Elitist? Obama Says Nah – He’s Got “Street Cred as a Down to Earth Guy”

Apr 25, 2008 3:13pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: Does having five suits, four pairs of shoes, and being a better bowler than some think make you a common man?

It’s not every day that a candidate’s fashion sense makes its way into a press availability, but today in Indianapolis, Indiana, Barack Obama had to defend his wardrobe choices, making the case that he is not an elitist.

The question came from a local reporter, who said he’s been looking like the "GQ candidate." And in the wake of the "bitter" controversy, which prompted his opponents to label him an elitist, the timing of the question was particularly poignant.

Obama launched into a long diatribe listing all of the things that he believes place him in the common man category, rather than the elitist side.

"I think this is a fairly standard suit here," he explained, "I haven’t changed my approach to dressing too much. . .  I basically buy five of the same suit, and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly."

"I have four pairs of shoes," Obama added.

The presidential candidate also said he can bowl with the best of the regular guys, arguing that the way that he’s been portrayed as a bad bowler is simply not true.

"I have committed to practicing bowling so that I’m better. Although I do have to say the fact that you guys reported that as if I had actually bowled ten frames… You know how there was only seven frames and two of them were bowled by a ten year old… I can’t excuse away the first two gutter balls."

All kidding aside, Obama pointed the finger rather at his opponents, saying that charge of elitism was better suited for them. "It’s true that both the republicans and my opponents to some degree have been trying to paint me as, you know, this elitist out of touch," Obama said. " It’s hard for me to figure that out given that you know, I was raised with far fewer advantages than either of my two remaining opponents.”

Obama said he had a similar upbringing to the people of Indiana and mentioned his time as a community organizer in the South Side of Chicago.

"I don’t want to go out of my way to sort of prove my street cred as a down to earth guy," the presidential candidate concluded.

When asked, the Obama campaign would not divulge what brand of suit Obama wears.

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