Archive for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Obama’s visit to Osawatomie highlights 1910 speech by Theodore Roosevelt

President visits amid economic skepticism

December 6, 2011, 10:10 a.m. Updated December 6, 2011, 5:29 p.m.


— President Barack Obama received a warm welcome Tuesday from a small eastern Kansas community and plenty of applause in politically unfriendly territory for calling for a return to economic fairness, but some audience members questioned whether he's done enough to create jobs or can follow through on his speech.

The Democratic president traveled to Osawatomie, a town of 4,400 residents about 50 miles southwest of Kansas City, to invoke former President Theodore Roosevelt's praise a century ago for having government intervene in the economy to provide "a square deal" for the disadvantaged. Roosevelt gave his "New Nationalism" speech in 1910 in Osawatomie.

Hundreds of people crowded into the local high school's gym for the speech, many of them standing to cheer and applaud at times. But Obama supporters and fellow Democrats appeared to be over-represented; he received about 42 percent of the vote in Kansas in 2008, and his Republican opponent is all but certain to carry the state next year, just as the GOP nominee has done in every presidential election since 1964.

And, even as many of Obama's listeners applauded — and once, one shouted "Amen!" — some wondered whether he can follow through. Will Cutburth, a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran from Osawatomie and a Republican, said Obama's message is important, but the president faces gridlock in Congress.

"He's talking about re-establishing the way it used to be in America. It used to be a given in America that you'd do better than your parents," Cutburth said. "They're great ideas, but I don't see how he's going to be able to do it."

Republicans considered the visit part of Obama's re-election effort, though some GOP officials attended. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback welcomed Obama to Kansas in a statement but kept a previous commitment to attend a symposium in Wichita on the state's future. However, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer did attend.

"There's no chance that he'll win this state," said Burdett Loomis, a University of Kansas political scientist who worked for a year on the staff of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, now U.S. health and human services secretary. "This is a national speech, designed for a national audience."

Kansas GOP Chairwoman Amanda Adkins said Obama's message — she described it as calling to redistribute wealth and pitting upper-income Americans against the lower and middle classes would not play well.

"It will incite more frustration in regard with his lack of executive management as it relates to the economy," she said. "I think it will backfire."

The president's speech came amid his efforts to pressure congressional Republicans into voting for a plan to extend a Social Security payroll tax cut that would increase taxes for wealthy Americans. Many Republicans — including Kansas' all-GOP delegation — have resisted what they view as an appeal to spark class warfare.

"This isn't about class warfare," the president said. "This is about the nation's welfare."

In Kansas, the GOP swept all statewide and congressional races on the ballot in 2010 and increased its control over the Legislature by tapping into frustration with the president and fellow Democrats in Congress.

The election represented a big shift to the right for Kansas, which had elected moderate Republicans and Democrats as governor for a generation, including Sebelius. She attended the speech, also receiving a warm welcome.

Cutburth said he's willing to vote for Obama next year, but skeptical that the president can deliver on his call for a return to economic fairness.

Anthony DeLeon, a 30-year-old Tyson Foods manager from nearby Gardner, is a registered Democrat who voted for Obama in 2008 but wasn't sure he would again. He said Obama hasn't delivered a stronger economy.

"The jobs are not there for so many people that I know," DeLeon said as he waited to get into the speech. "He's got to start to get people to work — lots of people."

Alice Heath, a 62-year-old retired food service manager, liked Obama's speech and plans to vote for him again, as she did in 2008, but she's also looking for signs of economic improvement because, "We're all suffering."

And January Clark, the 27-year-old manager of a Wal-Mart produce department in Paola said: "With milk at $4, people who are middle class or lower really can't do a whole lot. There's no room for anything extra."


Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 6 months ago

did anyone catch the news item on CNN? They really mangled up the location, Osati, uh,,m,,, Oswtame,,,,,,,,,,,,,,oh Hell.......Ostowoostomy.

Real professionals!

ksjayhawk74 6 years, 6 months ago

In all fairness, Osawatomie is a tough name to say if you haven't already heard someone say it.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 6 months ago

Barack, pronounced it as OHsahwahtamee and then AHsahwahtamee. Ahhhh... So?

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 6 months ago

Why doesn't the Journal World broadcast the speech live to the country? Do you have the capabilities?

Gotalife 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't think he'll have to look too hard. Sorry to burst you bubble.

Gotalife 6 years, 6 months ago

That makes no sense whatsoever JJE007.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 6 months ago

Everything makes sense, in the moment, which causes a bit of reflection within the repertoire and realm of Talking Heads. Seriously though, I am loaded with barely accessible goofiness and not afraid to fire my machination gun into the crowd or nerdosity of my own intent.

BTW, I ids glad you's Gotalife, yo. I don't neven gots a clue, yayesssahhh...and "your bubbie" is safe with me. THAT would be YOUR bubble!~)

Dang gun hit an innocent bystander ag'in... Sorry. Sometimes freedom is just too many other words. Can you hear me, now?~)

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Obama's staff is going to hunt you down and ask that you apologize?

kochmoney 6 years, 6 months ago

Ironically, Teddy Roosevelt was giving this speech in friendly territory. Kansas was known back then for its liberal, progressive, working class ways. That's right, kiddos. Working class people used to vote for their own interests instead of voting to keep their oppressors in power.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Osama is the terrorist Obama had killed.

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Bea, its just astounding, isn't it? The childish, crude and classless 'humor' some folks sling around thinking it makes them look clever. Don't suppose they'll ever realize that they're not.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 6 months ago

Because she took a Federal Cabinet level position. Better than Palin who quit her job as Governor of Alaska and went to...oh, that's right, NOTHING.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

"but in 2010 the GOP swept all statewide and congressional races on the Kansas ballot by capitalizing on dissatisfaction with Obama and fellow Democrats in Congress."

Hey voters that was dumb! Do you not have a memory?? Why you ask? Damn right I ask when voters should be paying attention and realizing the RINO repub party has been running the same agenda for the past 31 years. And producing the same results.

What are the results: Putting millions: 1. out of work 2. out of medical insurance 3. out of retirement plans

Because they have virtually destroyed the economy twice in the past 31 years. Both Newt and Brownback were in Washington D.C. when these criminal like events took place,

How? A well established pattern that seems to be set in stone and working because voters are not paying attention. Instead they say what can I do and vote the wrong way or don't vote at all = also dumb.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Wow--this certainly is revisionist history--I guess you don't recall any Democrat or liberal involvment here? What about Bill Clinton, Pelosi, Barney Frank, and former Senator Dodd? Democrats certainly had a hand in this "destruction" as well as the Republicans, in fact, I would say this has been a bi-partisan issue!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes for 31 years this agenda has been working like clockwork for the Koch/Walton infested RINO Repub party.

The destructive agenda:

After spending so so many decades in Washington D.C on tax dollar payrolls RINO’s are sure they learned all they needed to know about taking YOUR money and recklessly destroying economies.

Introducing the RINO Economic Destruction Platform Written In Stone:

  1. TABOR is Coming by Grover Norquist and Koch Bros sells out state governments, public schools,SRS services etc etc to private industry = Grab Your Wallets!

  2. The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance.

  3. Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern.

  4. Bush/Cheney implied more than ONLY 3 financial institutions instead of several were at risk so why $700 billion in bail out money? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money?

  5. Tax cuts are the ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy which do nothing to make an economy strong or produce jobs. Tax cuts are a tax increase to others in order to make up the loss in revenue = duped again.

GW Bush Tax Cuts is the most recent ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class = duped one more time.

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 6 months ago

Have you posted this same drivel 1000 times yet, merrill?

overthemoon 6 years, 6 months ago

have you ever bothered to actually read what Merrill posts? the vast majority of his comments and links are based in fact and reality.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 6 months ago

Post it a million more until somebody wakes up and pays attention.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Where does Janet Reno and her threatening letter to banks urging them to make risky loans under the "Community Re-investment Act" fit into your revisionist history?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Source please, and not a right wing opinion piece, but something with actual facts?

If you read the CRA, it specifies that all loans made are to be consistent with safe and sound operations of the banks - you can google it and read it for yourself quite easily.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

check out the Janet Reno letter do some google searching yourself.

thebigspoon 6 years, 6 months ago

Love to--please give me a link. I'll be holding my breath--just ask for Mr. Blue.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok - I googled Janet Reno cra, and found no such letter.

I did find a number of right wing websites claiming that she and the CRA were responsible for the meltdown, and mediamatters, which debunked that claim.

Your turn - if you have some source for a letter that she wrote that does what you claim, please supply it.

Mike Ford 6 years, 6 months ago

Osawatomie is a combination of the Osage and Citizen Potawatomi nations who resided on said lands until many uneducated pro slavery southerers squatted and terrorized and stole lands in the mid 19th century. Unfortunately, their descendants are still here with stars and bars license tags on vehicles in what was a Pro Union State. John Brown went into this area sought retribution during the Bleeding Kansas era. Keep talking and supporting your candidates. You will soon own the mess you've created....tea party and gop.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

The bottom line is that Obama once again delivered nothing more than a partisan attack dog speech in which he projected blame on others but accepted absolutely no responsibility for running up the largest budget deficits in the history of this nation. No the Mr. Obama once you have the office now you have to accept the blame for your own actions! The sad truth that America is having to learn just like the rest of the world has learned is that socialism does not work!

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Socialism is problematic, but has some positive features in theory as well.

However, I think the lesson for us in the recent past is that capitalism, if not well regulated, doesn't work.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

capitalism must be tempered with ethics and Judeo/Christian principles.

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