President Barack Obama is scheduled to be in Madison on Wednesday. Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson says there are ulterior motives involved, including trying to improve his image as Obama’s approval ratings slip to 56%.
“Well I think there’s a couple things at play here. First, I think the President realizes he’s not as popular as he was earlier on this year and he wants to get out in some of the swing states and try and boost his popularity a little bit.”
Obama’s visit, which comes on the one year anniversary of his election to the country’s highest office, is closed to the public. The President will speak to a select few at Wright Middle School, which has an 85% poverty rate and a 90% minority population.
The White House says Obama will focus on strengthening America’s education system. Jefferson says that’s not the only reason for the stopover.
“Well I also think this visit has a lot to do with (Governor) Jim Doyle and the White House trying to determine the next governor of the state of Wisconsin. I think they really have an interest in getting Barrett into the race.”
Jefferson says Obama shouldn’t be playing politics with Wisconsin’s gubernatorial race.
Obama’s visit comes at a time when the state Legislature considers several proposals designed to increase any chance receiving part of $4.5 billion in federal education stimulus money. Jefferson says the timing of the visit is no coincidence. But he wonders whether the President has his priorities in the right place, considering the recession, Afghanistan, education and healthcare.
NOTE: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is scheduled to appear with the president.