In the State of the Union address, Obama puts the focus on economic inequality

In the State of the Union address, Obama puts the focus on economic inequality
The economy continues to struggle and Americans largely pessimistic, but the duel event on Tuesday showed why in politics, it's good to be valid.

In Washington, President Obama has drawn one of the great symbols of his office - a prime-time speech State of the Union - to present himself to voters as a champion for middle class families trying to get along and declare that "we have come too far to turn back now."

In Florida, the escalation of the struggle for the right to challenge Obama has threatened to further damn the leading contenders - with Mitt Romney on the defensive over its tax rates as shown by release Tuesday its 2010 returns and tries to fend off Newt Gingrich about his consulting work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Day brought a reminder that for all the many political challenges Obama and relatively low approval ratings, the White House has some reason for optimism.

In addition to the prospect of a protracted battle of the Republican Party nomination, Obama was raised as the unemployment rate has ticked down in recent months. And the new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed independent voters in the dark rapidly Romney, whose strength in this group not long ago made him an opponent that many Democrats feared the most.

The president Tuesday was much more like a road map, as Obama's re-election as the candidate intends to capitalize on its built-in benefits than as a guiding plan for next year.

He sprinkled his remarks with jokes and shout-outs to key cities in the election battle, from Raleigh to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee to Cleveland. He hit the back of the Republican Party attacks on the array of internal and external policy areas - to declare victory in the auto bailout and his health care overhaul and Wall Street regulations.

"America is back," the president said at one point.

Gift of time has allowed Obama to make a sharp contrast with Romney.

He came, indirectly, the president emphasized his quest for the "Buffett rule", named after billionaire investor, who has criticized the tax system, which allows it to other investors and pay a lower rate than their staffs. The rule will require people to make more than $ 1 million a year to pay at least the same tax rate as middle-class Americans who may be close to 30 percent. Buffett said that he paid 17.4 effective interest rate last year.

Buffett's secretary sat in the gallery, but Americans learned Tuesday that Romney also stands as a symbol of what the White House represent a fundamental inequality. In 2010, he paid an effective rate of 13.9 per cent to $ 21.7 million of income, much of it from investments.

"We can either agree to a country where the reduction in the number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans just do," Obama said, "or we can restore the economy, where everyone gets equal opportunity, everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same set of rules. "

He referred to a common refrain from Romney and other Republicans on his support for increasing taxes on the right, saying: "Now you can call it class war all you want. But ask a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense. "

Democratic strategists say Obama's attention on the inequality of this year will serve him well no matter who wins the GOP nomination.

However, the language of the president on Tuesday night at the shelter - a proposal to help homeowners refinance charge mortgages and mortgage Justice to intensify the investigation of abuse loans - could foreshadow offensive line Gingrich and Freddie Mac connections.

Adding to the notion that the State of the Union address, in fact, campaign speech, Obama went to on Wednesday morning for a three-day swing to five competitive states - Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Michigan - where he will no doubt turn up the heat on Republicans.

Terms of address, in conjunction with the release of tax Romney fits well with the Democrats' efforts to portray Romney as out-of-touch corporate raider, which seeks to protect the heads of Wall Street and other high rollers from paying their share.

And it threatens to further weaken the argument for Romney GOP primary voters that he will be a strong general election opponent for Obama.

This argument, after all, rested primarily on polling data showing the former governor of Massachusetts is ahead of the president among the most important independent voters.

But an hour before Obama's speech, the new data from the new message-ABC poll suggested bias landscape: Independent were dismal at Romney, and feeling a little better about Obama.

Even more telling, as Romney has spent most of the last two weeks defending his record at Bain Capital and the struggle over whether to release his tax records, he lost ground among whites earning less than $ 50,000 a year - the main target group, which has long been skeptical relate to Obama and is seen as a critical battleground like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

New research has shown that the adverse rating Romney in that group has become stronger over the past two weeks, from 29 to 49 percent.

Obama has not improved markedly with those voters, emphasizing the president to be a problem with this group.

The Democrats, however, see Obama's speech as a key opportunity to make inroads. Time, after searing loss to Romney, Gingrich in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, making the scene that much sweeter for the White House.

"If you have this economy, it is a problem," admitted the Democratic sociologist Stanley Greenberg. "But to get the gift of time that Obama can speak in the country while Romney released his tax returns for the effective rate below 15 percent, it's an amazing moment."

Regardless of Obama's grace continue to depend on many factors beyond its control, primarily the economy.

And while Democrats see hope in the power of office, the Republicans were making plans to undermine that power, build a database of past statements by Obama to use against him at the local and national advertising. One ad released Tuesday by Republican National Committee announced on the situation in the country to be "no better", a reference to an interview in which Obama acknowledged that many Americans did not do better than they were four years ago.

"On the one hand, it has Air Force One, Secret Service and a powerful suite, and all screws and for him," said Al Cardenas, former chairman of the Republican Party in Florida, who now heads the American Conservative Union. "But he's also got three and a half years of baggage, and we think it's pretty heavy."

Republican strategists say the events this week could well give the president a blow. But they point to studies showing that independent voters remain skeptical of Obama on key issues such as jobs, the budget deficit and health care, and a black stripe one candidate of the Republican Party does not matter what happens in November.

Romney "had a bad couple of weeks," said sociologist Whit Ayers of the Republican Party. "But what we know about the independent fact that they are moving even faster than the Republicans these days. And just because an independent move in one direction after a bad couple of weeks tells you nothing about where they will end up."

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