That's not really middle class to me. It may be far from what the truly rich make, but they made three times what my wife and I make as teachers and we have enough money to live comfortably. And while big-city suburbanites might be able to identify with that kind of income, the magical "working class" segment of the population that keeps getting referred to on TV really can't. I live in a fairly typical rural area for pretty much anywhere outside of the northeast or that thin sliver of the West Coast where small towns are just full of rich retired people from the cities. The average household income is in the mid $20,000s and the unemployment rate is about double the national average. That means that by myself as a teacher I make a good bit more than the average family in my county. Combined with my wife, we're about as far from the average person here as Barack Obama and his wife are from us.
The fact of the matter is that no presidential candidate has any idea what it's like to be the average American. Jimmy Carter probably came the closest in the modern era, but by the time he ran for president, he'd become wealthier than his upbringing by far. Obama may be the closest to the average man of the current candidates with his single-parent home, but he still is private school and Ivy League educated and worked as a lawyer, a profession most people see as fabulously lucrative. I don't think Obama is as guilty of elitism as he is of unabashed intelligence, and that shouldn't be taken as a flaw. We should have learned that after the last eight years. Still, I think the disconnect of the educated class from the actual experiences of what the average income really is like causes a lot of problems in economic and poverty policy.