Bain ad backfire
...... 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....There are other fundamental problems with the attacks. As Democrats have reacted to the attacks on capitalism, Obama has "evolved" to attacks on profits. But without profits no one would have jobs including government workers who depend on profits to create the tax payments that sustain them. This is a point that even the NY Times is learning as it struggles to survive without them.
There will also be comparisons of the performance of Romney's Bain portfolio to that of Obama with its many failed green jobs "investments."
Obama's other rational for attacking Bain is that Romney's experience there does not translate into the experience needed to be President. This is coming from the guy who told voters that being a community organizer qualified him to be President. we say how that worked out. Who do you think is better at managing decisions someone who managed a multi million dollar company with varied subsidiaries on diverse locations or someone who harassed local banks and businesses as a "community organizer."
Charles Paine talks about the difference between a community organizer and someone who can maximize potential.