The White House is taking their be-thankful-for-crumbs-from-your-government message to the people. From Politico, A political pattern to stimulus tour
Since Congress passed President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill in February, administration officials have traveled to at least 66 events across the country to tout the massive spending program or hand out stimulus cash to grateful local officials.
But a POLITICO examination of the travel reveals a distinctly political trend line: Top officials have hosted events predominantly in states that Obama won in 2008.
What’s more, the examination revealed that Obama officials all but avoided Southern states that Obama lost.
…But the numbers tell the tale: 52 of the 66 events were in states that backed Obama. And taken together, the itineraries amount to a veritable map of Obama’s election-night victories — big-money states like California and New York, swing states like Ohio and Colorado that Obama turned blue and other solidly Democratic states Obama kept in his column.
Of course, it’s simply coincidence:
And the White House sharply denied that there was any political motivation to the travel. “Politics plays no role in implementation of the Recovery Act or highlighting its successes. Period,” said Liz Oxhorn, press secretary for the Recovery Act.
…they are intended to let Obama administration officials meet and gather ideas from the local officials and business leaders who are most affected by the stimulus spending. And the White House says the trips also help alert Americans to stimulus money they might not have known was available to them.
In reality, these happenings are mini-Obama rallies:
The events generally come in the form of roundtable discussions, upbeat speeches and sweeping announcements of billions of dollars for local communities. Some have all the hallmarks of campaign events, featuring banks of television cameras, flag-bedecked stages and local politicians working the crowds. Many generate the kind of admiring local media coverage that politicians crave — and largely escape the attention of national outlets.
At one event in Arlington, Va., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano handed over a made-for-TV, supersize check to the United Way.
Here’s an account of how one of these economic revival meetings went in New York.
Well, two can play that game. Why not greet the White House officials with a Tea Party? There’s still lots of time. The stimulus money will flow through 2010. The difficulty will be in finding out where these propaganda ops will be ahead of time.