Well, today, Richard Cohen makes the same point even more eloquently:
It was, as [Obama] conceded, a bumbling attempt at expressing an economic truth. But the true spirit of what Obama said was not condescension, but empathy. People were hurting. They were bitter. He understood.
Obviously, none of this mitigates the offensiveness of the comments, nor alters the fact that they are incredibly obtuse and condescending. But it does explain why Barack -- and many of his defenders -- seem genuinely outraged about the firestorm of criticism that his comments have elicited.