Obama Embraces Occupy Wall Street
President Obama says he'll fight for the 99 percent.
President Obama says he’ll fight for the 99 percent.
Business Insider (“White House Draws Closer To Occupy Wall Street, Says Obama Is Fighting For The Interests Of The 99%“):
The White House continued its embrace of the Occupy Wall Street protests on Sunday, using the strongest terms yet to identify President Barack Obama with the growing movement.
In a call previewing Obama’s upcoming bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama “will continue to acknowledge the frustration that he himself shares,” about Washington’s laggard response to the financial crisis. Earnest added that while on the trip, Obama will make it clear that he is fighting to make certain that the “interests of 99 percent of Americans are well represented” — the first time the White House has used the term to differentiate the vast majority of Americans from the wealthy.
Obama, who has been branded a “class warrior” by Republicans unhappy with his plans to increase taxes on the rich to pay for his jobs and deficit plans, has embraced the term.
“I’ll tell you what, if asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher or a bus driver makes me a warrior for the middle class, I will wear that charge with honor,” he told donors in Dallas earlier this month.
This is shrewd positioning, identifying himself with the frustrations sparking a movement as well as its most effective slogan without embracing the movement itself and its potential baggage. The wee problem with it is that, not only is Obama part of the 1 percent, he’s been the single most important voice in American public policy for the past three years and has done nothing about these issues. Indeed, he was the chief cheerleader for the massive bailouts of the banks that gives the movement its name.