Skip to comments.Obama's Bain Attacks Could Backfire
Posted on 05/28/2012 4:02:13 AM PDT by Kaslin
The ham-handed Barack Obama campaign attack ads on Mitt Romney's former firm Bain Capital have drawn a lot of ire from other Democrats.
And not just because they were sloppily fact-checked (the ads hit Romney for layoffs long after he left Bain) and because a leading Obama money bundler is a Bain executive himself.
Chiming in with various degrees of disapproval were Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker ("nauseating"), former Rep. Harold Ford, Obama car czar Steven Rattner, Sen. Mark Warner and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.
There are other signs of unease among Democratic elites. Obama contributions from Silicon Valley and Wall Street have failed to match 2008 numbers.
But what about the voters? Will the Bain ads help Obama? Or could there be some Bain backlash at the polls?
Start with the fact that class warfare themes have less appeal than some people think. The last Democrat elected president on a class warfare platform was Harry Truman in 1948.
One reason is that affluent voters are turned off by demonization of the successful. Back in Truman's day, affluent voters outside the South voted Republican by huge percentages. There just weren't enough of them to elect Thomas Dewey.
Today, there are a lot more affluent people. The 2008 exit poll told us that 26 percent of voters had household incomes over $100,000. Half of them voted for Obama. He needs those votes again.
My hunch is that Obama's attacks on Bain will strike most affluent voters as off-putting and that Romney's calm responses will strike them as reassuring. If you want more jobs created, you don't go around attacking job creators.
Most affluent voters believe that free markets, appropriately regulated, tend to produce fair outcomes. They see investors not as vultures but as creators of jobs and promoters of innovation that increase national productivity and make everyone better off. They see class warfare as attacks on themselves.
Another vulnerability for Obama among the affluent may be his penchant for crony capitalism. The best known is the $535 million loan guarantee to the failed solar firm Solyndra, championed by an Obama fundraiser with plenty of access to the Obama White House.
It's not the only example. The Hoover Institution's Peter Schweizer reports that 71 percent of Obama Energy Department grants and loans went to Democratic bundlers and contributors.
That's part of a pattern of political payoffs. Unions spent $400 million to elect Democrats in 2008. In return, one-third of stimulus money went to state governments -- a payoff to public employee unions -- and bondholders were deprived of their legal rights in the auto bailouts in favor of the United Auto Workers, an episode I called "gangster government."
Or you call it "the Chicago way." Why should government contracts go to people who lost the election? The only problem is that people in the suburbs don't like it.
There's evidence that Obama has already lost many affluent voters. The popular vote in House elections is a good proxy for presidential and party support, and voters with incomes over $100,000, evenly split in 2008, voted 58 to 40 percent for Republicans in 2010.
Northern Virginia, which Obama carried 59 to 40 percent and which provided 95 percent of his statewide popular vote margin, went 52 to 47 percent for House Republicans in 2010. Nine suburban Denver counties voted 53 to 46 percent for Obama but switched in 2010 to 54 to 42 percent Republican.
Virginia and Colorado are on everyone's target state list. But Obama also hurt the Democratic brand among affluent voters in other states.
The four suburban counties outside Philadelphia voted 57 to 42 percent for Obama but 52 to 47 percent Republican in 2010. The six suburban counties outside Detroit voted 54 to 45 percent for Obama but 53 to 44 percent Republican in 2010. That means Pennsylvania and Michigan could be in play.
Affluent suburbs outside the South trended heavily toward Democrats from 1992 to 2008. Now they seem to be trending Republican.
And, as it happens, Republicans have a nominee who demonstrated affirmative appeal in affluent suburbs in primary after primary. They were the base on which he won the nomination.
Romney's background as the son of an auto company president has been treated as a liability. But his record as a market innovator and private equity investor (without inherited money, by the way) may be a plus.
"This is what the campaign is about," Obama said of the Bain ads. That might not go over well in affluent suburbs.
Give Obama enough rope and he may hang himself.
The boy aint bright.
We know that but I wish Occidential College, Columbia Univesity, and Harvard Law School would open its records on Obama.
I would rather see his college records than a B/C any day.
Obama’s record stinks he’s has nothing to run on so the only thing he can do is run attack ads.
His record stinks he’s has nothing to run on so the only thing he can do is run attack ads.
Very well said
There are a lot of dark secrets in this dope smokers past.
His trip to Pakistan.His bed partners. His College Grades.
His Indonesian citizenship. His Muslim roots.
But: If anyone asks they are racists.
The funny thing about the Obama campaign is that not only is he ignoring everything he’s already done, he’s also saying nothing about what he will do if re-elected.
“There is no yesterday and no tomorrow, and today Mitt sucks. Vote Obama!”
I think PA, MI, OH, and WI are all possible for Mitt.
Men (especially veterans), people who work in the private sector, white people, ardent Christians, patriots, married women (and especially moms), investors and savers; all of these folks are sick of Hussein.
America is sick of this lousy excuse for a President, and of all his enablers as well.
We are going to landslide the ‘Rats in November.
>> We are going to landslide the Rats in November. <<
But just in case you haven’t noticed [/s], let me observe that there sure are a lot of Romney-bashers and Mormon-haters around here who seem to be working their butts off to get the Big Ø re-elected.
Let’s just hope they’ll have a tasty dish of roast crow along with their scrambled eggs for breakfast on November 7th.
Good points. In 2004, Bush almost won Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Yes, as you've no doubt noticed, I've noticed.
I think it is incumbent upon those of us conservatives who (for one reason or another) want to see Obama defeated, to stand up to the Monomaniacal Mitt-Haters who are working so hard to re-elect the Kenyan Kommunist.
Thanks Obama. Keep alienating suburbia. According to the NY Times, it's about half of the electorate.