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Obama Holds 'Jobs Summit' in Florida


Democratic presidential nominee Sen.Barack Obama speaks at an economic summit with former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker at the Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth, Fla., Oct. 21, 2008. (Jim Young/Reuters)

By Robert Barnes
LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Some intrepid Barack Obama supporters tried to work up a chant when their candidate took the stage here at Palm Beach Community College, but the Democrat quickly snuffed it out.

"No cheerleading," he commanded. "We've got serious work to be done."

So the crowd settled down on hard wooden bleachers for more than an hour and a half of sober speechifying about stimulus plans and rebuilding the nation's electric grid and creating a new "architecture" of jobs based on renewable energy.

Obama's Growing American Jobs "summit" in a hot gymnasium here featured former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker, Google CEO Eric Scmidt, local small business owners and four supportive Democratic governors from states that just happen to be in play two weeks before the presidential election. And it was no surprise the meeting took place here, in another battleground state struck hard by the economic downturn.

"Florida is really getting hammered," Obama added, after hearing Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland describe the loss of manufacturing jobs in their states over the last eight years.

In the last year, Florida lost more jobs than any other state, Obama said, including more than 11,000 last month.

Obama tried to link Republican rival John McCain and President Bush, and said they ignored a growing crisis. When it hit, "they were ready to move heaven and earth to address the crisis on Wall Street," Obama said, but offer nothing for Main Street.

"Instead of commonsense solutions, month after month, they've offered little more than willful ignorance, wishful thinking, and outdated ideology," Obama said.

The McCain campaign said it was Obama's ideology that was out of touch, especially a plan to stimulate the economy and help struggling state governments with a $25 billion shot from the federal government.

"When Americans are hurting, Barack Obama's plan to take more and more money from pocketbooks and hand it over to mismanaged government budgets is not the solution -- it's the problem," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, who labeled the event a "spending summit."

"During the last eight years, the federal budget has grown by 40 percent and the American people have seen how well that kind of change works, yet Barack Obama is simply offering more of the same."

But the governors said such spending was necessary, both to help them avoid cutting social services at a time when the economy is hurting, and that spending on infrastructure is both necessary and would provide a source of jobs.

Just as important to Obama as the concentration on the economy was the chance to show off his relationships with Schmidt and Volcker, the 81-year-old who chaired the federal reserve from 1979 to 1987.

While the McCain campaign continues to try to link Obama to such controversial figures as 1960s radical William Ayers, Obama and his aides make the case that voters are more interested in his contemporary relationships, as Obama said during the last debate.

"Let me tell you who I associate with," Obama told McCain. "On economic policy, I associate with Warren Buffett and former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. If I'm interested in figuring out my foreign policy, I associate myself with my running mate, Joe Biden or with Dick Lugar, the Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or General Jim Jones, the former supreme allied commander of NATO."

Obama is continuing his blitz of early-voting Florida, where county supervisor of elections are reporting record turnouts as polls opened on Monday. Michele Obama filled the civic center today in conservative Pensacola, where John F. Kennedy was the last Democrat to win.

The Obamas meet up tonight for a rally in Miami, and then Obama departs for Virginia and two events Wednesday.

By Web Politics Editor  |  October 21, 2008; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Battlegrounds  
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Comments

“It was another piece of the Obama campaign’s strategy to maximize local news media coverage.” Somehow, I have a feeling that Sen. Obama is beginning to sweat now. He self renounced himself with his criticism of “say anything, do anything politics” of chope, I hope. I do not believe that voters would choose socialism over freedom and opportunity."

Posted by: Wiel

They will choose solutions over blather. The will chose the one who has financial and business leaders advising them and the one who a WSJ editorial says Fed Chairman Bernanke says has the right stimulus package while John McCain has none. They will chose the man who has plans to change the economy to function again. In the process they will reject the man who is too listless to come up with an original economic plan and prefers to just continue that which we already know has not worked. They also will reject the party that resorts to name calling such a socialist or pals around with terrorists, The same party that Colin Powell rejects because of the out of bounds campaigning.

Supporting Senator McCain must be very confusing, never knowing what he is going to do next. It must make up for the lack of policy, That must give you a sense of comfort because Bush to lacked policy and sat around hoping that things will get better. Wiel you do not expect the American people to sit around for four more years.
F

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 22, 2008 1:32 AM | Report abuse

“It was another piece of the Obama campaign’s strategy to maximize local news media coverage.” Somehow, I have a feeling that Sen. Obama is beginning to sweat now. He self renounced himself with his criticism of “say anything, do anything politics” of chope, I hope. I do not believe that voters would choose socialism over freedom and opportunity.

Posted by: Wiel | October 21, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Government make-work jobs are not a long term solution (see below on education).

Obama will win the general election in two weeks. As a lifelong Republican in my mid-40s, it pains me to say that the GOP deserves this thrashing. Dems will win large majorities in both House and Senate.

Help me with reconciliation and 'big tent' approach of the Democratic Party. My wife and I are upper middle income (under $150K) and live in a major MSA in the midwest (a Red state). We have a small mortgage but no other debt. We both attended college (liberal arts undergrads and graduate school). One daughter in college and one in high school - we saved for years to ensure no student loans would be necessary. We obey the law, pay our taxes on time, and vote every election cycle. We attend high school sporting events, community and civic fund raisers, etc. We are both Pro-Life (however, we are both against the Death Penalty). We are shunned by Democrats for the former view(at least we are consistent about life).

How do we improve education of our children? How do we encourage more children to be interested and SUCCEED in math, chemistry, physics, etc. How do we recognize role models for these same children? Editorial comment coming - there is no sharing the wealth on an exam in Organic Chemistry or Quantum Mechanics...you either know the material or you will fail. You do not get credit for showing up. There is no 'sharing the wealth' and giving points to students at the bottom of the scale. If our children do not know basic skills by 5th grade, they are under a severe handicap that will be difficult to overcome by high school. The average student in Singapore (any one of 20 countries) is working harder, studying harder, and succeeding in comparison to the average student in the US. They are not ridiculed by their underachieving classmates as in the US. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING AMERICA ... IF WE DON'T GET THIS FIXED OUR STANDARD OF LIVING WILL CONTINUE TO DECLINE (THE MODEL OF THE 1950's ECONOMY - AUTOMOBILE IS DEAD). We are creating a permanent underclass in this country. A solution that points to improved faculty, accountability at home and in the community, etc is needed (not just increased funding)...

I deplore the fringe of both parties, the right wing wack jobs at the McCain/Palin rallies and the left wing t-shirt wearing (Sarah Palin is a XXXXX or the infamous MXXX) at the Obama/Biden rallies. I am tired of the hatred from both sides.

What would you like us to do differently?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Posted by: jhpbriton | October 21, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

In the movie "MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON" Jimmy Stewart plays a character named "Jefferson Smith" .... he takes over the Senate through a marathon filibuster, finally bringing reform to halt government corruption.

The sequel: "MRS. PALIN GOES TO WASHINGTON"

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 21, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

In the movie "ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE" Jimmy Stewart plays a character named "George Bailey"....George has an angel named Clarence.
Clarence informs George that..."Everytime someone rings a bell...an angel gets its wings"
Every time a right wing nut neocon republican nazi posts a negative comment and lies about Obama..."He's a Muslim" ..."He wasn't born in America".."He's a terrorist"....Obama recieves another 100 votes.
Neocon nazis are urged to TYPE FASTER...
....These fools are handin out wings...hahahahahaha

CHA-CHING....CHA-CHING....CHA-CHING....

Look folks, these idiots are handing out wings......

CHA-CHING...CHA-CHING...CHA-CHING......

hahahahahahaha.......ahahahahaha....hahahaha
Gary Gelormino Seven Hills Ohio 44131 (216)447-0081

Posted by: garygelormino1 | October 21, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Fact check: Was McCain once against Bush tax cuts?

True. As Obama states, McCain did say he could not support President Bush's tax cuts in 2001, saying it was because they went to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. He later supported extending them, saying the economy made them feasible at that later time.

Thanks CNN.

Captain McFLIP-FLOP strikes again!

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was a test to see how high I could count.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 21, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Multiple postings were unintentional...sorry.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin posted: 'At least she can count how many letters there are in the word "jobs."'

Yeah, but that's on a good day.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin posted: 'At least she can count how many letters there are in the word "jobs."'

Yeah, but that's on a good day.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin posted: 'At least she can count how many letters there are in the word "jobs."'

Yeah, but that's on a good day.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin posted: 'At least she can count how many letters there are in the word "jobs."'

Yeah, but that's on a good day.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

With early voting showing such a large turnout, there have been problems already at the polls with machines. The early voting has the candidates campaigning hard. Obama will take a couple of days off to see grandma, but appears to have the edge which he presses more each day. Obama has not made any personal attacks, nor say what Powell and Buckley about Palin's ability to be POTUS. Abuse of power, Al Qaeda in Iran, Breyer vote and the Iraq/Pakistan border have not been used. The independents are moving toward Obama because of this and the Powell endorsement.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

With early voting showing such a large turnout, there have been problems already at the polls with machines. The early voting has the candidates campaigning hard. Obama will take a couple of days off to see grandma, but appears to have the edge which he presses more each day. Obama has not made any personal attacks, nor say what Powell and Buckley about Palin's ability to be POTUS. Abuse of power, Al Qaeda in Iran, Breyer vote and the Iraq/Pakistan border have not been used. The independents are moving toward Obama because of this and the Powell endorsement.

Posted by: jameschirico | October 21, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

At least she can count how many letters there are in the word "jobs."

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 21, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It's really nice of Obama to hold this "Jobs Summit" but Palin isn't really qualified to do anything, so I don't think it'll help much.

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | October 21, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

There will be record turnout for BOTH candidates. The Florida panhandle should make the difference in this election.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | October 21, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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