Rampant Republican political theology isn’t the only thing happening in the Midwest, nor is Sarah Palin’s brief resurgence into the spotlight: President Barack Obama is also on the loose, making a three-day bus tour (August 15-17) through Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. This seems very much a campaign tour for the president, who is taking his message to small towns at a crucial time, just as Republican hopefuls raise their shrill “down with Obama” cries in Ames, Iowa.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained, “Democrats, independents and Republicans expect to see their president of the United States outside of Washington, D.C., out from behind the podium, spending time talking to the American people in their communities.”
Obama won all three states in 2008 (36 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win) and he is aware his return there will not take the form of a honeymoon:
Says Earnest, “I anticipate that there will be some people who are supporters of the president, who voted for him last time, who will have some questions for him about the compromises that he was willing to make. But that is something that the president believes is an important part of leadership … demonstrating a willingness to compromise.”
Reuters reports that White House communications Director Dan Pfeiffer “said Iowa had a special connection for Obama and told reporters that the U.S. leader was excited to be able to finally escape from Washington.” It was in Iowa that Barack Obama launched his 2008 campaign for president.
Obama begins his barnstorming tour in Minnesota, where he will speaks at a townhall meeting in Cannon Falls on Monday. He will then travel to Decorah, Iowa before holding a rural economic forum in Poesta, Iowa, on Tuesday. Wednesday will see him holding town hall meetings in Atkinson and Alpha, Illinois. It’s a chance for Obama not only to escape Washington but a chance to reconnect with voters. The people who get to see him will no doubt be as happy to see him as he will to see them.
The trip couldn’t come at a better time with the Republican hype machine going full bore. People are frightened and confused by what’s going on in Washington and by what the MSM is feeding them. The president will now have an opportunity to give them his take directly, free of unfriendly middlemen. His focus will be the economy and jobs, as might be expected.
Obama has been very outspoken in his disapproval for what’s been going on in Washington, D.C., with such comments as “Voters may have chosen divided government, but they sure didn’t vote for dysfunctional government.” He needs to distance himself from this obscenity in the minds of voters, making it clear that it is the Republicans who created our economic problems and that it is the Republicans who are working to prolong them.
The president plans to spend several days with his family in Martha’s Vinyard following his Midwest trip according to Obama adviser David Axelrod.
It’s not even news that Republicans will oppose his vacation, citing the economic crisis they created and have prolonged, even though George W. Bush claimed we were in a battle for our very survival against Islamic terrorism while spending half his presidency on vacation.