Elkhart used to be "the RV Capital of the World," and now, oddly, no one in the world wants an RV, and so Elkhart County has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Obama's been to Elkhart twice already, during the campaign. He lost the city to both Hillary Clinton and John McCain, but now they're all totally psyched to hear him, because they all heard he's bringing with him some of those "government handouts" we used to give to shiftless lazy minorities but that we now need to rescue hard-working Americans suffering a run of bad luck (thanks either to evil bankers or minorities flipping houses or something, maybe ACORN?).
So Obama's going full-on campaign mode trying to sell this stimulus bill, with his appearance in Elkhart today, his primetime news conference tonight, and a Florida trip tomorrow.
So maybe we'll watch on Fox? We really hate Rick Sanchez! And, hah, right now Fox is interviewing Michael Steele about how obstructing passage of the stimulus is their victory plan for 2012. Just like how Democrats made us lose the Iraq war so they could win in 2008.
12:11 Oh, good, Evan Bayh is there. Obama is talking "folksy" again, he is totally back in campaign mode.
12:14 Obama totally didn't forget about poor unemployed bitter white Indiana people during his two weeks in office. FYI.
12:16 The politics of failure have failed! This is your first applause line, the bit about how Obama won the election and that means Republicans should fucking bend over and take it.
12:17 "To put Americans back to work, doing ther work that America needs to get done." That is a really weird explanation of a stimulus bill.
12:18 Here is a list of jobs! Jobs making jobs! This is not of one his "inspirational rhetoric" speeches, this is one of his "I am a Democrat and I promise you all health care and jobs" speeches. Clinton-style. There is an applause line about COBRA!
12:21 Now we are sending "thousands of Hoosier kids to college", so they can win the basketball and inspire us.
12:22 Gah, what the hell is so wrong with "government jobs," anyway? Especially if the government is paying people to do useful things around the country? Too many benefits? Now the President is giving shoutouts to local attractions like... an overpass. Everyone is fucking psyched about that overpass.
12:23 Obama would like Chicago to steal Indiana's WIND. Also Obama would like Indiana to produce some damn energy for once instead of just using all it, all the time, and giving back nothing but corn and CO2.
12:25 The fat guy with the bolo tie behind Obama is pretty great. The requisite military people look bored as hell. Jokes about how crappy Washington is always get a laugh!
12:27 Everyone wants to work hard and be rewarded for working hard and let's create jobs and help families and turn this economy around THANK Y'ALL VERY MUCH WHOOOO ECONOMIC RECOVERY it's question time!!
12:30 The questions at the town hall haven't been screened! The Bush era is over! Haha also Obama is going "girl, boy, girl, boy," because he's at a school we guess? First question: will the money go directly to Elkhart, in, like a big pile maybe? This question gets the first "LOOK" of the day from our President, who explains that there will be a website.
12:33 "Elkhart" sounds a little bit like "al-Qaeda." Why are they creating jobs in al-Qaeda? WE KNEW IT. Here come the people who don't actually have questions, they just want to talk. This guy hopes all the money goes to people without jobs, and not to banks. This isn't the TARP, this is the stimulus. Hahaha then Obama's mic went out?? When you give a tax cut to working families, they spend it on coats and cars. Rich people just save that money, because they are better with their money, which is good for them but our economy is built on spending way beyond your means, and frugal rich people hate America. Obama patiently explains that we have to give some money to the banks so that they can lend money to people who want to buy RVs.
12:39 No one will go to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers dime!! Hah we finally get some crazy questions. This one got the lady booed, because she mentioned Sean Hannity?? We're not even sure which appointment this crazy lady was upset about, one of the tax cheats. Obama is all "we have these great ethics rules which really screwed us over because there's no one qualified who is also ethical." Wait actual quote: "With respect to Sean Hannity, I did not know that he had invited me for a beer, but, you know, I will take that under advisement." Hah. "But I'm always good for a beer." Whooooo beer!
12:39 What about judges retooling all the mortgages? Eh, sure. Obama has ONE HOUSE. Haha why is he zinging McCain now? Because McCain is doing his "pork pork earmark pork" thing to the stimulus? Is it just a campaign reflex? South Side of Chicago! I have one house!
1:00 That was a really boring question. Here is a question about protectionism. America has the best workers in the world and they're so good at working! Tax breaks for companies that don't go to China or whatever! Also education! (Ok maybe this is a violation of liveblogging etiquette but right now we're watching this.)
1:05 Haha a nine-year-old wants to know what Obama will do to help our schools. Obama just finished his stump speech on rebuilding our schools, and he says, "James, I just finished talking about that." And then he repeats some of his talking points, all of which are way over James' head, probably. He should've just promised that he'd get James' class a new guinea pig, or something.
1:06 Ok god bless everyone bye!