IN DEFENSE OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS, REDUX…. Following up on earlier item, a CBS News reporter asked Barack Obama today, at a press briefing in central Pennsylvania, “Community organizer — what was your reaction to that but also how is that relevant experience to the presidency?” I found the response fairly compelling.

“This is very curious,” Obama said. “So this is work I did [20] years ago. They haven’t talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer; they haven’t talked about the fact that I taught constitutional law; they haven’t talked about my work in the state legislature or in the United States Senate. They’re talking about the three years of work that I did right out of college as if I’m making the leap from two or three years out of college into the presidency.

“So, look, I would argue that doing work in the community to try to create jobs, to bring people together, to rejuvenate communities that have fallen on hard times, to set up job training programs in areas that have been hard hit when the steel plants closed. That that’s relevant only in understanding where I’m coming from, who I believe in, who I’m fighting for and why I’m in this race. And the question I have for them is that why would that kind of work be ridiculous? Who are they fighting for? What are they are advocating for? They think that the lives of those folks who are struggling each and every day, that working with them to try to improve their lives is somehow not relevant to the presidency?

“I think maybe that’s the problem — that’s part of why they’re out of touch and they don’t get it ’cause they haven’t spent much time working on behalf of those folks.”

My hunch is Republicans will keep mocking community organizers, as if this is somehow worthy of denigration, but Obama’s response sounded like the right one.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.