First draft: Back on the trail again
Just three weeks into his presidency, Barack Obama heads back out on the campaign trail today. This time he’s going to a hard-hit part of Indiana where unemployment has soared, to try to build support for an $800 billion economic stimulus package.
Obama, who excelled in the presidential campaign at ramping up support at rallies through emotional speeches, will be holding a town-hall type meeting in Elkhart, Indiana — where unemployment has jumped to 15.3 percent from 4.7 percent over the past year.
The Obama administration is focusing all its effort on getting lawmakers to approve the economic stimulus plan. In fact, yesterday the Treasury Department announced it would delay the announcement of a separate, keenly awaited bank rescue plan by a day until Tuesday so the focus could stay on the stimulus package on Monday.
After Obama holds his town hall he comes back to the White House to face the media in his first formal news conference at 8 p.m EST (0100 GMT).
While all eyes in Washington seem focused on the stimulus bill and the wrangling that’s going on in Congress, the TV talk shows this morning were looking at other stories that have riveted the nation over the past weeks.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” interviewed Captain Chelsey Sullenberger and the rest of the crew from US AIrways Flight 1549. More than a dozen of the passengers aboard the flight — now dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson” — also appeared in the studio and hugged and thanked the crew for saving their lives.
Meanwhile NBC’s “Today Show” interviewed the mother of the octuplets born in California. The single mother who already had six childen, Nadya Suleman, defended her decision to have eight additional children. But Suleman’s mother, who has been housing and supporting her daughter for years, said her daughter’s decision to impregnate herself again was “unconscionable“.
-Photo credit: REUTERS/Tim Shaffer (Obama speaks at rally in Wilmington on Jan. 17)