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Obama's Blue-Collar Messaging

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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