From “Why the battle over Mitt Romney’s ‘silver spoon’ upbringing matters,” Greg Sargent, WaPo:
“The upbringings of Obama and Romney — and the contrast between them — are relevant not just because presidential races are a clash of personalities and biographies. They also bear directly on the basic policy argument between the two men over how best to create opportunity and shared prosperity, a central dispute in this campaign.
“Obama argues that government needs to play a larger role in facilitating opportunity, via more investments in education, financial aid, and so forth. He cites himself as an example of someone who might not have been able to advance in life without such assistance.
“Romney, by contrast, argues that the government activism to combat inequality Obama advocates amounts to government-enforced “equal outcomes,” or worse, the politics of “envy” and “class warfare.” Romney insists that rolling back government and unshackling the private sector is the best way to combat inequality, by creating opportunity, shared prosperity and social mobility. Romney, too, has cited himself as proof of what the private sector can accomplish along these lines, if only we’ll let it. He has directly equated his own success with the benefits that “free enterprise” can shower on anyone.
“In other words, both men are citing themselves as walking emblems of their own policy visions. No one is claiming that Romney didn’t earn his money or that he isn’t a very hard worker. But if Romney is going to argue that his own success proves that unshackling the free market is the primary way to facilitate broadly shared prosperity and opportunities for those who currently don’t share in either — and that Obama’s call for more government efforts to promote both would be counter-productive — the early advantages Romney enjoyed are directly relevant to the debate.” Emphasis added.