Specter of Detroit looms over Obama’s new PR campaign on economy

posted at 10:41 am on July 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

And that is largely Barack Obama’s own fault.  Two years ago, on another of his short-lived pivots to the economy and jobs, Obama held up Motor City as an example of the comeback of the American economy after three-plus years of his policies, especially his stimulus programs and the bailout of GM and Chrysler.  National Journal’s Major Garrett points out the similarities between Obama’s PR campaign in 2011 and now, with Detroit’s collapse as the backdrop:

But Obama’s 2011 speech described a Detroit that can only be described as a myth wrapped in a wish inside a dream.

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”

Obama referenced “tough choices” made to bail out GM and Fiat-Chrysler and also hailed the birth of a new wave of high-tech employment. “We said American workers could manufacture the best products in the world. So we invested in high-tech manufacturing and we invested in clean energy,” he said. “And right now, there’s an advanced-battery industry taking root here in Michigan that barely existed before.”

The biggest factory in this supposed new trend, Massachusetts-based A123 Systems, had plans to employ 5,900 workers nationwide to build lithium-ion batteries. In Detroit, A123 Systems never employed more than 1,000. The Energy Department awarded A123 Systems a $249 million grant to boost production. It filed forbankruptcy in 2012 and was still receiving DOE largesse. A judge approved the bankruptcy in 2013.

In other words, the Detroit-area advanced-battery industry Obama said “barely existed before” his 2011 speech now … barely exists.

Obama also saluted the White House decision to make Detroit one of its six pilot cities in the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” program.

“We’re teaming up with everybody—mayors, local officials, you name it—boosting economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way,” Obama said. “This is a city where the great American industry has come back to life and the industries of tomorrow are taking root.”

The biggest accomplishment of this program in Detroit is the demolition of a public housing project. There are also hopes, diminished by the bankruptcy proceedings, of building a $100 million light-rail line. Other “accomplishments” include a “text my bus” system “to provide more reliable information on transportation schedules”—this in a city that has lost half its bus service since 2005 and where budget cuts have eliminated overnight service. The “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” program also envisions the possible development of a regional transportation authority for Detroit.

With public housing being demolished, a text system for late or nonexistent bus service, and a federally funded lithium-ion battery factory that never met its hyped employment plans and then fell into bankruptcy, does any of this sound like, as Obama said, the foundations of a “city where people, brave and bold, courageous and clever, are dreaming up ways to prove the skeptics wrong and write the next proud chapter in our history”?

Not hardly.  Obama’s last public-relations campaign on the economy didn’t result in any sweeping change of direction on the policies that produced A123 and Solyndra while doing nothing to slow down Detroit’s collapse.  Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan at the Washington Post warn readers not to expect anything to change this time around in a political context, either:

“Vision.” “Plan.” “Changing the nature of the conversation.”  Obama was laying down a marker; this was going to be a b-i-g speech. Mark it on your calendars.

And yet, during that same OFA fundraiser, Obama acknowledged that no matter how lofty his goals or his rhetoric, the fundamental realities of the politics of the economy were almost certain to remain unchanged. ”I’m excited about the speech, not because I think the speech is going to change any minds,” he said.

Truer words were never spoken.

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 45 percent of Americans approved of how Obama is handling economic issues while 49 percent disapproved. A year ago, 44 percent approved of Obama’s economic approach — a number statistically unchanged despite the fact that the president swept to a second term thanks, at least in part, to making the 2012 election a referendum on his economic priorities.

A look even further back suggest a remarkable stability in Obama’s numbers on the economy. In October 2010, just before Republicans won 63 House seats to reclaim the majority, 44 percent of Americans approved of Obama’s approach to the economy in Post-ABC polling. Go back a year before that — December 2009 — and Obama’s economic approval is 46 percent.

It won’t change minds because we’ve been doing the same thing for more than four years on economic policy.  Obamanomics is nothing but short-term attempts to inject stimulus while ignoring the fundamentals of economic growth — lowering hiring costs, reducing regulation, encouraging capital investments by increasing potential rewards and minimizing risks.  We’re doing the opposite across the board, in large part due to ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and higher tax bites on capital gains.  Short-term stimulus didn’t work with Cash for Clunkers, it didn’t work in Detroit, and it’s not working anywhere else except in Washington DC.

Michael Ramirez summed it up nicely earlier this week at Investors Business Daily:

ramirez-detroit

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


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No one sane should believe a single word the Oaf in Chief says.

He destroys the US, apace, right in front of your very eyes.

Wake up already…alas, it’s too late. May he destroy all who brung/kept him, and yours too. YOU deserve NO less!!!

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Ramirez is a national treasure. It’s a surprise that he and Drudge are still allowed to breathe.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Sophie, please get back and fight. You are missed.

Even if it’s futile, and even if the turkeys drive you nuts, even if you’re gulching, your brain and wit are essential…even if they are the last days of Rome the USA.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Obamanomics, lol more like Mugabnomics. Third world president = third world economy. It really shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise.

abobo on July 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM

But Obama’s 2011 speech described a Detroit that can only be described as a myth wrapped in a wish inside a dream.

It could be more accurately described as an intellectually offensive, transparent lie.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Morning, is Resist ok?

CoffeeLover on July 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

The State Run Media desperately want their messiah to be real…

d1carter on July 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

But Obama’s 2011 speech described a Detroit that can only be described as a myth wrapped in a wish inside a dream.

That describes the modern Progressive ideology quite well. Lower and middle-income families hardest hit, as usual.

visions on July 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The speech will have all of his key phrases, “let me be clear”, “a plan”, “vision”, “middle class”, “for those who don’t agree with me” and plenty of “I, me and mine’s” mixed in; yet in the end it will be nothing more than these phrases strung together in a completely uninspired speech lacking any coherence or meaning.

Tater Salad on July 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The economy does far better when Obama ignores it. He should get back to that.

Chris of Rights on July 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Obama will blame the rich for not paying their fare share, “white flight” yadda yadda yadda. He’ll talk about the need for “investing” in the middle class.

In short he’ll blame citizens for not being serfs, he’ll blame supposedly free people for not sitting there and taking it from the government.

gwelf on July 24, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Morning, is Resist ok?

CoffeeLover on July 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Don’t know. I see comments about “what happened to RWM?” or such…must have been a dialogue in here somewhere…I didn’t see/read…

Her comments have been sparce and not the usual. I sure hope that she’s ok. Everyone needs a rest but I hope that her wit/brains will continue to fight the world. She is an inspiration, is indefatigable and gutsy, way gutsy. More are needed.

She is way more American than millions of today’s Americans. The world and America really don’t deserve her efforts but I want her in the fight anyway. Her style is unique and her spirit is what America should have in her leaders, alas. There aren’t any of them around, unfortunately.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Who’s up for another “Recovery Summer”?

dirtseller on July 24, 2013 at 10:59 AM

everything he touches turns to sh!t, every person around him is a pariah with an ill motive, every agenda he promotes is a roadblock to any economic progress and his minions adore him

surprising we take it so stoically, are we now a bunch of British?

DanMan on July 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM

in the end it will be nothing more than these phrases strung together in a completely uninspired speech lacking any coherence or meaning.

Tater Salad on July 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Well, that’s one of the big reason why this guy got elected, twice. Leftists love Obama speeches. It’s all they care about….Obama making them feel good about themselves. Reality? That’s an afterthought to Dem voters, evidently.

visions on July 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Thanks for the info. I agree completely! I haven’t been on much the last couple of days. Wishing/hoping/praying she’s okay and just busy.

CoffeeLover on July 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Wishing/hoping/praying she’s okay and just busy.

CoffeeLover on July 24, 2013 at 11:01 AM

+1

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

This is what we get for electing a president who knows nothing about private-sector economics–but still despises it.

He really is a joke. The country elected him because he’s black, and the country re-elected him because he’s black. So we’re stuck with this un-American economic terrorist for eight years and his aftermath for who knows how long.

BuckeyeSam on July 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

coldwarrior on July 24, 2013 at 11:04 AM

No, no, my dear chap. He is not an idiot. He is doing exactly what he set out to do, diminish the USA. He has succeeded at it incredibly. See my comments here.

He wants ot re-pivot to divert the minds. Only fools fall for it.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The rat-eared bastard lies more than Carlos Danger.

TXUS on July 24, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I don not like to see the word S P E C T E R capitalized. In fact, if I never see it again, that would be fine.

FineasFinn on July 24, 2013 at 11:11 AM

“We said American workers could manufacture the best products in the world. So we invested in high-tech manufacturing and we invested in clean energy,” B. Hussein Obama

Meanwhile, back at the [former] White House, Hussein’s jack-booted thugs at the EPA (not to mention the rest of the alphabet agencies) have done everything they can to stifle innovation while shutting down as many “clean coal” fired plants they can.
It is also stunning that the only entrepreneurs who are attempting to rescue Detroit from its economic doldrums, are being called “racist” by the urbanite City Council.
Those who have stepped up are all Anglos:
Mike Ilitch (owner of the Red Wings and Tigers)
Roger Penske (the auto guru)
Dan Gilbert (owner/CEO of Quicken Loans)
Oh, and by the by, Gubmint Motots can’ even give away the Chevy Volt.
Someone needs a reality check – NOT a gubmint check.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on July 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I bet if you were to ask them, they would say “Cash for Clunkers” was a success. Just like their other ideas.

Because the failures are always because not enough money was spent.

. Homeowners who were most likely to re-default were the ones who received the smallest reduction in their loan payments or overall debt,

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM

There are also hopes, diminished by the bankruptcy proceedings, of building a $100 million light-rail line.

What is it with Democrats and light rail? It’s like nirvana will be achieved some through infrastructure, and it must be as impractical as possible.

Fenris on July 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Obama is the economic savior of Detroit. This is now a legal fact. You dishonor the American President’s commitment at your legal peril. It’s up to Obama how good a savior he is, but the job belongs to him.

David Blue on July 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM

0housing

Bmore on July 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

“Cash for Clunkers” was the best-named program for the Pimp in Chief.

He hates the middle and lower classes and drones on about “the middle class”. Meh, only fools don’t get this.

He is king Louis XV.

Michelle is his Madame du Pompadour, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson Poison.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

0infrastructure

Bmore on July 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

See Bmore…these still come in handy, and always will.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Specter of Detroit looms over Obama’s new PR campaign on economy

Well put. Detroit has become like Banquo’s ghost haunting Obama when it comes to the economy, just as J. Christopher Stevens has become the Banquo’s ghost hauting State. There are others….

apostic on July 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Michelle is his Madame du Pompadour, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson Poison.

What a big difference one “s” makes :)

One is fish, the other poisons the waters.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”

Detroit’s not dead, it’s just resting!

Happy Nomad on July 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM

He is king Louis XV.

Michelle is his Madame du Pompadour

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Now that’s completely unfair. The royals feel our pain. They understand just how hard it is to fuel up the 747 for the annual family vacation. They too are aghast at just how much lobster and truffles cost these days.

But they are economizing. The estate at Martha’s Vineyard only has a half basketball court.

Happy Nomad on July 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM

If only 0bama had a democra…socialist run HOR too all would be well. You see it really is anybody that does not agree with his economically illiterate policies that cause all of the results from 0′s economically illiterate policies.

Once you understand that and achieve total cognitive dissonance you’re good. Also qualifies you to work at any medi…propaganda outlet in the USA.

jukin3 on July 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Barry needs to go golfing. It’s better for him and it’s sure as hell better for us.

trigon on July 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Barry needs to go golfing. It’s better for him and it’s sure as hell better for us.

trigon on July 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM

We haven’t seen pictures of the rat-eared mullato on the golf course lately. Wonder why? A little bit too “let them eat cake” as federal employees are furloughed, the economy sucks, and gas prices are spiking?

Happy Nomad on July 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Speaking of Obama disasters – who would have thought this would happen?

Watchdog: Borrowers in Obama housing program re-defaulting
306,000 borrowers have re-defaulted on their loans, SIGTARP says

http://www.localnews8.com/lifestyle/money/watchdog-borrowers-in-obama-housing-program-redefaulting/-/461672/21137896/-/y77kcz/-/index.html
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -Borrowers who received help through the government’s main foreclosure prevention program are re-defaulting on their mortgages at alarming rates, a federal watchdog said in a report released Wednesday.

Galt2009 on July 24, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I don’t know what you all are bitschitnin about, this is how its DONE in Kenya…..

44Magnum on July 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Wild packs of dogs are roaming Detroit now which gives me an idea. In honor of Obama’s pet rename Detroit ‘Botown’.

As for Obama’s economic speech: “ummm..let me be clear..hmmm…err..it goes without saying…uhhhh Republican interference with bipartisan progress–hemmmm…striving to overcome generic white persecution…ahhhhhh..and I cannot make it any plainer than that, folks!”

MaiDee on July 24, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Gore effect: Whenever Al Gore goes somewhere to hype global warming, there’s a blizzard or unusually cold weather.

Obama effect: Whenever Barack Obama presents an example of economic success, it will go bankrupt. From Solyndra to Detroit…

taznar on July 24, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 11:06 AM

I know, my friend. Never ascribe to stupidity what should be more properly ascribed to evil.

Just thought I’d try to class this place up with a wee bit of Shakespeare. :-)

coldwarrior on July 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”

Oh really, I see a once glorified center of American innovation that is still in the death throws and will soon be dead.

Perception is not his strongest ability now is it. I’d like to know why he thinks it’s been to heck and back? When did it come back? Then he said that it’s coming back. How does he figure that?

Questions that will never be asked nor answered, sad.

D-fusit on July 24, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Salena Zito over at the weekly standard has counted the number of pivots to the economy:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-pivots-19th-time_740875.html

As I said in the previous thread, he’s pirouetting more than a ballerina performing the “Red Shoes.”

dogsoldier on July 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Obama delenda est.

Moochelle pudenda est.

fulldroolcup on July 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Obamanomics is nothing but short-term attempts to inject stimulus while ignoring the fundamentals of economic growth — lowering hiring costs, reducing regulation, encouraging capital investments by increasing potential rewards and minimizing risks.

Libs/proggies like Obama always choke on the part “increasing potential rewards”. They know and acknowledge that in free-market capitalism, the only way the poor get richer is if the rich (risk-takers) get richer too, widening the income/wealth gap. If your fundamental underlying beliefs preclude allowing the rich to get richer, then stimulus/bailouts/handouts are the only alternative.

Marcola on July 24, 2013 at 12:13 PM

All playing to the Pretenders “My City Is Gone”

SmallGovtGuy on July 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

That bus schedule texting system shouldn’t be too expensive.

Just needs a server to respond with “NOT COMING” to every query.

DarthBrooks on July 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM

So, for about the 19th time, let’s just summarize the latest “pivot”:

Yup, I got nothin’…”

“Oh, I thought you meant divot, I was gonna fix that…”

We have a public, if the polls are correct, that place more value on hollow adjectives, such as “trying” and no results.

This.

Forty years of a vastly deteriorating educational system creating a pathetically dumbed down electorate (and society as a whole), plus a willing and corrupt media, along with soccer awards for “trying”, and this is where we are – about a half step above a banana republic.

Great work.

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on July 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM

The estate at Martha’s Vineyard only has a half basketball court.
Happy Nomad on July 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM

That’s still way more than “Downtown” Freddie Brown needs. “Hey, 2 for 2 (hundred) today, not bad. All ready for the next Egg Roll shoot-around!” Wonder if VJ demanded the Secret Service sneak in an oversized hoop…

Marcola on July 24, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Detroit’s a real heckenbacker, alright.

disa on July 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Go to FoxNews.com, and check out the picture with this article:

Judge begins first hearing on Detroit’s bankruptcy

Idiots holding a nicely-printed banner urging someone, anyone, to screw the banks, and anyone else they can, into canceling Detroit’s debt. According the banner, bankruptcy is racist and anti-democratic.

Ward Cleaver on July 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here,

I see a city that’s coming back.”

It’s one thing to be crazed enough to joust with a windmill, but to mount your horse backwards actually give the windmill the advantage.

Sad, that he’s far to intelligent to actually believe what he says….so that leaves us with just his deceit and cunning.

Just as he promised–he’s transparent to the core.

Don L on July 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM

And yet, during that same OFA fundraiser, Obama acknowledged that no matter how lofty his goals or his rhetoric, the fundamental realities of the politics of the economy were almost certain to remain unchanged. ”I’m excited about the speech, not because I think the speech is going to change any minds,” he said.

Truer words were never spoken.

As I said yesterday, the man loves the sound of his own voice.

Bitter Clinger on July 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

When pressed for time is scan the comments in the following order:
1st-RWM
2nd-Shadenfreude
3rd-Libfreeordie for the comic relief!!

Deano1952 on July 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

There are also hopes, diminished by the bankruptcy proceedings, of building a $100 million light-rail line.

What is it with Democrats and light rail? It’s like nirvana will be achieved some through infrastructure, and it must be as impractical as possible.

Fenris on July 24, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Actually, that’s comparatively reasonable. Here in CT, the State government (dominated by Democrats, natch) decided to spend $600 million of state taxpayer money on a “busway” (lane reserved for buses along I-84) from New Britain to Hartford, a distance of about 12 miles. That might save 15 minutes of travel time over sitting in traffic in rush hour, less the time to walk from the bus station to wherever a New Britain resident might work in Hartford. No idea on how many more people might ride the bus if this thing were built, but Connecticut has its 50-million-dollar miles.

Meanwhile, in another part of the state, commuters frequently spend an hour or more trying to get through Waterbury on I-84, which is three lanes in each direction through the city and the next 30 miles up to Hartford, except for two lanes in each direction over a 2-mile stretch just east of Waterbury, and the bottleneck causes massive traffic jams in both directions. No word on when Governor Dannel Malloy is planning to widen that stretch of I-84, which would probably cost MUCH less than the busway…

Steve Z on July 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Ward Cleaver on July 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

The banks owe them? Why? For lending them money they will never see again? Too funny.

Cindy Munford on July 24, 2013 at 12:41 PM

It’s one thing to be crazed enough to joust with a windmill, but to mount your horse backwards actually give the windmill the advantage.

Not only that, Obama outdoes Don Quixote by building more windmills to joust against (which might knock off a few thousand endangered birds, as well as John Kerry off his windsurfer), while thou shalt not build oil rigs next to thy windmills!!!

Steve Z on July 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Deano1952 on July 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

You have your priorities straight :)

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Obamanomics, lol more like Mugabnomics. Third world president = third world economy. It really shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise.

abobo on July 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM

What happened when they “spread the wealth” in Zimbabwe
By Michelle Malkin • October 20, 2008 08:43 AM

ITguy on July 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

A Lesson on Detroit For Ed Schultz & Melissa Harris-Perry

Smoldering Core of a Slighted City: ‘Devil’s Night And Other True Tales Of Detroit’ By Ze’ev Chafets

Resist We Much on July 24, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Resist We Much on July 24, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Why you were so missed. Don’t forget this latest one…the sow has priorities…so does the council.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Why you were so missed. Don’t forget this latest one…the sow has priorities…so does the council.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2013 at 2:41 PM

TYVM. Detroit is bankrupt PRECISELY because of idiots like JoAnn Watson.

Resist We Much on July 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

A year ago, 44 percent approved of Obama’s economic approach — a number statistically unchanged despite the fact that the president swept to a second term thanks, at least in part, to making the 2012 election a referendum on his economic priorities.

Go back a year before that — December 2009 — and Obama’s economic approval is 46 percent.

Nobody wins an election with numbers that crappy unless they cheat.

8 weight on July 24, 2013 at 9:21 PM