Ever since his American Jobs Act speech last week, President Obama is doing his best James Brown impression. Realizing that his re-election is at stake he’s taking his new jobs bill on a tour across the country. He’s going to “Get up, get on the Scene and Take it to the Bridge.” Specifically, the Brent Spence Bridge in House Speaker John Boehner’s district.
The Brent Spence Bridge is one of the busiest in America with some government estimates putting up to 4% of America’s commerce running through it. The Bridge connects Cincinnati with Covington, Ky., and has been in desperate need of repairs for years. The repairs that have been delayed in part because the bridge would require cooperation and financial contributions from both Ohio and Kentucky state governments to be completed. The project would cost over two billion dollars and put thousands to work for years if only someone in Washington would get started on the jobs bill. The image of Obama waving a bill in front of a crumbling bridge calling out for Congress to get off their butts and put men and women to work on infrastructure will be a good one. Doing it right in Boehner’s backyard is the kind of tough guy move that Democrats have been calling for all year.
The forthcoming speech won’t just highlight Congress’ intransigence but also the insensitivity of many in the GOP in general. Despite Republican state control in Ohio and Kentucky no one has been able to get anything done. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has proposed simply leaving the bridge as is unless tolls can be established or only fixing it once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate just how the federal government can actually solve a problem when state and Republican Party leaders can’t get anything done.
The Spence Bridge talk won’t be enough to please incredibly despondent Obama supporters alone. However, if he continues on this path and maybe even Michele Bachmann’s backyard he might have the beginning of a comeback on his hands.
This article originally appeared in Loop21.com under the headline “Obama channels James Brown and Takes it to the Bridge.”