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The Cabinet's Road Trips Go Rural

By Ed O'Keefe



Secretaries Tom Vilsack, Arne Duncan, Hilda Solis and Ken Salazar are some of several Cabinet secretaries making roadtrips this summer. (Photos by AP and Getty)

Cabinet secretaries were first dispatched earlier this year to take the temperature of middle class Americans. Then they celebrated Earth Day and hit the road to mark the first 100 days of the economic stimulus. More recently, they've put in time at community service projects across the country.

Now some of the executive branch's managers will visit rural communities over the summer to tout the administration's plans for those areas of the country.

But don't be fooled: These visits are all happening in presidential swing states and other corners of the country where their mere presence might sway some skeptical minds. Cabinet secretaries will visit Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and New Mexico -- all states frequently visited last year by Barack Obama and John McCain. They will also visit three traditional red states: Louisiana, Alaska and Nebraska.

With these newly announced trips added to the mix, it appears Ohio has received the most White House-sponsored Cabinet visits. Frequent trips to the Buckeye State should come as no surprise, considering its bellwether status. The New Orleans region also has received at least three trips, mostly for hurricane relief-themed events. Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have had at least two visits each from two or more secretaries. Cabinet secretaries have made several solo appearances in these and several other Midwestern and Southwestern states, as well.

The full White House rural tour schedule appears below:

TODAY
Vice President Joe Biden, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack travel to Wattsburg, Pa. (near Erie) to discuss rural broadband.

JULY 16TH
Transportation Ray LaHood and Vilsack scheduled to travel to La Crosse, Wis. to discuss rural economic development.

JULY 18TH
Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Vilsack scheduled to travel to Ringgold, Va. to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on weatherization and carbon sequestration.

JULY 20TH
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Vilsack are scheduled to travel to St. John’s Parish, La. to discuss rural healthcare.

AUGUST 12TH
Chu, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Vilsack are scheduled to visit Bethel, Alaska to discuss rural infrastructure, green jobs and a new energy economy and climate change.

AUGUST 16TH
Salazar and Vilsack are scheduled to visit Zanesville, Ohio to discuss green jobs and a new energy economy, with a focus on renewable energies.

AUGUST 17TH
Duncan and Vilsack are scheduled to visit Hamlet, N.C. to discuss rural education.

SEPTEMBER 28TH
Salazar and Vilsack are scheduled to visit Scottsbluff, Neb. to discuss production agriculture.

SEPTEMBER 30TH
Donovan and Vilsack are scheduled to visit Las Cruces, N.M. to discuss rural infrastructure.

By Ed O'Keefe  | July 1, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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Comments


anyone watching the Town Hall in Virginia?

I find it interesting; within the first "story" from the Virginia audience, was a lady that had a second tumor surface (after paid for treatment) --this time with no insurance---etc.
---and she nonchalantly dropped into her conversation that Social Security Disability has taken "renal failure" off "its list" of what would be considered a disability (for subsequent eligibility onto the SSD program). I am sure renal failure was not her only problem here.

AAAAAH---
The infamous SSA/SSD list of what affliction, disease, disability, congnitive impairment and such will be considered for payment under the SSAct.

Wonder if HIV is on it?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | July 1, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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