"Limousine liberal" was originally a slanderous term against Manhattanites and another term for "bleeding heart liberal" or "living room liberal." It was meant to characterize rich people who might sympathize with poor people, but who will never be poor themselves to really understand the poor people's problems.
"Limousine liberal" has been replaced recently by such terms as "SUV Democrat" and "Learjet liberal."
Wikipedia: Limousine liberal
Limousine liberal is a pejorative North American political term used to illustrate perceived hypocrisy by a political liberal of upper class or upper middle class status; including calls for the use of mass transit while frequently using limousines or private jets, claiming environmental consciousness but driving low MPG sports cars or SUVs, or ostensibly supporting public education while actually sending their children to private schools.
Formation and early use
Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Mario Procaccino coined the term "limousine liberal" to describe incumbent Republican Mayor John Lindsay and his wealthy Manhattan backers during a heated 1969 campaign.
It was a populist/producerist epithet, carrying an implicit accusation that the people it described were insulated from all negative consequences of their programs intended to benefit the poor, and that the costs and consequences of such programs would be borne in the main by working class or lower middle class people who were not so poor as to be beneficiaries themselves. In particular, Procaccino criticized Lindsay for favoring unemployed blacks over working-class ethnic whites.
One Procaccino campaign memo attacked "rich super-assimilated people who live on Fifth Avenue and maintain some choice mansions outside the city and have no feeling for the small middle class shopkeeper, home owner, etc. They preach the politics of confrontation and condone violent upheaval in society because they are not touched by it and are protected by their courtiers". The Independent later stated that "Lindsay came across as all style and no substance, a 'limousine liberal' who knew nothing of the concerns of the same 'Silent Majority' that was carrying Richard Nixon to the White House at the very same time."
(Oxford English Dictionary)
limousine liberal: a wealthy liberal. U.S.
1969 Times 4 Nov. 10/5 The little man truly representing the ordinary people, hitting out strongly at Mr. Lindsay's 'limousine liberal' appeal.
1970 N.Y. Times 26 Oct. 36 Canada is most fortunate to have a Premier who is willing to tell the bleeding hearts and limousine liberals what he thinks of them.
18 August 1969, New York (NY) Times, pg. 23:
DEALS TO LINDSAY
Calls Mayor Candidate of
Controller Mario A. Procaccino characterized Mayor Lindsay last night as the candidate of "limousine liberals." He said the Mayor would be rejected in his re-election bid by the common people of the city.
Mr. Procaccino, who is the Democratic candidate for Mayor, asserted that the members of his party who had endorsed Mr. Lindsay in recent weeks had done so on the promise of political jobs.
31 August 1969, New York (NY) Times, pg. E12:
Controller Mario A. Procaccino stepped out of the Municipal Building a couple of Thursdays ago and was grabbed by a man walking by. "Good luck, Mario," the man said. "Don't you worry - Lindsay's got the limousine liberals, but the subway people are with you."
Since then, the Democratic candidate for Mayor has used the "limousine liberals" line every chance he gets - and the key word is limousine. Mr. Procaccino wants to keep out of a liberal-conservative debate with Mayor Lindsay; the Democrat wants to make this election a contest between "the average man" and "the people with doormen who send their children to private schools."
21 December 1995, New York (NY) Times, pg. B19:
Mario A. Procaccino, 83, Who Lost to Lindsay in 1969, Dies
A stocky man with a pencil-thin mustache, the shrewd, tough, street-wise Mr. Procaccino rose through the ranks of the Democratic Party to become its standard-bearer in a race against Mr. Lindsay that was memorable for exposing the alienation of many New Yorkers from the Manhattanites that Mr. Procaccino dubbed "limousine liberals."
Long after the tumult and the shouting, Mr. Procaccino lingered in the memory for his sometimes wayword use of words. Besides "limousine liberals," he was remembered for the time he groped to describe his fellow Democrat Frank O'Connor and said," He grows on you, like cancer."
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (1) Comments • Sunday, December 12, 2004 • Permalink