Obama’s Anti-Trump Secret Weapon

President Obama just put Trump In a very-classy-and-beauitful-gold-plated box with his announcement that he now supports an increase in Social Security benefits.

If Trump supports the idea he pisses off mainstream Republicans at a time he’s trying to court them. If he opposes it, he annoys his own base of crotchety white seniors.

Most of the time when Democrats ruminate on how to appeal to potential Trump voters they think about income inequality, raising the minimum wage or maybe tweaking trade laws.

But that forgets one fact: Trump’s base is old. The latest Quinnepiac poll had Trump beating Hillary among those over 50 and losing among those who are younger.

It was considered a sign of his daring heterodoxy when Trump earlier this year came out against cutting Social Security. But Obama upped the ante, and Hillary has already come out for an increase. Trump already had some vulnerabilities because he had suggested privatizing the program in one of his books.

In this year of surprises, the newest wedge issue might be a golden oldie.

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Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman, a Washington Monthly contributing editor, is the co-founder of Report for America, a national service program for journalists.