“Bitter” Backlash?

There’s still no reliable data to show whether Obama’s “bitter” comments have taken a toll in Pennsylvania or anywhere else. But the first bit of highly tenuous, anecdotal evidence deserves a look.

Both Clinton and Obama spoke today at a forum sponsored by the American Alliance for Manufacturing in Pittsburgh. The group is a nonpartisan nonprofit that can’t legally endorse a candidate. It does include the United Steelworkers, though, which backed John Edwards’ bid but hasn’t thrown its weight behind either Clinton or Obama.

While Obama got cheers when he challenged Clinton’s assertion that he is “out of touch,” Clinton’s suggestion that voters were “disappointed by recent remarks that [Obama] made” drew audible murmurs and at least one “No!” The Huffington Post ’s Jason Linkins posts the two videos back-to-back and argues that the contrast should be “heartening for the Obama camp.”

But someone who was in the room at the time (and doesn’t back either candidate) said the videos exaggerate the response. In the roomful of 1,600 people, only “a handful” were making noise. “I think it was a pocket of a few ladies near the microphone who happened to be very vocal,” he said. Also, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports , per the Clinton campaign, that the objectors were a group of pro-Obama SEIU members.

All that being a long way of saying, we’ll wait for the polls.