For years, Republicans used the culture wars to bludgeon Democrats as issues like abortion and gay marriage were used to rally their base.
Now we’re seeing Democrats get much more energized about these issues as Republicans have gone so far to the right on issues like abortion and contraception.
This election will provide an interesting test as to whether this strategy will work. Take a look at the Obama ad above calling out Mitt Romney for some of his more extreme statements he made on the subject of abortion.
Ann Romney (L) introduces her husband, Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, at a campaign stop in Bethlehem, New Hampshire December 22, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)
Romney’s campaign team has clearly decided that the political risk of releasing the returns outweighs the potential problems of not doing so. No one knows for sure what the documents would say, but by the candidate’s own admission, the bulk of Romney’s retirement income from Bain has been from capital gains, which are subject to 15% tax rate.
That means that for the past 10 years, Romney has likely been paying a lower tax rate than most middle class voters. If this is the case, that information could be devastating to Romney’s presidential bid.
The issue of tax fairness is huge right now, and Romney might become the poster-child for that problem. Warren Buffet has famously come out strong on this, saying that it’s not fair that he pays a lower effective tax rate on his income than his secretary.
I think this is a huge problem for Romney. If he makes it to the general election, the Obama campaign and the Democratic PACs are going to hammer him on not releasing his tax returns. If that issue catches fire and he ultimately releases them, then the story is huge.
But it’s huge regardless of when he releases them. He might want to just get it out of the way and have a response ready.
I was pretty happy to see Elizabeth Warren declare her candidacy against Scott Brown in Massachusetts, and after seeing her on television as a candidate I’m pretty confident she can win this race and be a huge asset for the Democrats.
A poll just came out showing her with a lead over Scott Brown, making up a huge gap in a short period of time after her announcement. This is just one poll, and it was taken when she was getting a lot of press, but she’s clearly getting the attention of voters in a positive way.
Watch the clip above, and regardless of your politics, you can see someone who has a passion for what she’s doing, and someone who enjoys politics and interacting with voters. That’s a huge asset, and it’s a characteristic you see in very successful politicians like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. As I said in the title, despite the fact that she’s a Harvard professor, she’s a natural when it comes to connecting with voters.
Part of that stems from her message. The deck is stacked these days in favor of corporations and the wealthy, while the middle class and working poor get screwed. Her push for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau illustrates this issue. Banks and credit card companies want to confuse people with the fine print. The idea behind this agency is to simplify and standardize the process facing consumers when they purchase financial services, and it was fought like crazy by the big banks. Had we had an agency like this 5 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the avalanche of bad mortgages that led to the financial crisis. Warren pushed this agency when nobody thought it would ever get passed. President Obama supported it and with persistence they were able to get it into the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill.
I’ll be posting another video soon of Warren address the “class warfare” charges from Republicans. She’s a great advocate for the progressive philosophy and she’s going to be an asset for the Democrats.