Barack Obama thinks he’s found an issue he can win with.
The budget he released yesterday has nothing to do with balancing deficits (because it doesn’t), fixing entitlements (it doesn’t do that either) or controlling spending (not even close).
President Obama is once again Candidate Obama, assuming you believed he ever stopped being the latter.
This budget is about one thing: taxing the rich.
This is where Obama thinks the Republicans are weak. He knows he can’t win in the economy because it isn’t better now than it was three years ago.
He can’t win on foreign policy because no one truly believes he’s responsible for ending the Iraq War, particularly considering it was done on President Bush’s timeline.
Education reform is a non-issue in this election, although if I’m the GOP I attack him for undoing the accountability No Child Left Behind attempted to produce.
Obama has now given 20% of the country waivers on fulfilling the requirements. It’s like your father saying you don’t get an allowance if you don’t mow the lawn. Then, when you refuse to mow the lawn, your mom slips you a $5 anyway.
Obamacare is a disaster, an unpopular policy to any one between the ages of 26 and 60 a.k.a the people paying for it.
If there’s one thing Candidate Obama does better than anyone else, it’s campaigning on an idea rather than policy.
The idea that the Republicans are a party of the rich is hard to disprove when the party has long opposed higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Candidate Obama will use this budget to be his archetype example.
“See,” he’ll say, “I want to make sure everyone pays their fair share and the Republicans just want to protect their rich friends.”
Obama should know; no one protects their rich friends better than he does.
Republicans lost the public relations war on the debt ceiling because of their insistence on no new taxes. The problem with Democracy is the majority don’t always have their own best interest, they just think they do.
The resentment driven by the Occupy movement doesn’t permeate across age groups or socioeconomic groups. In fact, more people have a favorable view of rich people than an unfavorable one.
More the point, I’m not saying Obama actually should use this class warfare as a strategy, just that he’s going to.
If Mitt Romney is the candidate for the Republicans and an extremely strong conservative voice isn’t his running mate, Obama’s strategy looks somewhat better given Romney’s extensive fortune and lack of appeal among conservatives.
Against a candidate like Rick Santorum, a man who despite his limitations (Google problem, extreme social conservatism) is steeped in middle class, blue-collar values, Obama will not find it so easy going.
I’m still not convinced Santorum can unseat Romney, despite what the latest polls say, but in a class warfare battle, Obama can’t possibly beat him.