'Rural Poor' Made Ahmadinejad Prez Again

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2009 5:50 PM CDT
In this image taken from TV Saturday June 13, 2009, Iran President Ahmadinejad speaks on Iranian TV.   (AP Photo / Press TV Iran)
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(Newser) – Westerners may well be wondering what happened to the articulate young Iranians who endorsed presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi on TV recently. Didn't those freedom-loving voters represent today's Iran? "Actually, no," writes Christopher Dickey in Newsweek. "It appears that the working classes and the rural poor—the people who do not much look or act or talk like us," have chosen Iran's president.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appealed to "the more pious and poor" who opposed change—especially for women—in a "paternalistic quasi-theocracy," Bill Keller writes in the New York Times. The other big winners: Israeli hawks, who feared that "congenial" Mousavi would make Iran seem less threatening. The losers: peacemakers like President Obama and his Arab allies, who again have to deal with a hard-liner.
(Read more Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stories.)