The President’s choice of Richmond is interesting. It’s no secret he intends to fight hard for Virginia’s electoral votes in 2012 and considering he carried 79 percent of the city’s vote in 2008 makes (or made) it as Obama-friendly as he could wish.
But how has the city’s economy fared on the President’s watch? Rather poorly. Unemployment is at seven percent, and has remained stubbornly high since 2009 (it peaked at 8.6 percent in January 2010).
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Back in July, 2009, Vice President Joe Biden visited neighboring Henrico county to tout the recently-passed stimulus bill that was supposed to keep unemployment in check and start the nation as a whole on the path to recovery. Mr. Biden’s prepared remarks went like this:
“To those who say that our economic decisions ‘have not produced jobs, have not produced prosperity, and simply have not worked’ I say, take a look around,” Biden will say, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Washington Post.
“I say, ‘Don’t let your opposition to the Recovery Act blind you to its results,’” Biden plans to say in the Richmond speech. “‘Come see what I see everywhere I go: workers rehired, factories reopened, cops on the street, teachers in the classroom, progress toward getting our economy back on the move.’”
Without naming Cantor directly, the rhetorical assault is aimed directly at the Richmond lawmaker, who has helped lead the Republican Party to its most effective message since Obama became president: that Obama’s stimulus bill has not produced jobs.
That was when Eric Cantor was house minority leader. He’s got the majority leader’s office today, thanks in no small part to the failure of the stimulus bill Mr. Biden said had already restored prosperity to the land.
Mr. Cantor should welcome the President’s visit — it means he’s likely to be House Speaker before the year is out.