Obama Falls Prey to Ribbon-Cutting Syndrome

obama_construction_workers_300x194.jpgObama greets construction workers at a DC photo op. Photo: AFP via Infrastructurist.

At a press event in DC yesterday, President Obama touted the two thousandth transportation project to receive federal stimulus funds.
I’m speculating a bit here, but the White House probably had some
discretion when choosing which item to highlight for this milestone. So
did they pick a refurbished transit station? A new bike route? Perhaps
a bridge repair project to signal that we’re not going to repeat the mistakes that led to the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis?

None of the above. The same president who proclaimed the days of building sprawl to be over boasted about the widening of a highway interchange near Portage, Michigan
from four lanes to six. Obama, apparently, isn’t immune to
ribbon-cutting syndrome: Like many other elected officials, he can’t
resist associating himself with a hefty road expansion project.

In
this case, the president didn’t have the interchange itself as a
backdrop, but he did surround himself with construction workers for the
cameras. I’m still looking forward to the day when bus drivers get to serve as stage props too.

  • elizabeth

    Maybe they did choose carefully. Unemployment in Michigan is pretty high. Obama is photoed with now-employed construction workers in a depressed area, if not at the most news-worthy project. Financially speaking, Kalamazoo (the city adjacent to Portage) is particularly bad off. See everyone, the federal stimulus is helping people feed their families.

  • mcas

    I’d say he chose this carefully– MI (read Detroit) + Highway = logical. As for Obama’s hat tips to livable communities, he doesn’t have much of a record of that in his past, so why would it start now…?

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