Drop the Middle-Class Talk

In 1992, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton built his campaign for the White House on doing more for the “forgotten middle class.” Calling it the “New Covenant” (Democrats since Roosevelt have tried to work the words “new” or “deal” into their campaign slogans), Clinton promised to focus on the people he called “the backbone of the country, the ones who do the work and pay the taxes and send their children off to war.”

Sound familiar? Here is Mitt Romney, the morning after the Florida primary: “I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

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