Obama tests campaign themes in 'official visit'
June 28th, 2011
06:07 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama tests campaign themes in 'official visit'

Bettendorf, Iowa (CNN) - The music was definitely "Hail to the Chief." Not the Obama '08 campaign theme song: U2's "City of Blinding Lights."

But the tune coming from the President sounded awfully familiar during a speech at the Alcoa factory in Bettendorf, Iowa Tuesday.

"I ran because I believe in an America where families aren't just treading water but moving forward," said the President in a reference to his last campaign.

The White House insists this trip was no campaign stop. An administration official called it an "official visit" designed to highlight the administration's commitment to manufacturing jobs.

Still, it was a friendly union crowd assembled inside a plant that's actually hired back all of the workers who were laid off by Alcoa in recent years. In fact, the factory is adding employees.

The President took a veiled swipe at Republicans who have streamed into this crucial early voting state to slam his economic record.

"No matter what you may hear there is no silver bullet to reverse a decade of challenges," the President said.

The President also managed to work in a meal at Ross' 24 Hour Restaurant, a burger spot that caught his attention as a candidate. Mr. Obama challenged the press to order a belt-buster called "the Volcano."

"Anybody who wants one, I will buy it," he said.

Democratic leaning workers at the factory liked seeing the President back in campaign mode.

"My fear is that what I see with the tea party and the republicans is that there is so much emphasis in taking care of companies. And you've got to have companies to have jobs. But you also have to take care of the people," said Brad Greve, an Alcoa factory worker.

Democrats remember well it was Iowa where then candidate Obama staked his long-shot bid for the White House.

In the '08 Iowa caucuses, he toppled a party icon in Hillary Clinton before going on to win the battleground state in the general election by nine points.

White House officials say it's only a coincidence that Mr. Obama's trip came just hours before Sarah Palin attended the premiere of a movie based on her life story and one day after Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann launched her run for 2012.

Iowa's Republican governor, Terry Branstad was on hand for the President's speech. He told CNN he caught a whiff of 2012 in the air.

"Well I think there are some political overtones here," he said.

Filed under: Iowa • President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Obama/Biden 2012

    June 28, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Jake

    he's the clear choice! Obama 2012!

    June 28, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    "No matter what you may hear there is no silver bullet to reverse a decade of challenges," the President said.
    What's he talking about? The national debt increased over 40% in just the last 2 years. The unemployment increased 23% in just the last 2 years. Let's talk about the last 2 years even though I know that's not the discussion your political advisors want you to have.

    June 28, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Doug

    I think he should run on the comments he made on Univision last fall when he called every American right of center the enemy.

    Moderates should know that Obama is just your typical hateful Democrat who has zero tolerance for any and everyone who doesn't march lock step to the liberal ideology.

    June 28, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Let's take a look back at some facts; Obama and McCain were campaigning when GWB summoned them to the WH to tell them about an economic disaster that just occurred while he was our banker for 8 years and it just so happened Bush was leaving office in a few months, there was no need for either McCain or Obama to be present. Bush used both Obama and McCain as a photo opportunity that would make Americans feel that was the only economic problem, then he left office and the rest of the economic disaster unfolded. It's no different than someone robbing a bank a gun, getting away with the money and then putting the gun in your hand and leaving you to take the rapp. It didn't make any difference who would have became president, they didn't know it but Bush did.

    June 28, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. S. In California - Obama 2012

    So what of it? He is a politician. No laws were broken.

    June 28, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Bill

    I sure hope we the taxpayers are not paying the costs of his use of our government resources for political campaigning. Don't say he's not campaigning. He has never stopped campaigning since before he "officially" ran for president. The man knows how to campaign and is good at it. Just seems to me the costs of all this should be paid by the political donors-not the taxpayers. Excellent campaigner and a terrible president. All show and no go.

    June 28, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. yasmine

    Loving it Mr President!!!

    June 28, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. duckbutter

    its been years , either start turning the housing around , jobs around , gas prices , or you wont be around

    June 28, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |