Obama Falls Prey to Ribbon-Cutting Syndrome

obama_construction_workers_300x194.jpgObama greets construction workers at a DC photo op. Photo: AFP via Infrastructurist.

At a press event in DC yesterday, President Obama touted the two thousandth transportation project to receive federal stimulus funds. I’m speculating a bit here, but the White House probably had some discretion when choosing which item to highlight for this milestone. So did they pick a refurbished transit station? A new bike route? Perhaps a bridge repair project to signal that we’re not going to repeat the mistakes that led to the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis?

None of the above. The same president who proclaimed the days of building sprawl to be over boasted about the widening of a highway interchange near Portage, Michigan from four lanes to six. Obama, apparently, isn’t immune to ribbon-cutting syndrome: Like many other elected officials, he can’t resist associating himself with a hefty road expansion project.

In this case, the president didn’t have the interchange itself as a backdrop, but he did surround himself with construction workers for the cameras. I’m still looking forward to the day when bus drivers get to serve as stage props too.

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