Stellar duo target Ohio's working class for Obama

Lest anyone forget the importance of Ohio's white, working-class voters, President Barack Obama sent a clear reminder on Thursday.
Associated Press
Oct 18, 2012

Make that two reminders: Bill (Clinton) and The Boss (Bruce Springsteen), two aging baby boomers still at the top of their game.

"No retreat, believe me, no surrender," Springsteen sang, performing without the backing of his E Street Band in a darkened gymnasium lit by a spotlight. The lyrics seemed aimed both at the president and his supporters.

With less than three weeks until Election Day, Clinton and Springsteen took the stage to rally support for Obama among the critical middle-class voting bloc in this tightly contested Midwestern swing state.

"For 30 years, I've been writing about the divide between the American dream and the American reality," Springsteen said. "Our vote is the one principal way we get to determine that distance."

Clinton implored voters to reward Obama for bailing out the auto industry, which has deep roots in Ohio.

"When you were down, you were out, and your whole economy was threatened, the president had your back," said the former president and a top surrogate for Obama.

Ohio is at the center of both Obama and Republican Mitt Romney's campaign strategies. Winning the state would put Obama on the brink of the 270 Electoral College votes required to win the White House. Romney, who has fewer pathways to victory than the president, almost certainly needs Ohio's 18 electoral votes if he hopes to claim victory.

Both campaigns are paying special attention to Ohio's working class — many of whom are white and don't have a college degree. They've made up about half of voters in the state in each of the last two presidential elections.

And they were well-represented among the 3,000 people packed into a community college gymnasium for the Clinton-Springsteen appearance.

"I think Clinton is key," said firefighter Matt Sparling of Parma Heights, Ohio. "He's got an amazing way of keeping it simple." Springsteen, he added, helps draw the crowd.

As Ohio officials opened the event, some in the crowd bellowed "Bruuuuce" — a standard fan shout-out to the musical legend.

Clinton, too, reveled in the chance to serve as Springsteen's opening act.

"I am qualified because I was born in the U.S.A. and unlike one of the candidates for president, I keep all my money here," Clinton said, referring both to one of the rocker's classic songs and Romney's overseas financial holdings.

Polls show Obama with a lead in Ohio, but Romney has made gains following his strong performance at the first presidential debate.

Each candidate has struggled to connect with white, working-class voters, in Ohio and elsewhere.

Nationally, Romney holds a strong edge among white voters with jobs and no college degree. But his advantage is narrower in union-heavy Ohio. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll showed Romney ahead 51 percent to 44 percent among likely noncollege, white voters.

Those heavily-courted voters backed Republicans in the past two elections.

In 2004 in Ohio, 55 percent of white voters without a college education voted for Republican George W. Bush and 44 percent voted for Democrat John Kerry. Four years ago, they voted for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., over Obama 54 percent to 44 percent.

This time around, Obama's team sees opportunities to increase its levels of support.

The campaign has blanketed the state with television advertisements portraying Romney as a corporate raider who moved manufacturing jobs overseas. The state's 7.2 percent unemployment rate is more than a half-point lower than the national average. And the auto bailout is credited with saving thousands of jobs in the state.

"I'm thankful GM is still making cars," said Springsteen, whose songs often reflect the stories and values of the people who work in places like auto factories. "What else would I write about?"

In addition to Clinton and Springsteen, Obama is relying on Vice President Joe Biden to rally support among white working-class voters. Biden, raised in a middle-class family from Scranton, Pa., has been a frequent visitor to Ohio. He's scheduled to make a three-day swing through the state next week.

Romney has also relied on his running mate for help in Ohio. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin native, has put his Midwestern sensibilities to use, dropping by college football tailgates and a Cleveland Browns practice. He also made a stop at a gun show. Ryan is due back in Ohio on Saturday.

Springsteen, an avid supporter of Obama in 2008, had planned to sit out this election. He never explained exactly what changed his mind in the campaign's closing weeks, saying only that he believes Obama understands the struggles of "everyday citizens."

The rocker kept his comments brief during a six-song set, which included "Youngstown", a song about the economic woes of the Ohio city. Seeking to hew a bit more closely to Obama's re-election message of shared prosperity, he also played a newer song that has become a staple at the president's campaign rallies.

"Wherever this flag is flown," Springsteen sang. "We take care of our own."

 

Comments

The Big Dog's back

The Boss and The Big Dog Together, and backing Obama. Doesn't get any better than this.

anthras

Gee, thanks Bill! Clinton says Romney is RIGHT and the economy is 'not fixed' . . .

..Bill Clinton has conceded that Mitt Romney is correct that the economy is 'not fixed' and said he thought Barack Obama was going to cry during Tuesday's debate 'because he knows that it's not fixed'.
Former president Clinton, speaking in Parma, Ohio, during a campaign event with Bruce Springsteen,

But his frank admission about the state of the economy was immediately seized on by the Romney campaign as bolstering the republican argument that a change of leadership in the White House is needed.

Entertainer: Clinton made his remarks during a campaign event with Bruce Springsteen in Ohio on thursday

'Governor Romney's argument is "we're not fixed, so fire him and put me in". It is true, we're not fixed,' Clinton said at in Parma, Ohio. 'When President Obama looked into the eyes of that man who said in the debate, "I had so much hope four years ago and I don't now", I thought he was going to cry because he knows that it's not fixed.'
This was a reference to a question from Michael Jones, a young undecided voter, at the debate in Hempstead, New York.

He said: 'Mr President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.'
Obama's began by responding 'well, we've gone through a tough four years; there's no doubt about it' but switched immediately to a litany of what he believed were his achievements followed by an attack on Romney.
It was a stark contrast with Clinton's own performance in the 1992 'town hall' debate in Richmond, Virginia, when he won rave reviews for his ability to tell voters, as he had previously put it to an angry AIDS activist: 'I feel your pain.'

Taxed Enough Already

yeah a guy with a horse voice that can barely talk and an ex president who was impeached for lying to a federal grand jury.

KURTje

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

44846GWP

The Boss and the Ex Boss in Cheif! Wish I was there! OBAMA 2012!

CAST THE FIRST STONE

How many chicks got hit on today. If he only went to third base it wasnt sex though. Still cant believe we reelected a prez that got under the desk service in the oval office. I guess obama has a chance sfterall. we are idiots

jas

The exact same way we elected and reelected an ignorant moron like George Bush.

coasterfan

LOL Taxed Enough... We Dems aren't embarrassed by Clinton. Overall, he did a good job as President, and I could care less about his sex life. He certainly left America in good financial shape (budget surplus). Contrast that with George W. Bush, who is such an utter embarrassment to Republicans that his name is taboo these days. What conservatives believe Clinton did to Lewinsky, Bush did to America. Who had a more detrimental, long-term effect on America, Bush or Clinton?

I guffawed when I heard Romney stutter and fumble his way through the question "How are you different from George W. Bush" during Tuesday's debate. He had no way to answer, because, policy-wise, he is almost a carbon-copy of Bush.

And now the GOP wants us to believe that their same 2007-08 economic plan will magically work in 2012. It'll work for rich people, but the rest of us? We're on our own... Say goodbye to college tuition tax credits and the ability to claim your home mortgage interest on your fed. tax form. According to Romney himself (during the primaries), these will be gone.

Taxed Enough Already

I did not mention his sex life...I mentioned the fact that he lied before a federal grand jury. 3 years olds know you should not lie and yet he has a law degree and felt it was ok. Yet when Nixon lied and tried a cover up all you democrats wanted him DEAD. OH wait it's because you liberal/democrats hail him BECAUSE of his sex life, I keep forgetting that. You liberals will NEVER get it.

KnuckleDragger

Change your post, Clinton no longer has a law degree. The bar association suspended his license to practice law for perjury.

jas

Just because Clinton was disbarred doesn't mean he doesn't have a law degree. It means he no longer has a license to practice law. An ignorant Knuckle Dragger doesn't know the difference. There's lots of people who graduated from law school who don't have a license to practice law.

Mr. D

Taxed. . . We all lie. . . All of us. . . Not sayin its right, but we all do it. The only guy who didn't lie died on a cross about 2000 years ago. Bet even you twist the truth on occasion.

Gardenman

I read and listen to thes comments by the Republicans, the conservatives or those on the right and they talk like 4 years ago we were living under the lap of luxury. It's like each mornign every American got up singing "Everything is Beautiful." Sorry folks I don't quite remember it that way at all. At this point 4 years ago under Republican George W Bush the banks were in dire straights. Some of the biggest banks in the US like Wells Fargo and Bank America were nearing collapse. Some people have forgotten that and truth was this country was so very close in November and December of 2008 to the entire banking industry going to a total meltdown.

Major corporations were set to collapse as well with ones like GM and Chrysler. Many want to say oh yea they should have........the result would not have been pretty here in Sandusky or other cities and town across Ohio and the US.

GWB was one happy man to leave the White House in Jan 2009 and leave the mess to an new president. No things are not all rosy today but the banks are open and none of us lost our savings and the US auto industry is doing well.

There was a time when Americans worked together for a common good and sometimes we do BUT in political circles this country has been so polarized that nobody seems to get alonw with anybody if they are not of the same party.

eriemom

I wish that I could remember where I read that each recession that we have endured has taken longer to come out of. The economist claimed that this one would take us 60 months. This is a systemic problem related to capitalism. Eventually the ponzi will collapse.

KnuckleDragger

Ummm, you need to research. Both Reagan and Bush pulled out of the recessions they inherited in under 2 yrs. ROFLMFAO, Capitalism, a ponzi? Either you are nuts or you have to be one of the most uneducated people to ever post on this blog, aside from big dog of course.

Swamp Fox

Two womanizers can't change the facts since the regime came to office;
More unemployed
Less total jobs
High long term unemployed
Lower middle class income
Higher gas prices
Lower home values
Higher health insurance costs
Higher college tuition
More Americans in poverty
More Americans on food stamps
Record Federal debt
More money spent on welfare than social security or defense, 1st time in out history......

deertracker

Has your SS check been reduced?

KnuckleDragger

If you count the fact that for 2 out of the last 3 yrs there was no COLA, despite the rising cost of food, medical care, and energy (all not counted in the CPI, I wonder why? LOL) then yes it has been reduced via decreased buying power.

Informed

Swamp, the fact that you are referring to Bruce Springsteen as a has-been says it all. You are out of touch.

Swamp Fox

Informed, how do you know that the term "has been" was in reference to Springsteen? Sorry WOMANIZER would be the interchangeable term for both of them....

meowmix

Yep, them Dem womanizers--unlike most of the still-in-the-closet-but-I'm-not-gay-anti-gay-legislative tea tards.

KnuckleDragger

Ahhh yes, another Democrap bigot. Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy everywhere!

Swamp Fox

I thought the democrappers were the party of inclusion? What about Barney Frank?

Riskkbreaker

Yes, the Democrat leaders are womanizers. No matter how many Democrats are well-intentioned, it doesn't change what their leaders are up to. They started a war against their own countrymen (the Civil War) to try and stop the Republicans from allowing women and minorities to be able to stand on their own two feet.
They haven't changed..they are just more subtle now.

Don't believe me? Tell me, then. How is it that the Democrat party has held control of Congress for upwards of 80% of the last century..yet women and minorities are still in such dire straits?
I will tell you how. Instead of open warfare, the Dem leaders now employ the use of demagoguery against their ideological opponents..so that anyone who calls them out on it, are drowned out by the roar of the crowds who have been amped up on their rhetoric.

They likely hope that by the time enough women and minorities see the economic trap which Democrat leaders are closing shut onto them, it will be too late.

themomx6

Romney has a 7 point lead in the polls! Thanks Clinton and Brucie! Maybe Americans aren't as dumb as I thought!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?fea...

KnuckleDragger

I find it hilarious that in watching the news this morning, every network except MSNBC is reporting that Romney is starting to pull away from Obama in the polls (outside the margins even). Get ready for disgruntled Dems to start attacking you. After all they are only getting their info from MSNBC (Obama feel good central). MSNBC is the ONLY one reporting an Obama lead, by using the irrelavent Marist poll. LOL. I can hardly wait to see likes of big dog and coasterfan having their stroke in November. Big Dog will check himself into the loony bin for six months like he did when Bush won a second term. To bad I can't post a video on here. I want to post video of the 12 mile drive from my house into Sandusky where there are only 3 Obama/Biden signs to be found but hundreds of Romney signs. If people are supporting Obama they sure aren't admitting to it.

44846GWP

You can't spell.

Steelerfan7272

I find it funny that the man who sings the song "Born in the USA" is supporting a man whose own citizenship can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but yet nobody has a problem with that.

meowmix

I find it funny that you think the song "Born in the USA" is pro-America. Gee dude, ever listen to the lyrics?????

44846GWP

Here we go, another Birtherturd.

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