President Barack Obama used the Port of New Orleans as a backdrop today to push for more spending on infrastructure and to create more American jobs.
By closing useless tax loopholes, the President said, and by investing that money in infrastructure like transportation, the country will be able to create more jobs and increase exports, helping achieve a goal the president outlined in 2010: to double U.S. exports in five years.
With the expansion of the Panama Canal scheduled for completion in 2015, Obama said he wants to make sure the Port of New Orleans and other U.S. export hubs are prepared for the new burdens the waterway will impose, including bigger supertankers that will be able to hold three times the cargo they can today. “Why wouldn’t we put people to work upgrading them?" Obama asked of the ports.
Dan Packer, Chairman of the Commission of the Port of New Orleans, told Gambit he was pleased with the President’s remarks, though he would have liked federal funding for projects like expanding the New Orleans container port to be more secure. “I know they’re working on it,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve come to a conclusion on that yet.”
With all this dysfunction, Republican governors are not going to take a back seat to anyone in Washington anymore.
Up until now, we have just lived with the brand that Washington gave us. Republican governors don’t just talk about conservative ideas, we put them into action. The answers aren’t coming from Washington. Republican governors are driving the American comeback.
We are no longer going to outsource the Republican brand to the folks in Washington.
Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina: George W. Bush or Barack Obama?
George W. Bush
Gov. Bobby Jindal's performance at Saturday night's Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. went over well — at least with President Barack Obama, who praised Jindal's material and delivery at the
logrolling annual chance for politicians and the D.C. press corps to share a laugh:
"I have to say, I thought Bobby (Jindal) was incredibly funny this evening. I thought he was terrific," Obama said last night at the high-profile Gridiron Dinner, in his remarks after Jindal made a highly impressive speech full of fun and jokes, wiping out his 2009 lacklustre speech which was in response to the first State of the Union Address by Obama.
Jindal's entire speech has been posted online by The Washington Post. Here's one for Louisianans:
[N]ow some people have asked me if I intend to run for President in 2016?
And the answer is that I have no plans to run. I’ve made that clear, over and over again…in Iowa…in New Hampshire…and in South Carolina.
And for those who want a local take on politicos and press rubbing elbows, tickets are now on sale for the Press Club of New Orleans' annual Gridiron Dinner, which takes place March 19 at Walk-On's. The headliner is New Orleans City Council president Stacy Head; tickets are $40 and are available here.
More Jindal under the cut. (Lots of Indian jokes!)
The annual Bipartisan Policy Summit at Tulane University on Thursday (Nov. 15) drew its largest crowd ever. The summit, presided over by James Carville and Mary Matalin, brings together the nation’s best political minds from both parties after Election Day to discuss whether America’s elected leaders can get past partisan bickering and get to work on America’s problems. It remains an open question.
The gathering began with an analysis of how President Obama won re-election. Republican pollster Whit Ayres and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg agreed generally with the notion that demographics is destiny. This is not good news for the GOP, the party led mostly by old white men.
Ayers didn’t sugarcoat his party’s loss. Democrats, he said, had “a far superior ground game” — identifying and turning out their voters. Other factors that helped Obama, Ayers said, were the “slowly improving economy that was improving just enough to get Barack Obama’s approval rating up high enough to win.” The President’s approval rating just before Election Day was 51 percent — exactly his share of the vote.
Ayers also noted “some amazingly bad comments by some Republican candidates” that hurt the party’s cause nationwide. In particular, comments from GOP Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana helped solidify Obama’s lead among women voters.
All of those factors contributed to the President’s win, Greenberg agreed, but he added that Democrats also won because they recognized the diversity and character of the American electorate — and because of the “brand position” of the two parties.
“We represent the rising American electorate,” Greenberg said of Democrats. “This isn’t just targeting groups that get something from government. We’re in a country in which the majority of households are not married. The majority of births are non-white. The white working class also is attending church less. … All of these are long-term trends that will have enormous impacts on politics, and all of these groups voted 2-to-1 for Obama.”
That was Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking to Politico’s Jonathan Martin last week about the future of the Republican Party after the Nov. 6 elections. If you want to see just how much the elections shook up the GOP, look no farther than Jindal’s attempt to disassociate himself from some of his party’s platforms — many of which he once heartily embraced.
Less than a week after the elections, Jindal tried to grab the national spotlight with a political high-wire act: promoting himself as both a traditional conservative and a forward-thinking guy. The interview got him lots of positive attention — and he doubled down on it at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association, twitting Mitt Romney for rationalizing his loss in the presidential election.
We are at a loss to understand why, but then again, we know the truth about Jindal. Because so few in the media bother to question Jindal’s self-serving pablum, we’ll make it easy for them to compare Bobby Jindal 2.0 to Bobby Jindal’s record.
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