So, where does President Obama stand on the budget situation here in Wisconsin? Consider his recent comments.
On Thursday, February 17, 2011, President Obama said this in an interview on WTMJ:
“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions. I think everybody’s got to make some adjustments, but I think it’s also important to recognize that public employees make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”
On Monday, February 28, 2011, President Obama said this to the National Governors Assn:
“I don’t think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed upon.”
Stranger still is that even though the president has taken these jabs, he really isn’t saying anything of substance. It “generally seems like an assault”. Well, is it or isn’t it? “It doesn’t do anybody any good when…” Well, is that happening or isn’t it? He’s dancing around the issue. And aside from these two comments, he’s been silent, unwilling to take a hard stand. He would be better served if he’d either say nothing, or just give a full interview where he can make his position perfectly clear.
However, one relevant comment where he was quite clear was the one he made on November 3, 2007 as a presidential candidate on the campaign trail in Spartanburg, SC:
“And if American workers are being denied their right to organize when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States.”
Now those are clear action words that anyone can understand. Let’s give the president the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he was not lying. Since he’s not here in Wisconsin with his “comfortable pair of shoes”, he obviously does not think workers are being “denied their right to organize.” This is a good sign. This means that Gov. Walker has the support of President Obama on his budget repair bill.
Now perhaps the president can do the right thing and convince his fellow democrats to return to Wisconsin and vote on the bill in the state senate.