Friday, January 20, 2012

More fairy tales, Obama? President earmarks tourism for latest jobs initiative (but was Disneyland such a wise choice?)

From the Magic Kingdom to the Apollo Theater, President Barack Obama on Thursday made the case for American tourism and his own re-election bid, mingling his political and economic agendas as he tried to stay ahead of the Republicans chasing after his job.

'I hope you know that the values you cherish, what you stand for, what you believe in, are the things I cherish and I believe in and I'm willing to fight for,' Obama said at Daniel, an exclusive Manhattan restaurant, in the first of four glitzy fundraisers.

Presidential politics were not far from the surface during events on both ends of the East Coast, as Obama sought a piece of Florida's political spotlight ahead of a Jan. 31 Republican presidential primary with a high-profile appearance at Walt Disney World. Against the backdrop of Disney's Cinderella castle, Obama announced initiatives aimed at making it easier for citizens of China and Brazil to visit the United States.

'America is open for business,' Obama said under Florida's picture-perfect blue skies. 'We want to welcome you.'

Later, the president told top donors in New York that he had made American foreign policy stronger during his first term, vowing that U.S. support for Israel's security is 'nonnegotiable.' He also defended his administration's approach to Iran, saying even Tehran has acknowledged that U.S. sanctions are having an impact. Read More