The GOP's Middle Class Charm Offensive
After the Obama campaign has spent millions trying to convince the American people that the GOP is nothing more than an extreme group of bon bon-eating elitists who live in ivory towers, hate the poor, want women back in the kitchen and look like the guy from the Monopoly board, the Republican National Convention has done a remarkable job of beating back the left's typical playbook this week. It all started on Tuesday with Ann Romney talking about being a coal miner's daughter and painting an endearing image of her and Mitt living in that small basement apartment eating tuna for dinner. It was followed by Chris Christie honoring his immigrant parents and the hard scrapple values he learned from them. Last night Condoleeza Rice's moving story of growing up during segregation and reminding us that no foreign enemy can harm us more than we can harm ourselves, laid the foundation for Paul Ryan's address. Ryan's folksy demeanor, youthful energy and the story of his life growing up after the loss of his father completed two days of the GOP saying - "Don't believe them when they tell you we don't understand."
It's been the "I feel your pain" moment of 2012. The GOP is painting the President as out of touch. Not with vicious attacks but by simply delivering a message about who people really are. Tonight Romney needs to do the same. The campaign has waited a long time to address the likability factior and it needs to be a staple in everything Romney does from thsi point forward. Romney needs to get personal. He needs to talk about how he felt when his wife battled breast cancer; about how he handled challenges in his life. That will go as far if not further with key voter blocs than any specifics he can give about simplifying the tax code.
This charm offensive with respect to the middle class is necessary. Republicans need to put together the old coalition of voters that bolstered the Reagan revolution. They need middle class families, blue collar workers, conervative democrats, Catholics and independents to come back into the fold. If Romney can give them the right balance between credibility, emotion and forward-thinking vision, the Obama campaign will have nowhere to go except double down on their divisive rhetoric.