During the longest recession of our time, Obama started what Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney called the “Magical Misery Tour”. On Monday, the President kicked-off a three-day, 100% taxpayer-funded campaign event – that isn’t a campaign event.
The tour features two town hall meetings and five stops in Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois, the first of which was in Decorah, Iowa on Monday where he continued to try to sell the idea that the economy was on the verge of improving.
Obama faced the lowest Gallup job approval ratings of his career just prior to the tour. In a bid to improve his image and tune his campaign message, he’s boarded a set of $2.2 million buses on multi-city expenditure of tax payer money. Spending this amount of money while American families are hurting is reprehensible. As Obama’s failed policies are to blame for the pain, it makes this a real slap-in-the-face.
White House Spokesman Jay Carney said that the tour is an official event and when asked if the event would be taxpayer-funded, Carney answered, “He is the President of the United States”.
The line between “official event” and campaign stop are getting blurry. Why Iowa just after the Iowa straw poll? Couldn’t he have done a bus tour across the gulf coast or the desert southwest?
The 3-day romp in the Misery Machine is certainly campaigning. Obama never stopped campaigning. Now he’s going to use all the free air time and tax-funded Bus trips he can to save the millions in campaign funds for television ads, messaging, and paying for support.
In business ethics, there is a test – the appearance of impropriety. When holding a leadership position, it is important to avoid situation that can even be moderately considered improper. As carefully crafted as the Obama image is, it’s tough to fathom why they didn’t just pay for the bus tour to avoid the negative perception.
The buses will remain property of the United States and future presidents can use them, so no need to cover those costs from his 2012 coffers. The food, hotels, gas, security costs and other event costs should come from his campaign.
The president hasn’t led on jobs since taking office so the sudden renaming of his tour of the Mid-West to the “Jobs Creation Bus Tour” isn’t fooling most voters. He doesn’t have which was obvious in his first stop. The town hall in Decorah was a long-winded, back-handed slam of Republicans saying that they’d moved too far to the right. No mention of Democrats having gone off-the-reservation to the left. Obama has accepted and applied the strategy set forth in a DNC campaign memo that started with, “GOP candidates’ extreme aims to appease the far-right wing of the Republican Party shows that Republicans are more concerned with protecting their special interest friends and the wealthy than protecting working families”.
This bus tour is Obama officially accepting the trash-talking, no-civility campaign strategy cooked up by Democrat National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Shutlz and the rest of the hard left-wing of the Democrat party.
Without a doubt, the bus tour is a campaign event.