President Barack Obama was the lone politician to take the stage at Hillsboro's Intel campus today to advance his education and economic initiatives, while Oregon pols were left to watch on from the crowd.
"Basically, if we want to win the future, America has got to outbuild, out-innovate, out-educate and out-hustle the rest of the world," Obama told the crowd of about 400 people, plus dozens of local and national reporters. "Intel is possible because of the incredible capacity of America to re-invent itself and allow people to live out their dreams."Obama praised the innovation of the Washington County schoolkids whose science-fair exhibits he toured this morning. The president said he was especially impressed by six seventh-grade girls who had built Lego robots that left Obama's own childhood Lego towers in the dust.
Obama pumped up his administration's efforts to cut the budget, grow the economy and reform education in the face of recalcitrant opposition from the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In the midst of a bruising budget battle in Washington, D.C., Obama spotlighted his attempts to cut the budget by slashing waste in defense and health-care spending, and closing loopholes in the tax code—all efforts that Republicans in Congress have repudiated.
Locally, Obama's visit did little to boost the fortunes of Oregon politicians. The president gave a shout out to Democrat John Kitzhaber as "a wonderful governor," and he praised Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey. But no other Oregon pols were granted a mention.
Nonetheless, plenty of local politicians were on hand. They included state Treasurer Ted Wheeler, former Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Metro President Tom Hughes. Also attending were Democratic legislators— state Sens. Mark Hass and Ginny Burdick, state Reps. Jules Bailey and Jefferson Smith. And Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith also was there.
(Photo credit: VivianJohnson.com)