McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

National News

August 16, 2012

Obama plays up love of beer to ferment coalition of the swilling

DUBUQUE, Iowa — When Michelle Obama asked her husband on Wednesday if he'd eaten a fried Twinkie at the Iowa State Fair, President Obama leaned into the microphone to boast: "Pork chop and beer."

"He's so pleased with himself," the first lady shot back, rolling her eyes to the crowd.

He sure seemed to be. Across Iowa over the past three days, Obama talked about wind power and drought relief and middle-class taxes. But what he really seemed excited about was beer. He bought a round of beers at the fair. He told coffee shop patrons about one of the latest features at the White House: a home brewery. He spoke longingly of the beer he planned to quaff on the bus at the end of the day.

The crowds drank it up. They cheered at every mention, chanting: "Four more beers!"

That may be exactly the point. As Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, battle for hearts and votes, Romney is trying to show that he shares their values of family, faith and hard work. He talks of marrying his high school sweetheart, supporting his wife through her battle with multiple sclerosis, raising his five boys and enjoying his grandchildren. Obama is taking it a step further by trying to seem an everyman himself. He talks of being raised by a single mom, his late father-in-law's working-class career, his own family's financial struggles in their early years.

And he talks about beer.

There is good reason to presume that beer is a way for Obama to connect with voters. It presents a contrast with Romney, who doesn't drink (and who was scooping ice cream in a 1950s-style parlor in Ohio when Obama was buying beers at the fair). Consumer research shows that beer is most popular with the very voters that Obama and Romney are fighting over: middle-America independents.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.