Romney Makes Play For Hillary Voters

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 29 2012 2:06 PM

Romney Makes Play For Hillary Voters

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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks after signing the Supporting Justice Sector Reform in Moldova and Renewed U.S. - Latvia Fulbright Academic Exchange Program Agreement with Latvian Foreign Minister on June 28, 2012, in Riga. Clinton touched down in Latvia on June 28, the 100th country she has visited since becoming the US top diplomat less than four years ago.

Photo by HARAZ N. GHANBARI/AFP/GettyImages

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is all about running up the score with white voters. Which means it probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that he's airing this ad (via Politico) featuring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2008 run was fueled by white blue collar Democrats, excoriating Barack Obama at the height of their primary duel four years ago (check out how uncomfortable Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland looks behind her)

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It's hard to see how Team Romney successfully dredges up the old anger from that fight, especially since Hillary has been serving so prominently in Obama's White House. What's more, healthcare reform, which was Hillary's signature issue before it was Obama's, is back in the news, and remains a cause embraced by just about all segments of the Democratic Party.

But whereas Obama had the economic crisis to bring Hillary voters into line four years ago, his moves on hot-button cultural issues like gay marriage and immigration could be having the opposite effect.

Which isn't to say that Hillary backers will abandon the president en masse, so much as the Obama campaign's emphasis on outsourcing by Mitt Romney's private equity firm Bain Capital is best understood as a means to keep blue collar Dems from jumping ship.

Matt Taylor is a reporter living in Brooklyn. He was the political correspondent for the National Memo and a staff reporter at his hometown newspaper, The East Hampton Star. He's a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast. You can reach him on Twitter @matthewt_ny

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