Skip to comments.Obama orchestrated theatrics on the stimulus lays an egg
Posted on 02/13/2009 5:35:59 PM PST by Starman417
Obama's happy trails to change the tide on the stimulus were planned for dramatic effect, and timed to end up in Springfield on Lincoln's birthday... and Caterpillar was to be that day's shock and awe fireworks. Proof positive that Obama could put thousands back to work almost immediately with the stroke of a pen.
He attempted to play the nation, and enjoy a swell of support with a carefully orchestrated theatrical stage play.
Obama is all about visual symbolism and grandeur. David Axelrod, Obama's packaging guru, specialized in staging Obama's campaign shows in arenas, complete with elaborate backdrops and pyrotechnics. Axelrod, no fool, knows how to stage for the great photo ops and symbolism.
Obama never had a problem getting his stimulus. But Obama didn't face just GOP opposition. The more we learned, the more the public approval rate was dropping for the bill. Much to Obama and the Dem's chagrin, the Republicans were winning the "message war", as even Reid's own aide admitted (via subscription Roll Call on Feb 12th):
Mata note: Roll Call is subscriber only. Some excerpts also appear in the Arkansas GOP blog.
Obama wants the public behind the Dems and his stimulus. For future political capital, he desperately needs to isolate the Republicans and dilute their resonating message of pork, disguised as "stimulus". Despite having ultimate Congressional power, Obama must convincingly portray the conservatives as being in the wrong to the masses.
So he hits the road to do what he does best... excite the public. The trip was carefully planned to showcase Obama mingling with the commoners first in Elkhart, IN on Monday the 9th, and in Ft. Myers FL on Tues the 10th. In the afternoon of the 12th, he was to visit the Caterpillar factory, then culminate in Springfield, IL that same night where Obama was to attend the Abraham Lincoln Association's annual Lincoln birthday banquet, at the invitation of Dick Durbin. An event for which he had a national audience.
Each place had it's dramatic backdrop for symbolism - but instead of Greek columns this time, the locations were chosen for their high unemployment numbers as the backdrop. Elkhart's went up to 15.3%, and Ft. Myers is at 10%. The ultimate photo op for Obama's purpose is to contrast the Dems and GOP arguing over the stimulus in Washington, while he is seen with the crowds in the worst hit parts of the nation pushing his message - that being pass the stimulus, or face catastrophe.
But what of the last Illinois stops... Peoria and Springfield? Let's go back to that day off from townhall selling... Wednesday the 11th. Per Ben Feller's AP article, Obama hails agreement on massive stimulus package, the POTUS was back in the nation's capital congratulating Congress, and laying plans for his next day's travel to Springfield... but first with a mid afternoon stop in Peoria, IL to speak with the Caterillar workers.
Before leaving, he framed his Peoria visit with a promise... supposedly from Caterpillar's CEO, Jim Owens... that passage of the stimulus would result in laid off Caterpillar's employees going back to work.
Earlier Wednesday, trying to cast the plan in terms of real jobs, Obama announced that machinery giant Caterpillar Inc. plans to rehire some of its laid-off workers if Congress approves a sweeping stimulus bill.
That Obama statement came just one day before he was heading to Peoria, Ill., to visit the company's workers and keep pushing his plan. The heavy-equipment maker has announced more than 20,000 job cuts as shrinking credit and construction demands hurt orders for tractors and other machines.
Said Obama: "Today, the chairman and CEO of Caterpillar said that if the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan passes, his company would be able to rehire some of those employees." He did not specify to whom the company chairman and CEO, Jim Owens, made such a pledge.
Obama's great confidence in these promises of the stimulus' success may have come from the fact that (as Aye mentioned) Jim Owens had been added to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board just five days before.
Per Jake Tapper, those promises were repeated at the Caterpillar event... along with Obama encouraging the workers to lobby a freshman Republican Representative that wasn't on board with the stimulus.
Obama, before launching into his speech did a little political arm-twisting aimed at freshman U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-18th District). Aarons still trying to make up his mind about our recovery package, Obama said. He has a chance to be in the mold of Bob Michel and Ray LaHood. Obama suggested to those in attendance they talk to Schock and convince him to do what the president said is the right thing.
Schock was present at the speech himself, and Obama singled him out... making him stand so the audience could see him.
By the time Obama returned to Springfield for the evening Lincoln festivities, his orchestrated tour and commanding presence and promises should have worked their magic. In three days, Obama planned to showcase the unemployed, and make sure the world knew he could magically re'employ the Caterpillar thousands if only the stimulus passed, and stand triumphantly with his Lincoln speech.
Well, we all know how the Caterpillar promise worked out... No sooner had Obama left the Caterpillar site that Jim Owens was busy backtracking on Obama's second repeated promises. Jake Tapper's got a great video on this from yesterday. (not embeddable... sorry...)
Did Obama's finale to the stage show at Caterpillar succeed? Despite his attempt to put Schock on the spot at the factory site, this is what happened:
Today Rep. Schock said on the House floor that "I found it very interesting that after the president finished his speech and I stayed around, not one employee at that facility approached me and asked me to vote for this bill."
In fact, said Schock, I have received over 1,400 phone calls, e-mails and letters from employees alone asking me to oppose this legislation."
Why!? Because, Schock said, "They know that this bill is not stimulus. They know that this bill will not do anything to create long-term, sustained economic growth. This bill is too big to get it wrong.
In fact, Schock used Obama's ploy and threw it right back into his face... and did so when addressing the House floor today...
(Excerpt) Read more at Flopping Aces ...
Perhaps there is merit in these suspicions. But I think Collins and Snowe are just basically RINO’s in every respect from day one.
Exactly except with democrats in charge forcing things through the dynamics of politics have changed. The wind is blowing a different direction. We cant win calling Obama a Marxist or radical (like hypocrites Hannity and Levin try) but we can win calling him incompetent. And remember, thats how they got Bush down from 90% to 20% . Bush becomes Obama(incompetent), Cheney becomes Pelosi(Evil Marxist). Its a perfect theme steal! Rush has it right again, and Laura Ingrahm too.
It was a stage play that started with the last scene and worked backwards. The bill was a sure thing before he started campaigning. All this amounted to was an effort to position himself so he can take credit for its passage. And, as is obvious from the coverage, the media’s falling for it, providing proof positive that they can’t even keep a ten day timeline straight.
Blinded by OAS, Obama Adoration Syndrome.
“Schock is a young up-and-comer in the Illinois Republican Party. Good on him...”
At age 27, he appears to be by far the most intelligent congressman there is. Wonder what the age requirement for the senate is? Maybe he can ditch Burris
From Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Schock ) : Schock drew mixed reaction in late July 2008 when he brought George W. Bush to Peoria to raise money for the congressional campaign. The city of Peoria provided 38 police officers, 30 city trucks for temporary security barriers, and a number of firefighters, spending $38,252 to facilitate the visit, even though it was a private, paid-admission fundraiser. When requests to compensate the city increased, Schock called it “obviously a political move” and compared the issue to Barack Obama’s endorsement of another state senator on the courthouse steps a few years before, which the city did not request compensation for. A city councilman cited an ordinance against political activity by the city, but the mayor of Peoria said the ordinance didn’t apply, and also called the requests “political rhetoric”. Schock later said he would reimburse the city voluntarily, referring to payment for presidential protection as “unprecedented”.
Calling Obi a Marxist will just get him elected for another four year term regardless of what he does nor does not do during the first.
Just watched the video of Schock embedded in the original post. Illinois Dems and Obama must be worried about him. Calling attention to him, trying to put him on the spot, interrupting his excellent comments on the stimulus package. He is definitely one to watch—gives me hope!