Taxpayers pay for Obama's Midwest Bus Tour
On a trip tinged with campaign-season politics, President Obama left the Beltway Monday for a bus tour of Midwestern locales to try and connect with voters who over the past several days have hosted his aspiring Republican rivals.
The three-state tour is considered an official White House visit, at a time when the nation is reeling from a succession of economic setbacks. With Americans showing historic levels of frustration with Washington, the president will try to feel their pain
The president landed in Minnesota shortly before noon and will head next to Iowa before finishing his trip in Illinois. Obama's mission to ease Americans' concerns about their jobs could have the added effect of helping him keep his own. The latest Gallup tracking poll showed the president's approval rating at an all-time low of 39 percent.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Monday that Obama will not outline a specific economic proposal but will be listening to Americans' ideas about how to repair the economy. He said the president is visiting areas with relatively low unemployment to find out what's working.
With poll numbers falling for both Obama and Congress after a nasty political fight over raising the country's borrowing limit and spending cuts, Americans are in a bad humor. . . .
The Federal government apparently bought the two buses used in this tour for $2.2 million. In the past, the Secret Service would lease buses as needed, but the Obama administration decided that the government should own the buses.
Even if the US media won't call this bus tour for what it is, the British press calls it accurately. Take this headline from the BBC:
US President Barack Obama has begun a campaign-style speaking tour to make a case to voters for action to boost the US economy and create jobs
UPDATE: Here is an article from The Hill newspaper that describes Obama's presentations on the tour.
The White House has clearly taken note. Obama is on the road this week in three crucial Midwestern states, where he is lambasting Congress and talking jobs. . . .