1:45 pm Aug. 6, 2012
On Friday, Senator Chuck Schumer offered the nation an update on the financial status and political leanings of the Baileys, the theoretical suburban family often cited by Schumer as a lodestar for his pro-middle class policies.
"They like President Obama as a person," Schumer told the Wall Street Journal. "They're not unemployed. But they find that their paycheck doesn't stretch as far. And they're a little worried about the future for their children. But they're not looking back. They're not looking at what happened in the past or even now. They're looking at which candidate is going to make them feel better about their future and their family's future.
"And when Barack Obama concentrates on, 'Here's what I'm going to do, here's what Romney's going to do,' the Baileys will end up being for Obama. Because he is much more in sync with what they need."
Schumer illuminated some of the Baileys' feelings about economic policy.
"The Baileys really don't believe in trickle down," he said. "They don't believe in a whole lot of government spending, but they believe in tax breaks for kids to go to college, which Republicans voted against in today's Senate Finance Committee meeting. They believe that highway building is a good thing to get our economy going. They believe when you do research in places on Long Island like Brookhaven or Long Island Hospital that that's a good thing and helps them live longer."
Schumer said you won't see the Baileys at any Tea Party rallies.
"The extreme anti-government position that the Republican Party seems to embrace, from the Tea Party origins, is not where the Baileys are at," he explained. "Now are they for left-wing Democratic things? No. They're down the middle. We're closer to the middle than they are."
But aren't the Baileys worried about the deficit, asked the Journal's Gerald Seib?
"They're worried about the deficit," Schumer conceded, "but they're most worried about who is going to make their lives better. When they sit down at the table Friday night and they have to pay their bills, which group is going to help them do that best? I don't think they believe in the answer just let business handle it and things will get better."
Schumer had some thoughts on the state of the Senate races too, saying the Tea Party's new darling, Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas, would be a liability to the Republican Party as a whole.
And in Massachusetts, he predicted an easy victory for Democrats to take back the seat once held by Ted Kennedy.
"I'd bet on [Elizabeth] Warren pretty easily in that one," he said. "Two words: Supreme. Court. When Massachusetts voters think of control of the Senate, they think of that. And I don't think—even if they happen to like Scott Brown as a person—they're not going to vote for him."