Obama's Plan Is A Tough Sell In Va.
The Daily Press (Hampton Roads, VA)
October 19, 2011
President Barack Obama is on yet another campaign across the country, this time taking his road show into Virginia.
The president is visiting Emporia, Chesterfield, and Hampton this week in what Politico calls "nothing so much as his 2012 game plan plotted onto a map of the Upper South."
Ostensibly, the president is here to promote his jobs plan – the $447 billion "Son of Stimulus" – a plan so bad, even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said it can only come to the floor in parts.
Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment remains at 9.1 percent.
I guess we're supposed to believe that this time around the jobs the president is promising really are "shovel-ready"?
The bus tour, according to the Associated Press, originally was to include Danville, Charlottesville, Newport News and Fredericksburg. Of note, these areas contain many of the toughest races for Democrats in this year's General Assembly election. But also of note is that many Democrats in these areas are running away from the president's record and their support for him.
"The Democrats are fleeing as fast as they come," said Virginia GOP Chairman Pat Mullins in a conference call Monday. "The House minority leader, Ward Armstrong, recently threw Obama under the bus and his TV ads now are contrasting his positions with Obama's. State Sen. Edd Houck, who has been in [the Senate] for 20 years, doesn't even use the word Obama or Democrat in any of his direct mail or his commercials."
But taxpayer-funded bus tours are not really what we need. We need action. And so far, on this tour, the president is calling for nothing substantive.
"I need you to give Congress a piece of your mind," Obama said Monday in North Carolina. "Tell your elected leaders to do the right thing."
The question is, when are we going to tell the president to do the right thing?
"We saw what happened with the stimulus money...it sustained jobs for about a year and then the states were faced with billions of dollars in debt once that year was over with," said Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Fox News Sunday. "We have 12 bills sitting over in the Senate - things that the President believes in…let's work together."
Instead of working in Washington with Rep. Cantor, the president's bus tour takes him to Cantor's district (the second time in two months). If he keeps traveling north on I-95, he'll be in Richmond. Perhaps he'll stop in and visit Governor Bob McDonnell?
McDonnell's economic leadership has been much better than this president's. McDonnell can boast that state revenues grew in September for the 18th of 19th months. But the governor knows that the federal shackles are keeping us from doing better.
"Virginia's economy continues to show modest growth and signs of improvement that surpass those of the nation's economy as a whole, but the fragile national economy, persistent uncertainty regarding federal funding decisions, and our economy's vulnerability to upheaval due to national and world events prompt economists and elected officials to take a cautious, conservative fiscal approach."
Unfortunately, a cautious approach to create jobs seems to be the last thing on the president's agenda, but campaigning to keep his is first and foremost on his mind. But if the polls hold true in Virginia, he'll learn pretty quickly what we think of his plan.