Since Congress passed President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill in February, administration officials have traveled to at least 66 events across the country to tout the massive spending program or hand out stimulus cash to grateful local officials.
Top officials have hosted events predominantly in states that Obama won in 2008. What’s more, the examination revealed that Obama officials all but avoided Southern states that Obama lost.
But the numbers tell the tale: 52 of the 66 events were in states that backed Obama. And taken together, the itineraries amount to a veritable map of Obama’s election-night victories — big-money states like California and New York, swing states like Ohio and Colorado that Obama turned blue and other solidly Democratic states Obama kept in his column.
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The events were weighted to big cities that provided Obama some of his biggest election-night margins: Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Still, the stimulus bill has the potential to be a publicity bonanza for the Obama administration for years to come — through the 2010 midterm elections and beyond. As of mid-May, the administration had spent only 6 percent of the money Congress allotted for the program, and the White House says officials will continue to travel the country until all of the money is spent.