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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 08:51 AM ET, 10/18/2011

The Morning Plum

* How directly should Dems attack Romney’s wealth and class? As I’ve been noting here, Dems are currently grappling with how directly to engage Mitt Romney’s wealth and corporate background at a time when Dems are sharpening their populist rhetoric to keep pace with rising public anger at Wall Street. Now, with the GOP candidates set to debate tonight, the DNC has uncorked a memo detailing its most direct attack on Romney’s wealth and class yet, tying that Bain photo to his claim that the payroll tax cut extension amounts to a “little Band-Aid” in order to portray Romney as an out of touch fop whose party puts the interests of the rich over the rest of us.

Look for Dems to incorporate into this attack line fact that Romney’s income from investments means he pays a lower tax rate than middle class taxpayers do.

Also of note: The Obama campaign itself has not gone here, preferring to leave this line to the DNC. But with Occupy Wall Street growing and the Obama team doubling down on a strategy of casting Wall Street as an antagonist, it seems likely that Romney’s wealth, class and enviable tax rate — vulnerabilities which remain largely unexplored — will become more central to the campaign as time goes on.

* Romney swimming in Wall Street money: Relatedly, this one will become a talking point: The Center for Responsive Politics finds that nearly one fourth of Mitt Romney’s fundraising comes from Wall Street, and Romney’s Wall Street cash is double that of Obama.

* “Moderate” Dems may break with Obama on pieces of jobs bill: With the Senate set to vote on pieces of the jobs bill, Senators Ben Nelson and Jon Tester, both of whom voted against the overall proposal, may actually vote against the $35 billion in state aid to avert teacher and first-responder layoffs.

Their objection: The tax hikes on the rich that are supported by big majorities, including among independents and moderates. As always, these “moderates” and “centrists” are not willing to support economic solutions that actually are moderate and centrist — and as a result, they may give more ammo to Republicans to claim that opposition to Obama’s proposals is “bipartisan.”

* Even Republicans favor provisions in Obama’s jobs bill: Steve Benen digs into the new CNN poll and finds that majorities of Republicans favor many of the proposals in the American Jobs Act — the very same American Jobs Act that 100 percent of Republicans voted against allowing to come to the floor.

I’d only add that this isn’t the first poll showing this: Gallup, too, found the same not long ago.

* Occupy Wall Street concern trolling of the day: This is going to drive a lot of discussion today: Pollster Doug Schoen “warns” Obama and Dems that they embrace Occupy Wall Street at their own peril, because if they do, they risk losing the “middle.” That would be the same Doug Schoen who “advised” Obama not to run for a second term — for his own good.

Friendly reminder: Time magazine’s poll found that 55 percent of independents favor the protests.

* New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor Occupy Wall Street: Relatedly, despite a massive effort by conservatives to paint Occupy Wall Street as a horrible nuisance to New Yorkers (defecating in the street!), Quinnipiac finds that they overwhelmingly agree with the protesters’ views, 67-23, with 87 percent saying it’s “okay that they’re protesting.”

* How many Occupy Wall Street protesters are there? Nate Silver tallies it up: As many as 100,000 in America on Saturday alone.

* How should Dems use Occupy Wall Street to their advantage? Eugene Robinson correctly notes that Dems are also too cozy with Wall Street, but adds that the protests present them with an opportunity:

By calling attention to this unholy alliance of financial power and political power, the Occupy Wall Street protests struck a nerve. The Republican Party is trapped on the wrong side of this issue. Democrats should be moving boldly, not timidly, to claim the issue of economic justice as their own.

* The “enthusiasm gap” persists in GOP’s favor:A potentially serious problem for Dems: They remain far less enthusiastic than Republicans about the coming presidential election, suggesting that the Dem base still doesn’t see the stakes of the coming election as all that big. The question is whether the Dems’ new revved-up populism will change this.

* Today in supercommittee follies: Members of the deficit supercommittee have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interests — including ones that are actively hoping the supercommittee fails.

* And the takedown of the day: Alec MacGillis does a demolition job on Newt Gingrich’s continued trafficking in the “death panel” myth. Really ugly stuff. What to watch for: Will Newt float it yet again at tonight’s GOP debate? Will anyone care?

Oh, and is Newt still really running for president?

By  |  08:51 AM ET, 10/18/2011

 
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