Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Say cheese

Civility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and last night it meant watching lawmakers smile with their teeth but not their eyes.

The day after the State of the Union it has become clear that the forced Kumbaya moment is being shrugged off for a return to the comfort of political sniping. But no one expected that rearranging the deck chairs would lead to a lasting group hug. OBAMA/

Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — the state President Barack Obama chose for his day-after trip to the heartland — said when Obama mentions investment he means “government spending and government control. And that is the definite wrong direction.”

Obama visited Manitowoc, Wisconsin, to promote his agenda of creating jobs and reining in spending, as the Congressional Budget Office painted a worsening deficit picture.

Obama said he came to Manitowoc “to glimpse the future” and that he had not known beforehand about the city’s own Sputnik moment in 1962. (Coincidence? Fade to Twilight Zone music).

Obama has his “Sputnik moment,” will it succeed like JFK’s?

Trying to get the U.S. economy back on track may sometimes seem a bit like reaching for the stars. Well, President Barack Obama today declared that America is facing a “Sputnik moment.”  

Speaking at a community college in North Carolina, Obama said innovation, training and education were vital to economic recovery, giving clean energy technology as an example of a promising area for job creation. “If this is truly going to be our Sputnik moment we need a commitment to innovation that we haven’t seen since President Kennedy challenged us to go to the Moon.” SPACE SPUTNIK

Obama, who was not born at the time of Sputnik, was trying to make the point that the country needs the same drive to tackle its economy that was used when it responded to the Soviet Union winning early challenges in the space age.