to "Chug it!" And he did not say, "I'm only here for the beer."
So let's hear it for the prospect of a president you actually might be able to have a beer with - and even want to do so.
Greg Mitchell's new book is So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq. It features preface by Bruce Springsteen and has been hailed by Bill Moyers, Glenn Greenwald, Arianna H., and others.