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Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Obama defends middle class

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Visual source: Newseum

John Avlon:

This attempted purge of Teddy Roosevelt by some conservatives reflects the electoral opportunity that President Obama is trying to seize in his re-election: painting a picture of a GOP that is too ideologically rigid and extreme to respond to the remorseless squeeze of the forgotten middle class, while the ranks of the super-rich have grown exponentially in recent decades.

President Obama has gotten the message that this election will be decided by the middle class, and whether they believe the Republican nominee will look out for them more than the Democrat incumbent.

Bill Schneider:

Gingrich’s problem is that the voters don’t like him. In 35 polls taken over the past 17 years, Americans expressed a negative impression of Gingrich 32 times. Republicans know that. In that same CNN poll where Gingrich was the top choice of Republicans, he was rated fourth most likeable —after Romney, Herman Cain and Perry. And far less likely than Romney to beat Obama.

Romney has his own problem. He looks and talks as if he just walked out of Wall Street boardroom, at a time when Americans are talking about growing inequality.

It looks like the Republican race is coming down to a choice between two problematical contenders. Romney is Mr. 1 Percent. Gingrich is Mr. Gridlock.

Ronald Brownstein:

Romney has all sorts of resource and logistical advantages. But in terms of the range of voters that each man is currently attracting, these results suggest that as of today, at least, Gingrich is positioned to compete in a broader range of states than Romney. All of this will undoubtedly increase the incentive for Romney to find a more effective line of attack against Gingrich in the next round of Republican debates - starting with ABC's encounter in Iowa on Saturday.

Charlie Cook:
Lest anyone get carried away, the pros still think the November jobless number was an outlier. But even if the 8.6 percent rate isn’t revised upward and is replicated in subsequent monthly reports, some key elements of the Democratic base—the groups that turbo-charged Obama’s White House victory—are still facing tough economic headwinds that could affect their enthusiasm and turnout next year. The November unemployment rate among African-Americans was 15.5 percent. Among Hispanics, it was 11.4 percent. For 18 to 19 year-olds, the jobless rate was a whopping 23.6 percent; 20 to 24 year-olds saw a 14.2 percent rate; and 25 to 34 year-olds came in at 9.2 percent.

Tough economic times, added to disappointment from perhaps unrealistically high expectations about hope and change that Obama could deliver, could weigh down his popularity with minority and young voters. But by how much would it affect the 9.6 million popular-vote and 95 Electoral College-vote margins that he enjoyed in 2008?

NY Times:
Obama Strikes Populist Chord With Speech in Heartland

Infusing his speech with the type of language that has emerged in the Occupy protests, President Obama on Tuesday delivered his most pointed appeal yet for using taxes and regulations to level the economic playing field.

OWS infuses the lexicon. Big win for them... and us (we the people.)

Ron Fournier: The President gave a terrific speech, but who cares, really? I mean, he can't get anything done, so why bother?

Ben Adler has a good pair in The Nation, First up, a look at Newt and the tea party:

But how does the Tea Party feel about Gingrich? Decidedly mixed. On the one hand, he embodies much of what they loathe about politics: a career politician who has lobbied on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Gingrich has profited from his political influence, and he earned a rebuke from the House Ethics Committee while he was Speaker of the House in 1996. He also has taken many positions in the past that may alarm them, most notably filming a commercial with Nancy Pelosi endorsing action against climate change, and most recently calling for a “humane” policy towards illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, Gingrich’s political persona is much more appealing to movement conservatives than Romney’s. He is a determined partisan who throws rhetorical firebombs. And unlike, say, Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, he has a high enough IQ and a deep enough knowledge base to make the conservative case against Obama in complete, often coherent, sentences.

Here's Adler again, on Huntsman's conservative base problem:
Conservatives identify inadequate nationalism as a source of unease with Huntsman. Gingrich cleverly capitalized on this when he spoke in Staten Island by offering Huntsman this backhanded compliment: “I’m not fluent in Mandarin, so Governor Huntsman will have an advantage” in their upcoming one-on-one debate.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Obama defends middle class
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Obama defends middle class

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Obama defends middle class
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Obama defends middle class
Posted: 2011-12-07 08:07:32Author: