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Newt Gingrich talks tough.

If nominated, he says he will challenge Barack Obama to seven free-form “Lincoln / Douglas” debates.

Republican crowds go wild when he offers “to be fair” and allow the president the use of a teleprompter.

Newt’s smug and belligerent approach plays well with the base but will it appeal to the broad electorate?

In particular, will white working class men take the bait?

In previous generations, the political values of those voters were influenced by their union membership.  Now only a small percentage are represented by the labor movement.

Battered by a low-wage, de-industrialized and de-unionized economy, the white male working class voter helped elect tea party conservatives to the U.S. House in 2010 and could find solace watching Newt attack Obama as elite and aloof.

Many democrats believe that if Gingrich tops the ticket, his image and style as a snob and a fathead could cripple republican efforts to take the white house and congress.

But that could depend on Obama's capacity to make the former house speaker look craggy, condescending and - above all - hypocritical.

Let's hope that if Gingrich lands the nomination, Obama can neutralize his opponent's appeal to the white working class and other pivotal voting blocks.  

And, in the process, take real steps to redeem himself with America's neglected workers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calidad, MKSinSA

    Lou Siegel is a Labor educator and consultant, working with Los Angeles unions in communications, public policy and fundraising

    by laborlou on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:17:56 AM PST

  •  obama's best line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "just because limbaugh said it a million times doesn't mean it's true"

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 08:46:35 AM PST

  •  I am seeing headlines such as white (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Statusquomustgo

    middle class males are deserting the Democratic party in droves but no one can tell me where those droves are now or where they were in 2010

    •  Here's Where, Alongside Blacks, Youth and Women: (0+ / 0-)

      Image Hosted by

      It's where voters, entertainment audiences, and customers of goods & services go when they feel there's nothing positive to choose.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 09:14:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  White men overwhelmingly vote Republican (0+ / 0-)
      •  white men vote for jobs & lower taxes (0+ / 0-)

        They vote Republican because that's the party that makes a big screaming deal about being "for" those things.  Democrats might actually do more to create jobs and lower taxes on the 99%, but they don't talk about it anywhere near as much as the Republicans do; it certainly doesn't define us as a party to ourselves and others the way it does the Republican Party.

        Create jobs in the US; this country is not a Third World development agency. Create blue-collar jobs in the US: manufacturing, extraction, skilled trades, etc. Create blue-collar jobs outside of the major cities: red states, rural areas, etc. Give the US a positive trade balance.  Lower taxes on ordinary people - federal, state, local, etc. - and lower them a lot; recognize that lots of people in relatively poor rural areas think twice about infrastructure because they fear higher taxes.

        Do you know why they call it the American Dream? Because it only happens when you're asleep.

        by Visceral on Mon Dec 05, 2011 at 10:27:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the debate challenge is a ploy (0+ / 0-)

    The debates are already set and he knows Obama isn't going to deviate. Newt is delusional if he thinks he is going to be president.

  •  Here's a link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, Chitown Kev

    to a Brookings Institution paper that does a good job of explaining why the white working class has abandoned the Democratic Party.

    •  This is an interesting paper (0+ / 0-)

      But I want to see the results from 2008 just to be sure.

      Overall, I never thought of the "white working class" as republicans in the first place; they're Democrats for whom their whiteness and straightness are their only privileges.

      And I think that Gingrich won't be able to get many of them, either

      •  However, white working class men have voted (0+ / 0-)

        Republican since the McGovern wing took over the party.  I was raised in a white working class family.  I am the only straight male member in my family who votes Democratic.  It doesn't matter if the GOP runs Bozo the Clown, the majority of straight white working class men will not vote for a Democrat because the Democratic Party abandoned them in favor of issues that actively work against their ability to earn a living.

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