Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Obama Makes a Pilgrimage to Youngstown

By Anne E. Kornblut
President Obama diverted his attention away from health care -- briefly -- on Tuesday morning to make what is becoming a ritual political stop on economic tours, visiting the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Obama's aim was to rally the unionized workers at the plant, and to remind voters in the beleaguered Youngstown area that his economic plans were aimed at lowering their unemployment rates. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) made a similar trip to the Lordstown plant during the Democratic primaries last year, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) visited a few months later.

Obama, appearing after a roundtable with workers, had good news to embrace: the auto plant is hiring back about 1,000 workers this month. The move is a result of the administration's efforts to bolster the industry and the economy overall, the president said.

"There were some people who said, 'You can't do it,'" Obama said. "Our belief was that if GM retooled and reinvented itself for the 21st century, it would be good for American workers, it would be good for American manufacturing, it would be good for America's economy. And I'm pleased to report that's exactly what's begun to happen at plants like this and others across the country."

He continued: "Because of the steps we have taken, this plant is about to shift into higher gear.150 of your coworkers came back to work yesterday. More than a thousand will be coming back to work in less than three weeks as production of the Cobalt ramps up. And next year, this plant will begin production of the Chevy Cruze, a new car that will get more than 40 miles per gallon."

Obama also announced new emissions standards being unveiled today, promising to end "uncertain and conflicting fuel economy standards." He said the health care fight is related to the auto plant's fate -- drawing large cheers from the crowd when he declared that workers should be spending time negotiating better wages rather than fighting for health coverage.

Obama's next stop today is another union gathering, the AFL-CIO convention in Pittsburgh. If the morning event was any indication, he may be in a mood to rouse the faithful: as workers shouted and cheered, Obama wrapped up his speech by declaring himself a fighter on behalf of Ohioans. "Give it to me, guys -- because we're going to rebuild, right here, right now," Obama said. "We're going to make Ohio work again."

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 15, 2009; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wilson's Wife: 'Joe, Who's the Nut That Hollered Out, 'You Lie'?'
Next: Liberal Coalition Launches $1.2M Ad Campaign for Public Option


I'm from Youngstown. Most of my family still lives there. It has never recovered from the Steel Mills closing in late 1970's.

You can't have Cap & Trade, Healthcare, Taxes, Taxes, Taxes, More regulations, government control be against business and be for workers. Businesses have to be successful in order to hire workers. Businesses need to make money. They grow, they hire people, they pay good benefits and provide healthcare insurance. That's how America got great. Or you can be for big overpaid unions (you can see where that got the steel industry, car industry, tire industry, textile industry, education system) and all the corruption, payouts, bribes that go along with unions and then we can all be jolly like in France or England.

In France's case, no one ever becomes wealthy except for the politicians. Then you can be like Michelle Obama, traveling the world on our tax dollars with a staff of 25 and costing you and me $1.5 Million in salaries. And she's not even an elected official.

Posted by: debmries | September 15, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

As an Ohioan, who's witnessed the affect of
globalization on manufacturing industry,
I'm honestly confused by Obama's mixed messages. On one hand, he says he's trying
to create new jobs; and on the other hand,
he's encouraging unions to negotiate higher wages.... In my experience, labor costs are usually the largest expense
in a manufacturing company, so I don't know
what Obama is thinking.....

Posted by: ohioan | September 15, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

read between the lines - Another union gift and thanks for your money! Who cares if trade wars with China hurts the US. Who cares as long as the unions get payback. Right Obama? You freakin idiot!

Posted by: NO-bama | September 15, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse


MEMO TO POTUS c/o Senior WH staff:

Mr. President:

You are being dangerously over-exposed in the media, reducing the effectiveness of your message.

The accounts of your "off-the-record" comment about rapper Kanye West's MTV antics underscore the point.

Please, sir, for the sake of your agenda, consider canceling your scheduled "full Ginsburg" round of talk show appearances this week. Surely your time can be better spent by quietly working behind the scenes in support of your policy objectives.

Think about this: There was a good reason Elvis did not appear on any TV talk show after his breakout year...


Gov't-enabled atrocities make health care reform a cruel joke...


• Community policing- based warrantless GPS-activated vigilante stalking, harassment, vandalism, financial exploitation enabled by federal and local law enforcement

• Is Team Obama naive, misinformed, or complicit?

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 15, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

They sure do!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are pushing us into a trade war with China. Then who'll buy our products and debt????

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 15, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company