AFL-CIO defends congressional Ponzi Scheme

Quadrennial eruption signals silly season

In a move that signals a major new effort to woo elderly voters to Obama, the AFL-CIO is dropping a scorching new mailer in battleground states hammering John McCain on Social Security and directly referencing McCain's wealth, his corporate jet, and his expensive Italian shoes.

"McCain's worth over $100 million," reads the mailer, which we obtained in advance of its public release. "He owns 10 houses ... he flies around on a $12.6 million corporate jet...he walks around in $520 Italian loafers."

"If John McCain lost his social security, he'd get by just fine," the mailer continues. "Would you?" Click on the images below to enlarge:

The new mailer, which highlights McCain's history of support for privatizing Social Security, signals a recognition that unions can play a role reaching out to what they think will be a pivotal swing state vote: Retired union members.

Steve Smith, a spokesperson for the AFL-CIO, tells me that the union will be striving to reach out to more than a million union retirees in coming weeks.

"In key battleground states, the retiree vote is going to be crucial in the presidential race," Smith says. "Our research -- polling, focus groups -- indicates that many seniors still are unaware of John McCain's record in support of privatization and plans to drastically reduce benefits."

The mailer will go out tomorrow to 50,000 retirees in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, and more mailings will soon be dropped in those states, where the union is also planning a series of Social Security events.

The mailing's hard-hitting references to McCain's wealth also suggests that the big unions see another role for themselves: Striking a sharp populist tone in attacks against McCain that others have been calling on the Obama camp to employ, particularly in response to McCain's "celeb" ads. The message, quite simply, is: Who's the real elitist here?


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