As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama’s Hopes Rest With His Motley Crew

There is a new report out that demonstrates, beyond the nasty name calling, how President Obama plans to get reelected: Galvanize everyone who is not a white working class voter, while trying not to lose too many working class white voters.

Obama’s demographic strategy is neatly summed up in the new analysis, which is from the Center for American Progress, the Democratic political think tank where all Obama’s aides will go to work if he loses the election. That is, CAP and the Obama campaign are assuredly on the same page.

The authors of the piece, John Halpin and Ruy Teixiera, argue that Obama is in a race to maintain his motley coalition of voters while trying not to allow what is essentially the Reagan coalition of working class whites to sink him.

While Obama’s minions have lost their enthusiasm, their raw numbers are growing, potentially saving him.

The central questions of the election are thus fairly straightforward. Will the rising electorate of communities of color, the Millennial generation, professionals, single women, and seculars that pushed Obama to victory in 2008 be sufficient and mobilized enough to ensure his re-election in 2012? Or will the Republican Party and its presidential nominee capitalize on a struggling economy and greater mobilization from a conservative base that holds the president in deep disdain?

Among whites, a key battle will be for the college and graduate school educated.

On the national level, given solid, but not exceptional, performance among minority voters, Obama’s re-election depends on either holding his 2008 white college-graduate support, in which case he can survive a landslide defeat of 2010 proportions among white working-class voters, or holding his slippage among both groups to around 2004 levels, in which case he can still squeak out a victory.

With Obama focusing on the relative have-nots, the recipe calls for class warfare.

Obama’s recent steps to define the election on more progressive terms through a commitment to a new jobs and growth program and a deficit reduction plan based on “shared sacrifice” will likely aid the president politically. Public polling over the past year suggests that a sustained posture of defending the middle class, supporting popular government programs, and calling for a more equitable tax distribution will be popular among many key demographic groups necessary to win in the 12 battleground states analyzed here.

In case you’re missing the point, I’ll translate some of it for you: “Shared sacrifice” means taxing the rich; “defending the middle class” means bashing the rich; and “supporting popular government programs” means promising more welfare spending to your base.

With the rising population of voting age Latinos, this may be the last election in which Republicans can count on the old Reagan coalition to capture the White House. They either need to start a massive, expensive, and sustained program to popularize their agenda with Hispanics – in some ways a culturally conservative group – or they need to hope scientific advances allow them to start cloning adult working class white people by the year 2016.

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40 Responses to Obama’s Hopes Rest With His Motley Crew

  1. Comes back to who defines what–to me, anyhow. Republicans can be tarred with the “don’t care we’re rich” brush–and you’re in. Of course, Republicans live here, too, are not all rich and in fact the vasdt majority are not, their kids still need houses, they need houses, they need to ertire, they need banks to pay interest on savings–everything affects them, too. If they had a silver spoon in their mouths, that may have hocked it. But noooo–this crew depicts them as Scrooge McDuck, frolicking in their vault awash in money. This is all a farce. The brazen manipulation is gross.

    • You right wingers simply crack me up. You are led so easily by the will of huge corporations. The income inequality is a real statistic that cannot be denied. Yet somehow you believe our country is just fine with this degree of income inequality. Obama SHOULD make this class warfare. Bush/Obama bailed out the massive banks and other corporations yet the little American gets crap. Moral Hazard and Injustice is rampant and the little guy will only sit around for so long before he/she loses his patience. OWS is simply the other side of the coin on which the Tea Party is stamped. Remember the summer of 2010 when the Tea Partiers went Psycho; it’s time for the OWS segment to get heated. I am always amused by the Tea Partiers when they excoriate big government and in the next breath tell government to ‘not touch my Medicare and Social Security’ and in the next breath tell government to cut taxes. Illogical and amusing and ignorant and sad for our country!!!!

        • Tired for you I suppose, Star. But for many folks, these talking points in addition to many others are quite invigorating. The society I see throws the baby out with the bath water and starts anew with the core principles of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. Our ‘democratic’ and ‘capitalistic’ society is really neither. Our welfare state is massive both corporate and for all of us minions. Everyone is way too dependent upon the machine yet the machine is necessary but not the one in its current destructive form. Yes, I am speaking in analogies because I think most folks on these sights are too narrowminded to handle much bigger thinking than the limits and assumptions that our society places upon us. Details simply get lost in a tit-for-tat exchange that goes no where. As for details since that is our current reality, the Repubs will have to hold their noses to vote for either Romney or Gingrich. My favorites are 1. Huntsman 2. Paul. I would vote for either easily over Obama. Barring those 2, my vote goes to Obama. But for some reason, I am still holding out some hope for Huntsman; if he can get his light to shine in NH then he may have an outsider’s chance. The machine has kept him from getting known, but he IS the real deal and could really bring a nice change to our country–2x successful governor, a magnet for independents, 3x ambassador, smart, leadership skills, good lookin’ family in our photogenic world, etc, etc. As for Ron Paul, he hasn’t wavered in his positions for decades and he simply seems principled; I’d turn this nasty machine over to him in a flash to see what he could do with it.

          • You answer your own complaint with your own word, “starts anew with the core principles of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” the key here is “PURSUIT” not guarantee, not promise, not outside intervention. It is OUR pursuit of that happiness that makes this country unique and uniquely strong.

            We are not, or at least were not, a fatalistic people, but rather have always held to the principle that one can achieve if one tries, and has the determination to do so. The vast majority of businesses are “small” business. The mega-corporations that flee off shore are not the ones that we need to truly be worried about. It is the small business owner that is being squeezed by federal regulation and taxes that we need to defend.

            The days of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Getty et al are long since past. Today, businesses are more like “Joe the Plumber” and Flo the diner owner than anything else. They are the backbone of American enterprise, and they are being crushed under the weight of regulation and taxes.

            The promise of not increasing taxes on those making under $250,000 rings so hollow, as to be laughable. Since most small businesses are sole proprietorships, if that business makes 250K for the year, that is counted as income against the owner, and thereby subject to higher taxes. Even though the majority of the monies earned are going right back into the business. Re-investments in the business to increase profits and enable more hiring (ie JOBS).

            The dystopia that is becoming this country is not one of out of control corporations à la RoboCop or Soylent Green, but rather out of central control government. Lenin and Trotsky used class warfare to decimate the wealthy in order to institute their “worker’s utopia.” That utopia brought about the murders of millions. The same holds true with Hitler, Pol-Pot and all the tyrants of the world. Divide the people and you can conquer the people. The only way to ensure that all are equal, is to ensure that no one has anything.

          • It’s not that I disagree with much of what you wrote. But it is the details that determine the effect on our society and on our lives. In this complex world, government IS needed. The question is how do we go about fixing our government to truly give each person ‘life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness’ without favoring one group over another whether rich or poor. The government is just so massive that it has become its own purpose for being. How do we slay that beast when the beast is so powerful it controls the electorate in so many, many ways? Our populace AND business has become so dependent on our massive government that changing it fundamentally would like cause anarchy.

      • I’m going to agree with Chris on some points, but please read my entire post before getting angry at me.

        The income disparity between rich and workers has never been higher. The wealthy live in a world that excludes those less well off, unlike the Victorian factory owners who lived by their factories and saw the workers pass by in rags or decent clothing.

        Real purchasing power for workers has been stagnant for decades despite rising productivity — this is why some families have every single member over 16 working at a job in order to maintain a decent living.

        NOW – let me add that the answer is NOT to take money from the rich and put it into social programs of Obama or other “visionary’s” choosing. In no way does taking money out of people’s pockets and putting it into a fun-fund to be spent by the government address the problem of workers not earning enough. As has been seen, tax money tends to go to perpetuate a group that doesn’t work at all — for generations.

        How employers are to be persuaded to pay a decent wage when they have an entire world of the desperate to exploit and they pay no penalty for their greed in embarrassment, discomfort, or awareness of what difficulties their greed engenders is something that I have not been able to figure out. But the answer isn’t to set up a tent in a public park and crap on the grass.

        And the answer is certainly not to vote for Obama.

      • when the Tea Party “went psycho”? what did they do? you mean when your grandpa stood up at a townhall and shouted down his congressman because he wouldn’t answer a question about supplemental Medicare benefits? woo-hoo, those ka-RAZY tea partiers.

        anyway, I’d like to comment more on your post but the Koch Brothers haven’t called to tell me what I think yet, so I’ll have to get back to you.

  2. Well, heck – I’ll comment on this. This is the sumbitch who promised to bring us together as a nation. We haven’t been this divided since the (last) civil war. OWS is merely boot camp for what’s to come next summer, I’m afraid.

  3. Dangerous waters ahead, folks.
    Divisiveness on a scale we have never witness.
    Spooky, spooky!
    The Center for American Progress give me chills.

  4. Working- class White people vs non-working people of Color?
    That’s their strategy? That’s all they got?

    “anneinarkansas” is right; dangerous times ahead for all of us.

  5. We all fall back on our training. Obama will fall back on his. He was, and in his heart still, a “Community Organizer”. “Community Organizer” is a socialist term for rabble rouser. The use of “Class Warfare” is all he knows. It has served him well in the past. Let us hope it fails him in 2012.

  6. When you have nothing but failure to run on, might as well try to divide and conquer the American people. These are indeed scary times…

    By the way, CAP is the same organization that published “Power of the President”, an outline on how Obama could use executive orders to bypass congress after the 2010 mid-term rout. Funny how Obama is following their suggestions to a “T”.

  7. Well slap me silly I was so surprised! So he’s dumping stupid white folks that
    would be in Obamaland oh an example oh NASCAR fans? Educated so you
    must have an Ivy League education or educated enough to vote for a President who likes America? Big difference. OWS smart out in filth in winter
    in danger of rape and murder or Tea Party nice group out in nice weather no
    trash no trouble no damage? Let’s see this also means those arty types who
    are littering the White House aka party central at bashes the ones he’s counting on for votes wouldn’t be allowed in the door not even the back door.

  8. is it me or are there alot of “pro-Obama propaganda” trolls showing up in the comments here lately?
    guess its true, the Obama White House is keeping track of negative Obama remarks = very “1984”

    • I don’t mind hearing from the ‘dark side’.
      Their comments all stem from the same tree; why doesn’t our government give me more stuff, life is supposed to be fair, and I am envious of the financial success of others and the government should confiscate their treasure.
      They completely ignore our horrendous national debt, the daily incursions on our personal freedoms and, well, they’re just a bunch of crybabies who want somebody to take care of them.

    • well gosh, of course they know about those naughty folk who disagree with The One. I mean, we’re all still reporting people to #attackwatch, aren’t we?

  9. Chris: Enough with the baseless characterizations of conservatives. Our views and values are every bit as valid as yours. There is income inequality, there has always been income inequality and there always will be income inequality; what’s your point? That we should inflict YOUR moral code on our society and redistribute the fruits of other people’s labor for YOUR benefit? How do you figure that’s the right thing to do? What about the billions of dollars that the rich and the so-called ‘evil’ corporations donate to charities every year? Are YOU willing to open your home to homeless people to give them shelter without compensation? Will you allow all who do not share your good fortune to redistribute your private property for their benefit? If so, you do not need the wealth of the rich who already pay their fair share. THEY are the risk-takers who use their own money for capitalistic gain. THEY are the job creators; we should be supporting and encouraging what they do best. The answers to our problems are so clear that it’s hard to understand why liberals cannot understand what’s staring them in the face. By whatever means they profit through investments is legally allowed by Congressional legislation. If you have a problem with any or all of that, RUN FOR OFFICE yourself to BE THE CHANGE you wish to see (HT to M.Gandhi). Or perhaps you don’t wish to do the heavy lifting of change. Perhaps you prefer to simply sit back and demand sacrifice from those around you-just like the OWS crowd. Liberals belittle and insult the Tea Party movement yet THOSE protesters are the one who are making inroads by getting involved where they can effect change-in government.

    • Good post…I peaked early in life and am now pretty stony. I also have written about how trickle down isn’t too nifty–a rising tide lifts all yachts etc–but my main problem with OWS is they have paid no dues–at least the young ones. I write a daily site and have for yrs to help young and old try to snag a job or make do. http://hopeycopey.blogspot.com. Still–under this supposedly great and beneficient president, we have kids living in cars and total misery outside the beltway. Someone I know is bringing his wife home from the hosp–to wait! No home! There are two sides, of course, but I no longer respect the Dem side at all. Schumer on MTP with his suave talking pts over and over. Brrr. And to be fair that Norquist guy gives me the jeebs, too.

    • Gobnait. See my second post above. I fear you may just be too narrowminded as I alluded to in that passage to see reality for what it is and to actually seek the truth of our society’s predicament. Too many people on either side see these issues in black and white terms when almost all the issues are shades of grey that take big thinkers and BIG leaders to solve. Why don’t I RUN FOR OFFICE and BE THE CHANGE? Because I am too cynical with regard to our current system and my sphere of influence would never really come close to encompassing my spheres of concern which would leave me frustrated for the rest of my life. Rather, I choose to do what I can in the life I have been given and have chosen. That’s simply a gut level, honest answer to your question. This does not preclude me from actually having the concerns I do. I simply don’t believe that a person like me could successfully navigate a political system into which you must sell your soul to the industrial, lobbying, corporate, and welfare beast. OWS and the Tea Partiers ironically and largely have similar concerns. Our country is sick and seems to be flailing along. My favorite analogy for the sickness of our country is simply by turning the mirror on ourselves…literally. 2/3’s of us are overweight and 1/2 of those who are overweight are obese. You may say…’Where the heck did that come from?’ A person like me looks at that and understands it in the much broader context of an economy that has tanked, consumerism that has run rampant, a pathetic educational system, a willfulness to destroy the environment, a nonexistent energy policy that leaves us dependent upon fossil fuels from enemies, a health care system that is terrible, baseless wars especially Iraq, unfunded wars/prescription drug plan/TSA, etc. etc. Furthermore, we have known our challenges for decades yet we sit by and accept the terrible situation we have created for ourselves. I fear we are too selfish and shallow to solve our problems. I flat out tell my kids that they should not expect to enjoy the middle class lifestyle they currently have. Rather, they need to expect their generation to have a lower quality of life unless they want to work their asses off to exceed the average because the average lifestyle in this country is going to continue to plummet. I believe we are in the middle of a longterm multigenerational seismic shift, the outcome of which is difficult to predict now that America is competing on a globalized stage, a stage that has other actors that are much hungrier than we are. We have been asleep at the wheel for decades and remain so even in the midst of our current storm.

      • I totally missed the connection to how fat we are…well, an interesting take. Tell your president that we are too shallow and stupid–or that he is…he stepped up top deal with all this. Weekdays 10 am until the end of the party at nite..

        • Star, how fat we are is simply a reflection of how overconsumed we are with ourselves and how incapable we appear to be at solving our really big problems when we can’t even get control of ourselves. FYI, he is YOUR president too. Why do so many AMERICANS like you have difficulty acknowledging that FACT?

          • You make some good points, Chris.
            You’re actually a conservative talking like a liberal. An invasive government hasn’t made our lives better, they’ve made it worse.
            They put us into massive long-term debt, gave our money to thieves and political friends, bailed out those who profited from their mistakes and left us to clean up the mess.

            Your children probably won’t be able to get a decent paying job because our government has put a stranglehold on business that makes it more profitable for them in foreign countries. They won’t have a home of their own because our government meddled in the housing industry and bankrupted it. A college degree is out of the financial range of most people because the government backs any amount that a college can ask for.
            Cars that catch on fire, light bulbs that don’t last, toilets that don’t flush, drugs they don’t like and the list goes on to intrusive regulations that have hampered our fossil fuel industry so that we’re dependant on foriegn, unfriendly countries for our needs.
            Surely, you’re not defending this kind of government?

          • How can anyone defend this type of government? But do you really see much of a difference among the Democrats and Republicans? They answer to whatever hand feeds them. They really don’t answer to the people who elect them. All of those problems you list are at the fault of BOTH parties and go back many decades. I am puzzled by what our society has become because we are tremendously dependent upon a government that we want to change but how do you change something that the populace has become so dependant upon? As a people, we really don’t think or talk logically about the reality of what system we have versus what system we want and what we want to get out of that system. I am truly perplexed as to how our society will solve the big problems of the day when there are so many competing interests and conflicting interests.

          • probably much like all those Americans who kept threatening to move to Canada when Bush was president. we’ve somehow bought into this meme that no president in history was ever dissed the way poor Obama is dissed. that’s simply not true. the vitriol directed at Bush was unbelievable–and completely ok, if one judges by the yawns of the MSM.

          • FYI, he is YOUR president too. Why do so many AMERICANS like you have difficulty acknowledging that FACT?

            Well, for YOUR information, I do not consider this man my president. I have zero respect for him and even some dread and fear about him. Sorry. It’s not difficulty acknowledging–it’s total rejection of the notion.

  10. Just saw on Drudge where the Richmond Tea Party is being audited by the city of Richmond taxman. This is the same Tea Party group that complained to the city because they had to pay for permits to hold rallies, while the OWS crowd was given free rein of the same park. Guess George Orwell was right. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    • Reading the actual letter sent to the ‘tea party it seems the auditor thinks they are are restaurant or charge admisssion to their ‘party’.

      oh! a “tea house” having “parties” where they serve “meals”.
      How funny!.

  11. This country is doomed. With 70% of the voters tax-neutral or below, and their voting based on their own selfish interest, any candidate that promises to steal from the rich and give to the poor will get elected. It’s a slippery slope and I’m afraid the slide has begun.

    I understand and empathize with the liberals. It would be wonderful if redistributing wealth would improve things. But it’s based on false assumptions about “wealth” (such as the notion that there is a finite amount) and it is doomed to fail in the long run. When the tax man shows up to get the rich bastards’ money, they won’t find much for many reasons. Then, inexplicably, the redstributed wealth will simply evaporate, and we will be in a real pickle. It just won’t work!

    Oh, and the whole liberal gripe about income disparity is getting old. It’s just jealousy and that needs to be pointed out every time someone mentions it. If you want to make more money, then make yourself more valuable. There’s nothing keeping these street-poopers from inventing a new widget, and becoming billionaires themselves. I suspect 90% of them would be singin a whole different tune if they were paying taxes.

    No more representation without taxation!!

  12. I am sad for my country when anger is turn aganst each other for the preceived idea that ‘thy neighbor hath more gold than I.” Something about a commandment swerves into view.
    I can’t shake the feeling we are all players in some large passion play that won’t end well.

  13. “Share sacrifice” doesn’t mean “taxing the rich” (unless you’re a cynical spinmeister). It means “shared sacrifice.” It’s a concept that dates back in our neck of the woods to that group of traitorous bleeding heart commies, the Pilgrims.

    Based on the disparity of wealth in the U.S. in 2011, combined with the size of our national deficit and our historically low capital gains and top bracket tax rates, the super-wealthy are not contributing their fair share. 400 people control half the wealth in the United States. Perhaps you are happy with that. You must also believe that feudalism should never have gone out of style in Europe. You would have made a great shill for the robber barons of the Gilded Age, too.

    “Defending the middle class” means, well, defending the middle class. Why? Because a strong middle class is vital for the preservation of democracy. I suppose you think the middle class is doing just fine despite all the reams of data suggesting otherwise. Is that because you actually ARE a paid shill for the robber barons of today (I wouldn’t be surprised in the least) or simply choose to ignore the obvious?

    “Protecting popular government programs ” means protecting government programs that are … popular. Perhaps you think it’s time to scrap Social Security? Here’s an idea: we could grind up the old people, feed them to the poor, and get rid of food stamps in one fell swoop! That would be great! If all of us were unfeeling cold-blooded reptiles! Fortunately, all of of us aren’t!