In reaction to Republican criticisms of the $850+ billion stimulus package passed this time last year, President Obama is sending members of his cabinet out across the country this week to try and convince the American public that the massive stimulus bill was good for the country.
President Barack Obama, defending his economic stimulus plan on its first anniversary, is dispatching his Cabinet across the country to try to calm an anxious public as Democrats head into potentially devastating midterm elections.
A weeklong push to highlight the stimulus program’s first year was starting with a Tuesday trip by Vice President Joe Biden to hard-hit Saginaw, Mich., to tour a small business, a jobs training program and a solar factory that all received Recovery Act dollars.
Obama’s fellow Democrats planned to tout programs putting people back to work under the $787 billion spending bill. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was touring a medical center in Atlanta on Tuesday; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was promoting stimulus projects in Virginia and Texas the same day.
In all, senior administration officials are scheduled to visit 35 communities before Friday to counter Republican claims the massive deficit-spending program has failed. Obama plans to surround himself at the White House on Wednesday with people who have jobs because of the stimulus plan, then travel to Colorado and Nevada.
This is simply a continuation of the strategy that President Obama described following the Scott Brown win in Massachusetts. It is centered on Obama’s belief that the American people don’t “get it”. He has tried to make the case that he spent so much time creating and passing policy last year that he forgot to stop and clearly explain to the American voters exactly what he was doing. He indicated that he assumed incorrectly that the American people would be smart enough for them to “get it”, if he simply kept working hard. This from a President that has done more interviews, Town Hall meetings and prime-time TV appearances in his first year than any other recent President.
In keeping with his belief that if he just explains his unpopular policies, he will somehow make them popular, the White House is now blowing more tax dollars on a stimulus promotional tour.
While watching the press coverage of these promotional events, here are a couple things you probably won’t see his minions talk about.
First, since the stimulus money has trickled out, with only about 1/3 of it spent after the first year, and only 10% or so spent in the first six months, why was it necessary to pass it in an overnight rush, where nobody had a chance to read the bill before it was voted on?
Second, with Obama and the Democrats calling the GOP the party of no and claiming the Republicans are the reason there is no bipartisanship in Washington, will they give Obama credit for getting the ball rolling. It was a year ago when in response to Republican leaders complaining to the President about being excluded from the stimulus discussions and raising objections to some parts of the $750+ $850+ billion stimulus bill, that the President responded to the Republican leadership by simply laughing and stating “I won” and therefore he would get to choose who was allowed to give input on bills.
Instead of being the great uniter as he promised, President Obama’s policies and personal arrogance has not only further divided Washington, but the entire country. His Cabinet members making three dozen photo ops this week is not going to undo the damage that President Obama has done in his first year in office.