Jan 132012
 

I keep telling myself I’m going to stop picking on President Obama and his administration because I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

One reader even suggested I might even be giving comfort to the Republicans.

Which, believe me, is not my intention.

But then the president and his people do something so clueless it seems to demand attention.

The latest example is the news that his campaign is contemplating moving the final extravaganza of the Democratic Party convention this summer in Charlotte, Bank of America’s corporate headquarters, to a stadium named for the country’s largest too big to fail bailed out bank.

You know, the one that wanted to charge its customers to use their debit cards, before the huge public outcry stopped them. Even the president slammed the bank’s debit card debacle. I wrote about some of the bank’s numerous other fiascoes here.

Now, the president and his campaign need to switch to the B of A stadium, according to the president’s people, because they need more luxury skyboxes for their big-money donors.

Remember when President Obama stirred the nation on election night in 2008? Speaking before a crowd of 240,000 in a public park in Chicago as well as a huge televised audience, Obama assured the country that “change had come to America.”

In 2008, the president spoke in Grant Park, which has been public space since the 1840s. Bank of America Park is an NFL stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers. They sell the naming rights for millions of dollars a year.  Local residents call it the BofA, or the Vault. Before the name belonged to Bank of America it belonged to the cell phone company Ericsson.

Imagine what a different impression the speech would have made if the president gave it surrounded by advertisements for the country’s banks.

We might have been better prepared for his economic policies if he had. The president has gone from shooting for the stars that night in Grant Park to aiming for the skyboxes.

I’m sure the president’s people will make sure that there are no actual advertisements on display while he speaks. But the symbolism, or optics, couldn’t be more powerful.

If the president and his party want to perform a public service, they should arrange to have the amount Bank of America, has contributed to each of the presidential candidates and their parties up on the scoreboard, along with the amount of bailout money, low-interest loans and loan buyouts the bank received from taxpayers.

If there was room, the party could display the names of its top donors.

If the BofA donations were displayed today, you might wonder why the president didn’t find somebody else’s stadium to give his speech from.

So far, the bank has forked over $126,500 to Romney and a measly $39,024 to the president.

But don’t cry for the president and his party. I’m sure they’ll more than make up the difference in the skyboxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Martin Berg

Martin Berg, WheresOurMoney.org editor, is a veteran journalist.

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