Obama peddles modest American dream

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WASHINGTON (AP) — This time around, President Barack Obama's message can sound decidedly down-to-earth.

Four years after winning the White House, Obama is dealing with a different economic and political reality as he seeks re-election. He's focused less on a lofty vision for overcoming divisions and remaking Washington, and more on the most basic building blocks of middle-class economic security, meaning a job, a house, a college education for the kids, health care, and money to retire on.

Obama's new American Dream can seem a spare, fundamental aspiration, tailored for a campaign that looks to be fought over who is best equipped to safeguard the interests of middle-class Americans.

The question is whether it will convince, as his Republican opponents argue that Obama has made the American Dream harder, not easier, to achieve.

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