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Federal Eye: Obama’s Cabinet Heads: Players or Props?

As President Obama spent much of his week touting the benefits of the economic stimulus package, he seemed to use his cabinet secretaries and some well-timed events as props and backdrops in what one might call “Obama Stimulus Roadshow.” Some examples:

• During a ceremony announcing his intention to nominate Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the next HHS secretary, Obama just happens to mention that the recovery plan includes $155 million to support 126 new health centers nationwide. “This action will create thousands of new jobs, help provide health care to an estimated 750,000 low-income Americans across the country, and take another important step toward affordable, accessible health care for all.”

• The president and vice president joined Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at DOT headquarters to unveil a new Recovery.gov logo and announce $26.6 billion for highway construction.

• At an event marking the 160th anniversary of the Interior Department, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the department is “working tirelessly to finalize a list of projects so that we can rapidly and wisely invest the $3 billion coming through the Department of the Interior.” Getting in on the merriment, Obama acknowledged the department’s anniversary and then spent most of his speech touting recovery package funding for “long-delayed work to preserve our natural wonders” and to “rebuild and remodel schools on Indian reservations while providing $100 million in loans to spur job creation in the Indian economy.”

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