Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama Campaigns on Legislation He Failed to Vote On in 2007

Listening to a blurb from President Obama's speech to college students in North Carolina Tuesday, I was struck by the pandering tone. I'm always struck by his pandering tone but this time it was truly disingenuous.

He traveled to North Carolina because he is in a very close presidential re-election and North Carolina went for him in 2008 but is up in the air this time around. He has seen a steep decline in support from the younger voters whom he depended upon in 2008. Go to North Carolina, a swing state, and talk to college students like he's their older, wiser, big brother? Sure, why not?

What struck me was his usual making the speech all about him. He told the students that he and Michelle racked up a "mountain" of student loan debts and when they married, it made them both poorer.

Here's the thing: Barack Obama enjoyed the privilege of attending the finest of American schools by the award of scholarships. He attended the best prep school in Honolulu ( I happen to know a former classmate from those days) and went on to go to colleges on scholarships, too. As for Michelle, I do not know, but for Barack Obama to act as though it was all out of pocket, signing on the dotted line, indebtedness is just wrong. And deliberately misleading.

Also, he should have tied all of that pity party into the American Dream. His two daughters will attend the best schools and their wealthy parents will finance that education.

What Barack Obama did not do in this bold pandering to young voters was to mention that when he was Senator Obama, in 2007, he failed to even bother to vote for the legislation he is pushing now, in this election year. He didn't vote on the bill then though he supports the renewing of that legislation now - it
keeps interest rates on student loans at a lower rate of 3.4 percent. If Congress doesn’t extend this lower rate, rates will double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.

As the president prepared for his push — which Democrats hope will also shore up support for the president among younger voters, a group among which enthusiasm for Mr. Obama has been lagging — Republicans on Capitol Hill noted that then-Senator Obama seemed to make the lower interest rates for student loans a lower priority.

When the bill came up for final passage on September 7, 2007, then-Senator Obama did not vote; he was campaigning for president in California and Oregon.

“It seems not much has changed,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “Five years ago, just like today, the President put campaigning before governing. As a result, 50 percent of new graduates can’t find full-time employment in this economy.”

The pandering will take him on to Colorado and Iowa in the next two days. You may notice that these two states are up for grabs, too.

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