Michelle Obama is hoping she can convince voters that she and her husband are not elitists. Hereâ€™s a bit of what she said today in Indianapolis:
We are still so close to the lives that most Americans are living. And I don’t know about you but for most of my lifetime, I’ve felt disconnected from Washingtonâ€¦
We’re a young couple with small kids with all the challenges and the emotions and the stresses that come with raising kids, like being a working mom.
She made the point that she and Barack are not that far removed from the years of paying off student loans and working to keep up with bills.
And so begins Obamaâ€™s â€œregular guyâ€ offensive. But if Mr. and Mrs. Obama think the tag of elitist has stuck so well because they are rich ($4.2 million earned last year), theyâ€™re completely missing the point. The criticism is not that Obama is some blue blood with no comprehension of the economic struggles of middle America, itâ€™s that heâ€™s a cultural elitist who has little affinity with the values of middle America.
One can be poor and still think religion and guns are less-than vital values. One can be struggling to pay off bills and still wonder whatâ€™s the matter with Kansas. No matter how hard the Obamas try to be â€œof the peopleâ€ they still appear to adhere to the values of intellectual/cultural elites.
Mind you, Iâ€™m not saying the Obamas necessarily ARE elitists, just that they sometimes come off that way. Counteracting that perception will take a lot more than talking about paying bills, it will take them demonstrating an earnest level of comfort around â€œaverageâ€ (beer drinking, god fearing, chocolate loving, gun owning) Americans.