Wealth And The Presidential Campaign
Presidential campaigns are never just about policies or even personalities, according to the New York Times.
They tend to turn as much as anything on values, and the values in this case go to central questions about the psyche of the American electorate in 2012.
In an era of populist backlashes against the 1 percent and increased concern about the economic and social ramifications of income inequality, will the long-held assumption that the United States is an aspirational society that admires rather than resents success hold true? At a time when individual billionaires and moneyed interests can play an outsize and often shadowy role in shaping politics and policy, do political leaders have less incentive to put the needs of the poor and the middle class ahead of the agendas of their benefactors?
Those questions provide a particular opportunity for Mr. Obama, who is eager to raise the stakes in the election and make it something more than a march through four more months of unemployment and job creation reports.