White House betting 2014 elections on "economic patriotism"

Democrats see the tax issue as a political winner that allows President Obama to side with middle class taxpayers and against corporate executives who can be painted as disloyal and unpatriotic. They think it will be difficult for Republicans to defend the practice.

“There is still a great amount of discomfort in the American electorate around the economy and particularly anger with Wall Street and corporate chiefdoms who seem to be getting a better deal than everybody else,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. “Any time the White House can channel that into policy actions, that’s good.”

The White House has been trying to turn what could be an arcane political issue into a story right and wrong.

Obama never uses the term “inversion,” which refers to the practice in which a corporation moves its headquarters overseas. Corporations can lower their tax bills by moving their headquarters to a country with a lower corporate tax rate, even if their operations largely stay in the United States.

Instead, the president simply calls it a “loophole,” which better fits the populist theme.