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Obama's Blue-Collar Messaging

April 17, 2012

Listen closely to the Obama campaign's attack lines against Mitt Romney, and something has been missing lately.  Gone are the charges of the expected GOP nominee as a flip-flopper, and in its place have been a barrage of attacks portraying him as the consummate plutocrat.  It has served as a complement to the president's populist messaging and support for the Buffett Rule, casting himself as the defender of the middle class.

Two lessons to pick up from this: 1) Many Democratic strategists weren't sold on the effectiveness of the flip-flop charge because they worried that it unwittingly suggested a pragmatic side to Romney's politics, something that could be appealing to independents.  Better to cast him as an arch-conservative capitalist than as someone who used to be moderate on certain issues. 2) Even though Obama has fundamental problems winning over working-class whites, his campaign appears to be going all-in on trying to capture enough of those votes against Romney, knowing it may be their best chance at threading the victory needle. 

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