Riptide just settled in at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers. President Obama is scheduled to kick off the next stop on his Stimulus Tour in about 30 minutes, and we'll begin the live blog then.
So, why of all places is Obama in Fort Myers? The official line is that the city is suffering from all sorts of economic hardships and a 10 percent job less. True, but unfortunately that's the case in lots of communities across the map. I can't help but wonder if the fact that the city is in Southwest Florida, a Republican stronghold, had anything to do with it.
Rahm Emanuel is this guy's chief of staff, after all, and he plays politics like chess. SWFL has undergone a huge population burst in the past decade and a half, and it has always been curious to me that even with all the new blood, the area has remained solidly Republican. Probably because the Democratic Party infrastructure here is weak.
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The brand of Republicanism here is more fiscal than social, so bringing a message that is basically "I am going to save your wallets, America" might go a long way and shake up the local politics. One town hall meeting won't turn a red county blue, but it's certainly a start.