CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If there is one phrase that dominated Sen. Charles E. Schumer's rah-rah speech before the New York delegation to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, it was "middle class."
The senator made the case for President Obama's re-election by pointing out that middle-class incomes have declined for the first time since World War II, and that hopes for the American dream could even be further reduced under a President Romney.
"This election will be decide by ... who can convince the middle class that their programs, policies and vision can get them out of the rut they're in," he said.
"Perhaps the greatest sin of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party is one of narrowness -- narrowness of experience, narrowness of perspective and narrowness of vision," he added. "Mitt Romney seems to believe that if you help him and people like him, that's all you need to do to help the middle class."
The senator defended Obama policies that stimulated infrastructure investment and poured money into education, but blasted Romney for proposing looser business regulations that he said will hurt "workers, the environment and the middle class."
Indeed, the theme of New York's delegation is plastered all over its posters and buttons in an apparent appeal to middle class voters: "New York State -- Progressive Capital of the Nation."
--Robert J. McCarthy