1. News & Issues
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Empathy and Genuine Help for Middle-Class Americans


Five Reasons Why Obama Won the '08 Election

Photo: Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Barack Obama decisively won the presidential election, for many solid reasons and due to many factors, including weaknesses of his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.

This article enumerates and explains five top reasons why Obama won win the 2008 race to become the 44th President of the United States.

Reason #1 - Empathy and Genuine Help for Middle-Class Americans

Barack Obama "gets" what it means for a family to worry financially, to work hard simply to make it, and to do without essentials.

Obama was born to a teenage mother, abandoned by his father at age two, and raised largely in a small apartment by his middle-class grandparents. At one point, Obama, his mother and younger sister relied on food stamps to put meals on the family table.

Michelle Obama, close counselor and best friend to her husband, and her brother were similarly raised in modest circumstances in a one-bedroom apartment on the south side of Chicago.

Both Barack and Michelle Obama speak frequently about what it means for middle-class Americans to be at a disadvantage financially and otherwise.

Because they "get" it, both Obamas refer with heartfelt eloquence to middle-class fears, including to:

  • the climbing unemployment rate
  • the staggering home foreclosure rate gripping the nation
  • crashing 401(k) and pension plans, leaving retirements in limbo
  • 48 million Americans without health care insurance
  • high percentages of public schools failing our children
  • the continuing struggle of middle-class families to balance work and parenting demands
In vivid contrast, John and particularly Cindy McCain exude an aura of financial insularity and well-heeled elegance. Both were born wealthy, and have been quite wealthy for their entire lives.

When cornered by Pastor Rick Warren several months ago, John McCain defined "rich" as " I think if you're just talking about income, how about 5 million."

Middle-class anger is palpable about economic fairness in these unusually tough financial times, and subsequent to what many view as President Bush's $700 billion bailout of rich Wall Streeters, .

Obama offered actual, understandable policy solutions to help middle-class Americans, including:

John McCain's tin ear on middle-class financial woes were evident in his prescription for the economy: more tax-cuts for major corporations, and continuation of the Bush tax cuts for U.S. millionaires. And this McCain stance is consistent with his stated desires to slash Medicare and privatize Social Security.

The American public is fed-up with failed Bush/McCain economics, which claim that prosperity will eventually "trickle down" to everyone else.

Obama won the presidential race largely because voters correctly perceive that he, and not John McCain, care about and will address middle-class economic struggles and inequities.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.