Why Won’t Obama Meet with Unemployed?

Friday, February 25, 2011
President Obama meets with Silicon Valley CEOs (photo-White House)
He has crisscrossed the country since his party took a beating in the November elections and expanded his outreach to the corporate community to demonstrate he’s not anti-business. But in the process, President Barack Obama has not visited with unemployed Americans during his recent trips, which has puzzled some political observers.
Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the liberal Greenlining Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area, criticized Obama’s visit to Silicon Valley, telling The Washington Post, “We’re not disappointed he talked to CEOs; we’re disappointed he only talked to CEOs.”
John Powell, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, asked: “Where is the olive branch to the working-class community, the unions, the everyday folks?”
“It’s hard to imagine a Democratic president doing a jobs tour and not meeting with people who are out of work or [with] unions,” he added.
No doubt jobless Americans would be easy to find, wherever Obama visits. Nearly 10% of adults seeking a job can’t find one.
The president’s aides defend his trips and their lack of meetings with the unemployed by pointing out that Obama reads 10 letters from ordinary Americans each day to stay in touch with the people.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
On Obama Jobs Tour, Unemployed Have Little Voice (by Perry Bacon Jr., Washington Post)


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