May 1, 2017

What Obama the ex-President should be doing: a "poverty tour."

Here's Van Jones, responding to the question whether Obama's taking $400,000 to speak to Wall Street people is "distasteful."



Text:
JONES: It's not distasteful. You think that he started off talking to those kids in Chicago and we need a Bobby Kennedy in this country and I hope that he will do a tour, go to Appalachia, go to Native American reservations where they are shoving these pipelines down their throats and they don't have a clean running water. Go to south central. Go to the Arizona border where you have a lot of poverty. If he would do a poverty tour first -- listen, he should not be the first president that has to be broke. Listen, every other president went out there and gave big speeches. Don't hold him to a double standard -- don't double standard him. But I'd tell you what, from a moral point of view it would be great for him to do a --
The interviewer, Jake Tapper injects that Obama got a $60 million book deal and "I mean, he's not broke." Jones acknowledges the fact but shies away from criticism of Obama for what he is doing. Jones wants to talk about what he isn't doing:
JONES: Clearly if I were -- if I were -- if I had the opportunity he has I would do a big poverty tour for six months. Everywhere I go it's poverty, addiction and high death rates from West Virginia to south central. If he would do that, then go ahead and do a big speech later.
It's so much easier to see what is happening and to spend all your time talking about that. How big is our failure to see what is not happening?

61 comments:

Darrell said...

Jones could really help out in Venezuela or North Korea.

CStanley said...

Typical progressive- do a bunch of photo ops exploiting impoverished people by pretending you care about the issues affecting them and then you've earned enough indulgences to go rake in Wall Street bucks.

stever said...

He really doesn't know what he's talking about

Lance said...

Does Jones want Obama to do a war tour? Benghazi, Aleppo, Kandahar? Khan Sheikhoun?

chickelit said...

But how would that help Hillary? It would completely upstage her this year. Obama has a Constitutional Bar from holding office again. Make Hillary do the poverty walk.

buwaya said...

In "what is not happening", do you mean the dogs that arent barking, or those things that are happening, but are being neglected?

In the case of the Obama bribery business it would take quite an effort to expose the chain of connections to the quid pro quo. The really interesting one is Bertelsmann giving him $60 million. Its obviously a payoff for past services, but I wonder how that is structured. They certainly arent going to earn on that scale from public sales.

Rene' Saunce said...

Progressives do not walk the walk, they only talk the talk. and the talk is BS and hypocrisy.

Progressives are communists. They want all the benefits of big money, while everyone else suffers in poverty. But oh! how they care about the poor.... while they cruise the south seas with the richest people on the planet.

I think Obama and Castro should take a cruise together. Bring Maduro along...

Curious George said...

Poverty tour first. Then cash in.

It's all about appearance.

Tom said...

A few things need to end or one thing needs to begin. One, we need to end the president's pension. They don't need the money. $400 for life seems a bit much. Two, we also need to end secret service protection for ex wife residents. They make enough to afford free market security. Three, they don't need things like official offices or expense accounts paid for by tax payers. If those things aren't done, then we need to impose a 90% excise tax on income given (let's not pretend it earned) by an executive for the first 4 years after leavIng office. This should go for any executive branch employee who is a G-12 and above and all Executive Level appointees.

Matthew Sablan said...

So... what would all those visits DO to help those people? Obama isn't president any more; any thing he could have done for them, he missed the chance to do so as president.

He might be able to be a voice for those in poverty, but I think they'd have rather had a more effective voice for the last eight years than be used as a political bludgeon by the ex-president against the current president.

Bill Peschel said...

I guess Obama could start with Detroit.

Or perhaps he could look in a mirror: "How could you help protect Wall Street from the consequences of their actions started when Bill Clinton repeal Glass-Stegall?"

exiledonmainstreet said...

I'm all for Obama touring West Virginia. He can explain to the bitter clingers and deplorables there why he did his best to get rid of their livelihoods. He can also tell them that since they have white skin they're more privileged than his daughters.

Tom said...

Btw, Trump did a appachalian poverty tour and they overwhelmingly voted for his trade and jobs plan. A job is the best plan for poverty.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"So... what would all those visits DO to help those people?"

Nothing. However that's besides the point. Actually helping people is unimportant to Dems. Looking like you CARE is the main thing. And the photo ops, let's not forget those.

Humperdink said...

Obama should combine an apology tour with a poverty tour. Apologize to all poor people whom he made poorer, while at the same time he could thank them for voting for him twice.

TestTube said...

Van Jones is confusing the Obama that is with the Obama that Van Jones wants Obama to be.

Understandable. Obama's greatest ability was to serve as a screen on which people could project the person they wanted him to be.

Obama will make a few lame gestures towards leadership and service, but mostly he is going to hang around with his billionaire pals, give expensive speeches (I really think $400k is only a start, and his price will go up from there) accumulate money and enjoy the good life in Hawaii.

A lot of "Strategy" sessions with celebrities to determine what should be done next, without really ever doing much.

Todd said...

Clearly if I were -- if I were -- if I had the opportunity he has I would do a big poverty tour for six months. Everywhere I go it's poverty, addiction and high death rates from West Virginia to south central. If he would do that, then go ahead and do a big speech later.

You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! He should cause now that he is no longer President, he can start to do something about this issue! He is free to act now that he is no longer "the most powerful man in the world"! It wasn't like he just left a gig where he had power and resources and the ear of the country, don't you know.

Fernandinande said...

All those poor people - some are so poor that they're obese! - are doing poverty tours every day, and Jones seems to think that "slumming" isn't fun.

I would do a big poverty tour for six months.

Spreading magic beans all the while; after they sprout you kin garner you up some virtue.

JAORE said...

"...they don't have a clean running water."

Like the NYC schools? [I know I have conflated "clean" with high lead content, but there you go.]

Oh yeah, "At some point you've made enough money".

William said...

VanJones should teach high school in Newark. He would undoubtedly change many young lives for the better. That would be so much more satisfying than the fame and money he receives from CNN.

Nonapod said...

Sounds like Van Jones would like Obama to be a much more overt, classic style of grievance monger ala Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton. But Van Jones doesn't realize that Obama is the new and improved grievance monger version 2.0, not as rough around the edges, but much more expensive to maintain.

Pimpin' ain't easy.

cassandra lite said...

Jones must be trolling Obama here, suggesting a poverty tour to highlight what Obama's policies created. Even if Obama didn't create the problems, at the least he didn't solve them or ameliorate them. It's a lose-lose for Obama.

William said...

Madonna should give free concerts at refugee camps.

cronus titan said...

It has to be tough for someone like Jones, who has sincere if misguided beliefs, to accept that Obama is a bullshit artist. One of the greatest we have ever seen, but like all great bullshit artists, he believes his own bullshit and can lead others to believe that his bullshit is something other than bullshit.

traditionalguy said...

Obama hunts a bigger game than poor people. The poor you always have with you. But Barry is now on the hunt for elite wealth with no old National borders that restrict its flow and its power over men.

Did Jones expect a patriot?

YoungHegelian said...

"The Magical Poverty Tour is waiting to take you away,
Waiting to take you away,
Take you today...."

(With sincere apologies to Maclen Music).

exhelodrvr1 said...

Or he could max out his speeches and donate the money to charities that actually work with the poor.

David said...

He didn't do this stuff as President. Doing it now is going to seem hollow.

Plus he put in 8 years as President. It's a tough job. In my book he gets to do what he wants. (As if what I think makes a difference.)

AllenS said...

Obama should try and make as much money as he can, then, go to the poor places and pass out dollar bills to a few people.

Inga said...

No, this is what Obama should be doing.

"Thwarted for much of his term by a confrontational Republican Congress, and criticized by his fellow Democrats for not devoting sufficient attention to their down-ballot candidates, Mr. Obama has decided to make the byzantine process of legislative redistricting a central political priority in his first years after the presidency.

Emerging as Mr. Obama’s chief collaborator and proxy is Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general of the United States and a personal friend of the president. He has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a newly formed political group aimed at untangling the creatively drawn districts that have helped cement the Republican Party in power in Washington and many state capitals."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/us/eric-holder-to-lead-democrats-attack-on-republican-gerrymandering.html

exiledonmainstreet said...

Humperdink said...
Obama should combine an apology tour with a poverty tour"

Blue collar hero Bruce Springsteen could be the opening act.

walter said...

Right..he needs to donate some lip service first.

robother said...

Maybe Obama is just embracing the Nixonian domestic policy of benign neglect. Plus, all that greasy food in West Virginia isn't too good for his health. If South Central wants to see the Light-bringer bad enough, couldn't they pass the hat and collect $400,000? Is that really too much to ask?

Todd said...

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blue collar hero Bruce Springsteen could be the opening act.

5/1/17, 9:45 AM


Me thinks that ship has sailed...

madAsHell said...

I'm guessing Van Jones isn't going to straighten his hook in Obama's four-some.

AReasonableMan said...

This would actually have been better advice for Hillary. If she had done this rather than lard up on Wall Street money she would probably now be president.

Bob Boyd said...

Obama thought about and considered a poverty tour, but ultimately decided that a relationship with the poor would be less challenging and demanding than developing one with Wall Street.

Unknown said...

Jones sounds like a Trump commercial.

Karen of Texas said...

Idk, ARM. Hillary has a connection issue with the rubes - she does not connect. Seeing more of her in the rust belt might have only made the tidal wave bigger. Hillary is not a people person when it comes to Joe Sixpack.

I do grant that if she had done less Wall Street and Hollywood glad handing, she might have turned the tide. But hobnobbing with the rich and famous did her no favors with the deplorable voting bloc.

Jupiter said...

So, Inga, is that a pussy hat? Or a Pussy Kat hat, with the little ears? Is it really supposed to resemble your external genitalia? It does look pink. But shouldn't it be hairy? Or is it supposed to be shaved? Who shaved the pussy? Anyway, looks like it's a well-made product. Where did you grab it? Or, I mean, pick it up?

Jupiter said...

I expect that Obama would be willing to give the poor a reduced rate. Say, $200K for a 45-minute speech in Wheeling. You don't get much for $200K these days.

Rene' Saunce said...

Hillary IS a fake poverty tour. Her money grubbing is real, her charity is fake.

If only the media could produce the right angle.


Paddy O said...

"No, this is what Obama should be doing."

Helping get powerful people more power and money?

BillyTalley said...

If Obama was the person he was sold as, we would have heard endlessly about all those families he had helped out in Chicago when he was "Community Organizing", life in the inner cities would have been made better after his 8 years in office. The cavorting with billionaires in exotic locales post presidency and cashing in with big $ speeches despite his big book advance... that's just icing on a cake of hypocrisy.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I'm sure someone else as at least alluded to this, but Obama was POTUS for eight years. Wouldn't a tour of the poverty stricken areas of the U.S. highlight that he didn't do anything to alleviate poverty while he was President?

The left needs the first black president to be some kind of saint, but he is just another politician. Not a statesman, not a light-bringer. Just a Chicago political hack.

walter said...

Billy,
He does wisk in/out of Chicago from time to time..home of his future library that will adjoin a golf course.
All I can say..lest I be "concern trolling".

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Hillary is not a people person when it comes to Joe Sixpack."

I remember that she was touted as the candidate of Joe Sixpack in 2008. Remember that photo op of her drinking a shot and a beer with a bunch of blue collars in Ohio during her 2008 campaign. Obama was the effete, out-of-touch one while Hillary talked about going duck hunting with daddy.

Of course, nobody believed that. But I'll bet she downed that boilermaker just as smoothly as any grizzled old welder.

khesanh0802 said...

How about a hair shirt and a whip during Obama's trip? Who the hell is Van Jones anyway? Obama is just confirming, to we who opposed him, that he is a self-righteous hypocrite (I'll throw Michelle in there too). History will not be kind to Obama, but his contemporary asshole buddies will never catch on.

walter said...

She kinda deep-sixed the Joe Sixpack relations by labeling swaths of them deplorables.
Really too bad..if not, she might have ridden the wave of Dem popularity...

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm with Jones: It's amazing to me how little the 2016 campaign was about the actual poverty of actual Americans. Trump supposedly gave vent to the anger of some of the disaffected blah blah blah. But what about actual poverty? Some progressive asked Bernie Sanders about "open borders" sometime in 2016, and Bernie said (paraphrasing): that's a Koch brothers fantasy; bringing in cheap labour causes hardship to poor Americans. Later he was forced to back down, and say there was a need to restrict some immigration from somewhere, possibly (I'm not kidding) Canada. As Kaus was saying recently, the Davos people may have succeeded not only in making themselves rich, but in helping the poorest of the poor--not in Western countries, where jobs have been lost, but in the Third World. There seems to be a sense that we should defer to the experts: this is the way the world is going; automation may eliminate even more jobs in Western countries, without affecting terrible Third World jobs like dismantling old ships or computers. Open borders is supposed to be another way to help people from poor countries; but what about poor Americans? Does anyone have an actual plan?

Trump did better with Hispanics and African-Americans than many expected. Will his infrastructure spending help? Will Betsy DeVos come up with a reform for schools (maybe including charter schools) that will help? Who knows?

khesanh0802 said...

@Inga He got a lot of that work done out there in Tahiti. You usually are more grounded than to put up something so wishful as that article.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You almost have to feel sorry for Van Jones and the supposed "comedian" Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. Almost.

buwaya said...

Looking at the numbers on the Bertelsmann book deal -
Obama has made something like $15-20 million (based on his 2007-2008-2009 income taxes) on, mainly, "Dreams", which did sell millions of copies; for which he got a 500K advance.

I don't see how a new Obama book would do anything like that now that the bloom is off that rose, even if Bill Ayers ghostwrites that one too. It seems unlikely that Bertelsmann and its own interests with the US administration would come to such a large payment. They have to be a conduit for other parties. Perhaps the deal is structured such that millions of copies are "purchased" pro-forma, in bulk, by interested parties, a much larger form of, say, Cuomos book deal.

This will bear watching.

My other paranoid suspicion is that this is a financing ploy for ongoing political activities for which the Obamas will be a channel for payments to "activists".

FullMoon said...

From NYT:
The Obamas are starting a foundation whose work will include “training and elevating a new generation of political leaders in America,” Eric Schultz, an Obama adviser, said in a statement. “President Obama will deliver speeches from time to time. Some of those speeches will be paid, some will be unpaid, and regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record.”

Obama and his donors are training more progressives. Obama will give money to the poor, or finance rebuilding and education. The MSM will give him much more credit than is actually deserved, making him seem like a hero.

From same editorial, which actually criticizes Obama for being tone deaf:
As a couple and a family, the Obamas brought grace, empathy and high standards to their time in the White House, in stark contrast to the workaday vulgarity of its current occupants.

nyt

Todd said...

FullMoon said...

As a couple and a family, the Obamas brought grace, empathy and high standards to their time in the White House, in stark contrast to the workaday vulgarity of its current occupants.

5/1/17, 11:09 AM


LOL! Yep, those Obama folks sure did talk purty!

At least they didn't steal thousands of dollars worth of American treasure from the White House when they left, like a prior Democrat occupant did...

Michael K said...

He has signed on to lead the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a newly formed political group aimed at untangling the creatively drawn districts that have helped cement the Republican Party in power in Washington and many state capitals."

They should enlist Willie Brown who really knows how to fool the rubes into redrawing districts to favor the Democrats.

California is deep blue now because Willie pulled off a coup in 1990 when a real redistricting refome was defeated.

Heston's impact was swamped by TV spots financed with over $5 million raised by Speaker Willie Brown and State Senate President David Roberti. With redistricting a challenge to his status as the state's single most powerful figure, Brown had two aims: kill the two propositions and defeat state Attorney General John Van de Kamp, the party-endorsed candidate for governor who wants to limit legislative terms. He accomplished both.

Willie knows how to do it. The other two are just for show.

Paul Graves said...

Even if he chose to go broke, he wouldn't be the first one. Harry Truman had offers to join boards and give speeches for money and he turned them down. "I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable," Truman later wrote, "that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the presidency." When news reports came out that he was living in a broken-down old house and was having a hard time paying his bills, Congress passed the first pension for former presidents, an action he opposed. But those were different times, I suppose.

Earnest Prole said...

I suspect Obama’s true view of the poor resembles California Democratic Czar Willie Brown’s. When asked by an outraged leftist what he'd done for poor people lately, Brown replied, “I stay out of their way at Walmart.”

MayBee said...

Tom said...
A few things need to end or one thing needs to begin. One, we need to end the president's pension. They don't need the money. $400 for life seems a bit much. Two, we also need to end secret service protection for ex wife residents. They make enough to afford free market security. Three, they don't need things like official offices or expense accounts paid for by tax payers. If those things aren't done, then we need to impose a 90% excise tax on income given (let's not pretend it earned) by an executive for the first 4 years after leavIng office. This should go for any executive branch employee who is a G-12 and above and all Executive Level appointees.


I completely agree.

Roy Jacobsen said...

How about he shuts his pie hole, puts on some work clothes, picks up a hammer, and puts in some honest work (no paparazzi allowed) building some H4H houses?

wendybar said...

Poverty tours won't pay him the big bucks!