Monday, February 09, 2009

President Obama's First Town Hall Meeting

President Barack Obama held his first town hall meeting today. He traveled to the economically hard-hit town of Elkhart, Indiana. I listened to it, and thought President Obama did well. He took a lot of questions, gave a lot of good answers, and had a few really good lines which will make great sound bytes.

This was the First time President Obama traveled outside the capital to promote his plans for reinvigorating the economy. I really think this is the right strategy for the President. It worked well for Bush to be seen talking to people outside of Washington, and I believe it will put more pressure on Republicans. So far despite numerous attempts to reach out, President Obama failed to gather meaningful Republican support for the stimulus. So I think he needs to apply pressure from the bottom up. He needs to get a public which is very supportive of his efforts to apply pressure to on obstructionist Republicans. The question-and-answer sessions with citizens and later tonight when he meets with news reporters at a prime-time news conference will allow President Obama to appeal directly to the public and build more grass-roots backing of his plans. This is another reason I believe that Republicans have been making both tactical and strategic mistakes.

President Obama continued to implore the Congress to take action, repeating the nation can't afford to wait.
"We can no longer posture and bicker and resort to the same failed ideas that got us into this mess in the first place - and that the American people rejected at the polls this past November."

President Obama also made some news saying that he was going to push for putting some of the education money the "Centrists" in the Senate took out. This is good, because the Senate's cuts to education were stupid.

I will get video when it is available.

Note: Unlike the Town Halls of George W. Bush, President Obama's Town Hall was completely open to the public. And this was no Democratic stronghold, Obama lost the county with Elkhart, IN to John McCain 44 percent to 56 percent. Despite that fact, the White House did not screen its audience, and a number of them had a chance to ask President Obama questions. There were no partisan litmus test for attendees or for those asking questions.

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