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The Obama administration is headed to the fair

By Ed O'Keefe

Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks with 4-H students at the Delaware State Fair in late July. (Photo by Leslie Williams/Education Dept. via

Eye Opener

Wonder why no one's Washington this month? Because they're all playing hooky at the fair.

No, seriously, the Obama administration is deploying secretaries, deputy secretaries -- basically anyone who can give a good speech -- to several of the nation's state fairs to tout (what else?) jobs, health-care reform, and rural economic development. (Because who doesn't want to learn more about rural education and changes in Medicare coverage in between roller coaster rides and servings of corn dogs?)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday went home to the Iowa State Fair and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is headed on Friday to the Land of Lincoln's fair. Education Secretary Arne Duncan went to Delaware's annual gathering in late July to talk to young farmers, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk went to the fair in Maine last week and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson visited Wisconsin's fair last weekend.

It's no secret that fairs are prime political stomping ground -- several Republican 2012 presidential aspirants have already or plan to visit the Hawkeye State's festivities in Des Moines (make sure to see the Butter Cow) and President Obama, Vice President Biden and every other pol in the administration is no stranger to them too.

And Obama administration Cabinet secretaries are no stranger to deploying for political dog and pony shows. They hit the road earlier this year to tout the economic stimulus program and last year visited Midwest states to talk about relief for the auto industry.

The Federal Eye is a big fair fan. (He fondly recalls a funny-sounding goat at the Montgomery County Fair.) Upstate New York's Altamont Fair is his home state favorite and he enjoyed a 2008 trip to the Minnesota State Fair with Chris "The Fix" Cillizza and other colleagues before the Republican National Convention.

Which fair is your favorite? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: A look at President Obama's passport. Treasury Secretary says he sees a role for the U.S. in the mortgage markets. Former (maybe future?) USDA official Shirley Sherrod makes peace with the NAACP. Who's going to Martha's Vineyard with the Obamas? Elizabeth Warren woos bank lobbyists.

CIA tapes of 9/11 plotter's interrogation don't show torture, official says: The disclosure resolves a mystery over what are believed to be the only existing recordings from the CIA's secret detention program.

228M eggs recalled following salmonella outbreak: The agency said eggs from Iowa were linked to several illnesses in Colorado, California and Minnesota.

Pentagon suspends Lockheed missile contract: It's all because of concerns about reliability problems with a missile interceptor that is a centerpiece of the Obama administration's missile-defense strategy.

Justice Dept. threatens to sue Ariz. sheriff Arpaio in civil rights inquiry: This focuses renewed attention on Joe Arpaio, a former D.C. police officer who runs a 3,800-employee department.

Massey cited for failing to report mine accidents: The mining company is cited for failing to report more than 20 accidents at its Upper Big Branch coal mine in the two years before an April explosion killed 29 miners there.

VA begins posting security breach reports online: It's posting statistics on the number of security breaches and equipment thefts to its Web site on a monthly basis.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | August 18, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, Administration, Eye Opener  
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Jane, yeah you can save huge on your auto insurance by making these simple changes find how much you can save

Posted by: johnmathew18 | August 18, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes Higher Education gets you Higher paying job

Posted by: jeffykaran | August 18, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

My favorite fair?
Gotta be Ohio, since the President has been concentrating on Ohio alot.

Just saw his "backyard speech". He took questions. It was very informal and informational.

Betcha he won't be visiting Arizona's state fair..... (hearty laughs))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 18, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Favorite fair? Topsfield in Massachusetts! Wonderful and not as huge as some.

Posted by: baileywick | August 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Wonder why no one's Washington this month?

Do you wonder why no one wants to live in a port-a-potty in August? It's the same question.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I guess Obozo's going to a fair because the French Riviera was booked.

Posted by: panamajack | August 18, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

No, his "wife" will be in the French Riviera.

Vacationing together is so last century.

Posted by: jiji1 | August 18, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Has WHINING become the new characteristic of Americans?

Like Pavlov's Dogs, the Red party's followers whine on cue when Faux News commands them.

Does matter what the command - they are trained to whine about ANYTHING, including any part of our Constitution they are told to whine about. (currently, the 1st and 14th amendments)

Between the racism that had addled so many brains with fear and the partisan whining it's hard to recognize my countrymen anymore, and even harder to understand how America got to be so great with such weak party boss lapdops as citizens.

Posted by: lquarton | August 19, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

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