By Karl Gotthardt Canadian and Military Issues Editor
An article in the National Journal by Josh Kraushaar argues that Obama’s strategy to win Independents, which he will need for re-election is at odds with his message. Since introducing his Jobs Act, which neither the Democrats nor the Republicans support, the President has leashed out against white collar workers. It almost appears that Obama believes in the “Divide and Conquer” theory. But is it working? Kraushaar, using several recent polls, argues that the President is alienating white collar workers, while garnering support by blue collar workers.
With the economy going into the tank, a high unemployment rate and an increase in mortgage foreclosures, it is unlikely that Americans will not blame the sitting President.
President Obama’s reelection is in trouble because of the nation’s troubled economy, but he’s been exacerbating his problems by running a populist campaign at odds with the electoral strategy his advisers have laid out. Not only is his new rhetoric chastising the wealthy to pay their fair share at odds with the president’s well-crafted image of being a post-partisan uniter, but it risks alienating the white-collar professionals that have become an increasingly important part of a winning Democratic coalition.
The president’s team has been arguing that their path to reelection lies in winning battleground states like Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina—diverse, more affluent white-collar states with growing numbers of independents. But the president’s emphasis on pitting the affluent against the middle-class threatens to push away the very independents he’s seeking to win back. It’s the type of populist message that’s better geared toward blue-collar voters in the Rust Belt, which the campaign sees as close to a lost cause.