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The Big Dog’s Mission in Charlotte

Time’s Joe Klein has wise words (h/t Ross Douthat):

But if I’m a plain old white insurance salesman, I look at the Democratic Party and say, What’s in it for me? These feelings are clearly intensifying in this presidential campaign. They are bound to increase, perhaps dangerously, as the white electoral majority (currently about 70%) diminishes over time. If the Democratic Party truly wants to be a party of inclusion, it must reach out to those who are currently excluded from its identity politics. It needs to disband its caucuses. It needs to say, We are proud of our racial and ethnic backgrounds, our different religions, our lifestyle differences. But the things that unite us are more important than the things that divide us. We have only one caucus — the American caucus.

It seems to me this is the Democrats’ goal in slotting former President Bill Clinton in the primetime space customarily filled by the vice president or vice presidential candidate: to speak directly to that plain old white insurance salesman.

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This was the original point of running with Joe Biden in the first place. The ’08 Obama campaign played up Biden’s working-class roots in Scranton, Pa., and his habit of commuting to Washington via Amtrak. Four years later, Biden’s usefulness in this regard has been outweighed by his habit of inserting his foot into his mouth.

Hence this week’s reliance on the “Big Dog,” as Clinton is affectionately referred to in Democratic circles. To have any realistic shot of unseating Obama, Mitt Romney needs two-thirds of non-college-educated white voters.

With Bubba’s help, Obama is trying to limit Romney’s share of that critical demographic.

about the author

Scott Galupo is a freelance writer living in Arlington, Va. In addition to contributing to The American Conservative, he writes for TheWeek.com and reviews live music for The Washington Post. He was formerly a staff writer for The Washington Times and worked on Capitol Hill. He lives with his wife and two children and writes about politics to support his guitar habit.

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