Surprise: White House stimulus events ignore southern states that Obama lost

It is not unusual for a presidential administration to find ways to reward its supporters through federal largesse, particularly in this case, when the goal of the stimulus program is push money out the door to states and localities that can spend it quickly to jump-start the economy. The Bush administration was criticized in 2004 for sending Cabinet officials on trips that critics said doubled as campaigning for the president’s reelection bid.

But the numbers tell the tale: 52 of the 66 events were in states that backed Obama. And taken together, the itineraries amount to a veritable map of Obama’s election-night victories — big-money states like California and New York, swing states like Ohio and Colorado that Obama turned blue and other solidly Democratic states Obama kept in his column…

And the White House sharply denied that there was any political motivation to the travel. “Politics plays no role in implementation of the Recovery Act or highlighting its successes. Period,” said Liz Oxhorn, press secretary for the Recovery Act.