Obama’s Great Lakes revelation
We have criticized President Barack Obama in the past for what we perceive as his inclination to listen to Chicago area interests rather that the rest of the Great Lake states when it comes to aggressive action to keep the voracious Asian carp from establishing itself in the Great Lakes.
Nowhere are the Great Lakes more vulnerable to the carp making the jump from the Mississippi River, where it is already a destructive force, to Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes than canals linking the two at Chicago. During an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Obama said he has not ruled out hydrological separation of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes. That’s a welcome acknowledgement that the welfare of the Great Lakes region could trump those parochial interests that are closest to Obama’s heart.
While we applaud this new information, we can’t resist an incidental observation. The Plain Dealer interview is an example of why presidents and presidential candidates should travel outside their national-press comfort zone and subject themselves to questions from regional newspapers. They’ll find themselves being asked tough questions on subjects that are important to millions of people — in this case tens of millions — that aren’t on the national media’s radar screens.
After this week’s first presidential debate, for which Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are now cramming, they would do well to schedule more meetings with regional papers where hitherto ignored questions are more likely to be asked.