The Obama roadshow continues -- next stop: Peoria

Jim Young/Reuters
President Barack Obama travels to Peoria, Illinois today to push for his economic stimulus bill. The president will visit Caterpillar. Obama and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (pictured) toured a construction site at the Virginia Infrastructure Project in Springfield, Virginia yesterday.

It's unlikely that when President Obama departs today for Peoria, Illinois he'll be singing Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again."

But the playlist of his iPod presumably changes. And this could be the song of this week. That and perhaps Pink Floyd's "Money" or Dire Straits's "Money for Nothing" and maybe Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run." Hoo-hoo.

The Republican playlist would likely have one song on permanent repeat: Notorious B.I.G's "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems."

Deal or no deal

But the vote hasn't happened yet. So it's not a done deal. To help close it, he's taking his argument and giant megaphone on the road.

And it appears to be working. Gallup released a poll yesterday which shows the American public warming to the bill. In one week support for the package increased from 52 percent to 59 percent.

It's not like Republicans are jumping up and down saying, "Show me the money." Democratic support is what's moving the needle with a full 82 percent now behind it. The GOP is far less enthusiastic with 28 percent giving it the thumbs up.


The giant megaphone is in Peoria, Illinois today, headquarters of the largest maker of construction and earth moving equipment in the world, Caterpillar.

It's not a random stop. You'll recall Obama saying that if this stimulus package passes, the company will rehire some of their employees. Good news for workers as Caterpillar is cutting 20,000 jobs.

But how many will be re-hired? Don't know.

A union honcho representing Caterpillar sounded skeptical. Rick Doty, president of United Auto Workers Local 947, told the LA Times.

"He's not saying, 'I'm going to rehire U.S. employees or even Peoria employees. He's just saying if [the stimulus bill] is to his liking, then he'll rehire some people that they laid off. To me, it's more of a threat than anything else."

Remember that one time...

Whatever it is, the president's not backing away from it. He issued a statement Wednesday night reminding the public -- and Caterpillar -- that the company is going to re-hire.

"Just today, the CEO of Caterpillar said that if this American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan is passed, his company would be able to rehire some of the employees they’ve been forced to lay off," he said.

What's the message here?

To honor the president's stop, a restaurant in the town is offering "Obama waffles" for $5. Are they sending some kind of message?

Probably not. The Peoria Star reports that the Sterling Family Restaurant is discounting an eggs/sausage/bacon combo meal as well. But there's apparently no fancy title for this dish.

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