During his five years as president, Obama has actually stayed pretty much on message in one area: middle-class construction jobs. Specifically, the need to create more of them as a key to improving the economy.
Until now. Wait a second….I can hear the deafening shock from you readers. You mean this president, who is the champion of the blue-collar worker? The same man whom the media has proclaimed as the everyman?
Yes, indeed. In fact, at a recent speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee the president even actually chuckled derisively when he mentioned the fact that GOP lawmakers are actually promoting the development of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Obama also seemed trying to bait Republicans by claiming that this pipeline project will only create “about 50” new jobs. Never mind the fact that in an interview last week Obama said that a low-ball estimate would be the creation of “maybe 2,000” permanent jobs.
Yet, this is the same president who had a love affair with construction jobs of all types during his first term. He even expressed his concern that construction jobs and industries had been among the hardest hit. Plus, the president scolded GOP lawmakers back then for taking the time to consider legislation aimed at reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto, saying that it was not nearly as important as putting people back to work.
In February of 2009, Obama cited the strong need for more construction jobs during his push for an $800 billion economic stimulus plan. During the build up for this Obama even mentioned one of its priorities was moving America closer towards energy independence. I think we all remember how that economic stimulus package turned out.
Plus look at what happened to all those ‘shovel-ready’ jobs that the president had touted as well. This package was widely criticized as not being capable of producing anywhere the promised number of construction jobs, shovel-ready or not. Even Obama has since joked that they were not nearly as shovel-ready as “we” had expected.
Speak for yourself, Mr. President. I, for one, was not surprised that another one of your proposals and initiatives did not work out anywhere near close to what we had been promised. Sadly, this has come to be the norm rather than the exception in your administration.
Obama back pedaling over the Keystone XL pipeline is simply his way of playing politics with the GOP. It is his way of simply posturing for September when more serious discussions will be held over the budget, jobs, and even the next battle over raising the debt ceiling. After all, even his own State Department has estimated that the project will create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs per year, plus supporting a total of around 42,000 per year for two years across the US in related industries.