Yea, Plouffe is in the house

I’m pretty sure that this is a first for a White House:

David Plouffe: What I’m Hearing from You Through Advise the Advisor

….Last week, I kicked off the new Advise the Advisor series on and asked for your ideas, comments and questions about how American innovation is affecting your communities and what we can do to remove obstacles to innovation.

Since then, thousands of you submitted comments and ideas over the course of the week. A team of people here at the White House reviewed every single submission.

We’ll post a more comprehensive analysis of your feedback in the coming days, but in the meantime, I want to highlight and respond to a couple of the common themes that we found in reading your feedback. 

Education is the Key to Innovation

Many of you told me that one of the biggest obstacles to innovation is lack of high-quality education.

Tony from Wisconsin said:

Education is the key to innovation and manufacturing superiority.  We must prepare all age groups…for the challenges this year and this decade.

Tony, the President couldn’t agree with you more.  In fact, President Obama spoke about this earlier this week at Parkville Middle School outside of Baltimore. In his FY2012 Budget proposal, the President has called for critical investments in our children’s future – like training 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next ten years, expanding the Race to the Top education reform initiative, and making college more affordable for America’s students and families by helping 9 million students through the Pell grant program and permanently extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit that provides up to $10,000 of tuition tax credits over four years.

We Need High-Speed Internet

Many of you, particularly those living in rural areas, told me that the lack of affordable access to high-speed Internet was slowing the pace of innovation in your community.

James from Maryland said:

The single greatest thing we can do is connect rural America to the rest of the world via high speed Internet to allow the flow of information, and new business structures to grow 60 and 70 years ago it was roads and bridges that were the vital infrastructure, today it is that connection to information, a simple dial up makes it impossible or at least extremely difficult to find out basic information.

James is right, access to high-speed Internet is critical in the 21st century.  Last week, President Obama launched the National Wireless Initiative – a plan to expand wireless coverage to 98% of Americans so that small businesses can sell their products anywhere in the world and individuals can access the information and ideas they need to compete in the 21st century economy. As part of this initiative, the Administration will invest in research and development of emerging wireless technologies and applications so our nation stays at the cutting edge of internet technology. And we will establish a national wireless network for our public safety agencies.

All told, by more effectively utilizing spectrum, the President’s wireless initiative will make these investments while also reduce the budget deficit by nearly $10 billion. Check out the White House White Board video with Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors to learn more about it.

Government Can Be an Obstacle to Innovation

Another common theme was that government itself can be an obstacle to innovation.  Many respondents felt that too much government regulation stifled businesses and innovators and that the patent process and intellectual property laws are broken.

Gene from California said:

The largest obstacle to continued innovation is not a secret; it is government intrusion into every aspect of American business. Startup companies are limited to those who have lots of capital to pay for legal advice. The average person cannot start a business on his own today. There are just too many regulations to get a loan. Too many hoops to get a license to operate that business and too much paper work to continue to employ workers.

In his State of the Union Address, the President called for a government-wide review of regulations to find and fix those regulations that place unnecessary burdens on businesses.  Indeed, in his Budget, the President put forward a set of common sense reforms to our patent system that will make it easier for innovators to move ideas to market and foster growth.

But there are some commonsense measures that are necessary to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of the American people. So while we work to eliminate those regulations that unnecessarily stand in the way of America’s entrepreneurs and job creators, we have to enforce safeguards like the Clean Air Act that protects the air we breathe, quality standards that ensure that our food is safe to eat, and guidelines that guarantee our water is safe to drink.

Enthusiasm for Clean Energy Innovation

Many of you told me that clean energy innovation and energy efficiency was already shaping your communities.

Julie from Iowa said:

I live in Iowa.  Recently I had to drive from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids.  It’s been about 5 years since I’ve made the trip.  While cruising down the interstate I was amazed at how the landscape had changed.  Windmills – hundreds of windmills.  It was almost majestic.  I also noted all the semi’s cruising down the highway with windmill parts.

President Obama is committed to helping to jumpstart a new clean energy economy here in the United State because the nation that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. The President’s FY2012 Budget proposal calls for America to produce 80% of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035 and increases investments in renewable energy research and development.  Meeting that target will position the United States as a global leader in developing and manufacturing cutting-edge clean energy technologies. It will ensure continued growth in the renewable energy sector, building on the progress made in recent years. And it will spur innovation and investment in our nation’s energy infrastructure, catalyzing economic growth and creating American jobs.

You can learn more about the investments we’re making in clean energy and energy efficiency here.

Obstacles to Innovation

I also heard a lot about some of the obstacles to innovation that many people see in their own communities, and that’s great feedback as we think about our policies to promote innovation going forward.

Ron from Illinois said:

Innovation does not affect my community because it doesn’t exist here.  The reason it does not exist is strictly because of the obstacles.  While decisions made in Washington may sound good or look good on paper, it has no bearing on my community.

Ron – that’s fair concern.  I know that especially during these tough economic times, it can be difficult to see progress.

The President’s plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world will bring innovation to parts of the country that can sometimes be left behind – whether that’s bringing high speed wireless to 98% of the country and bringing high speed rail 80% of Americans, or helping industries of the future like clean energy get a foothold in rural America.

We’re working to lay the groundwork for economic growth and innovation by rebuilding America’s infrastructure to ensure that America is the best place to do business in the world, reforming our education system to ensure that today’s students are well equipped for the jobs of tomorrow, and streamlining regulations to remove burdens on job creation. But government can’t do it alone.  We need businesses to step up and invest in America as well. In his speech at the Chamber of Commerce last week, the President spoke to business leaders about our shared responsibility to rebuild the American economy, calling on the business community to make investments in America that will pay dividends for both the American economy and their bottom lines.

I’ve passed along a portion of the ideas we received to Gene Sperling and his colleagues at the National Economic Council for further review and in the days and weeks ahead I hope to review even more of your feedback and incorporate the best ideas into my own advice to President Obama.  We’re also planning for the next round of Advise the Advisor — stay tuned for more on that.

David Plouffe is a Senior Advisor to the President


59 thoughts on “Yea, Plouffe is in the house

  1. This is absolutely wonderful and a refreshing concept from Plouffe. That man is so great.

    To actually ask Americans to share their thoughts and ideas about moving us forward in terms of innovation and education.

    Kind of gives me goose bumps.


  2. Please dont thin of me as an a-hole when I say this BWD, but this is the type of involvement that will get a person re-elected. Now, I know that is not the purpose behind him doing this, but it is great!! While some are out there bashing the healthy eating message of the first lady, lol, PBO is moving forward with this great new concept. Let’s go Dems!!! 2012

  3. Strange that jobs wasn’t in bigger print on that chart. I’d imagine that is still #1 in voters’ priorities.

    OT-But, The U.S. is going to sponsor an UN Resolution condemning the settlements being built by Israel:

    The U.S. has informed Arab governments that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” a move aimed at avoiding the prospect of having to veto a stronger Palestinian resolution calling the settlements illegal. The move aims to send a strong message to Israel to stop its continued construction of new building of settlements.

    This seems like a BFD to me.

  4. I love this from Plouffe.

    Like you QM, my first thoughts were this going to be invaluable for the re-election campaign.

  5. Hi, Askew:

    Re: “Jobs” not being as prominent, I think it’s because people assume (I think correctly), that “innovation” will generate jobs, and if we innovate with a 21st Century mindset, those jobs will last for a long, long time…

    Just my 2 cents 😉 Otherwise, great other points you made, especially the UN Statement.

  6. Posts from the Wisconsin front line:

    It’s getting ugly. The union says it’s war.

    The rumor is that the Republicans are starting to question how fast Walker’s trying to ram this through… support may not be there that they thought there was. They still maintain they have enough votes to pass it, as soon as tomorrow.

    For some faculty it will mean a 20% cut in pay!
    Custodians and clerical staff may lose as much as 29%!

    The pay cuts are bad enough, but taking away most of the union’s bargaining rights is beyond the pale.

    This is a just a bald-faced power grab. Even Republican leadership can’t explain why the Gov insisted on union-busting.

    Our students here are talking about a walk-out tomorrow.

  7. This is all a plan by the GOP to CRUSH the DEMOCRATIC SUPPORTING UNIONS. They figure they can crush these unions in the midwestern states where Obama needs the states to win. They have already crush the unions in the south and they know Unions own OHIO, MICHIGAN, IOWA, ILLINOIS, PENNSYLVANIA and WISCONSIN. All those states but 1 have a new GOP govenor, and their main goal is to make sure they get their people set up to take down the unions to prevent them from collecting money for grassroots efforts to GOTV for Obama or ANY democrats running for office. This has been their plans for years and now they have a once in lifetime opportunity to do what they see as way to permanently dismantle an powerful organization that can raise millions of dollars. If they do that the Citizens United case can attack Democrats and Obama galore and they won’t have the Firewall to fight back which is the unions.. Elections have consequences and the consequence of the democrats staying home has now come back to bit them in the ass

  8. I know of at least a couple of my patrons who will not be pleased. But I don’t like them much anyway, and strenuously avoid being drawn into lengthy conversations with them.

  9. Where are you? I’m at Eau Claire. Student Senate voted to walk out of classes at 10:00 tomorrow morning in solidarity with other UW campuses. Have asked faculty to join them. It’s going to get a lot nastier for “Cheesehead Pharaoh” Walker …

    That’s what a writer from the Washington Post called him!

  10. Question: Does the NLRB have any jurisdiction in this? I mean, I just don’t see how the state govt can just abrogate union bargaining rights that were agreed to and put into contracts by a vote of workers at will. I will admit that I know next to nothing about labor law.

  11. What I don’t get is where was the Wisconsin energy when Barrett and Feingold were losing the election? I just can’t see them winning this fight given how close it is to the actual election – elections have consequences. Walker has a mandate, he was put there by the majority of the Wisconsin voters.

    Now I understand some are saying he didn’t run on this – but politicians lie, they say whatever they need to to get elected. There is real danger in thinking there is little difference, or to sit out in protest or whatever it was.

    This isn’t Egypt toppling 30 years of autocratic rule, it’s not liking the policies of a man who was popularly elected a little over three months ago.

    Results were 52% for Walker to 46% for Barrett.

  12. I think it would be safe to say, that some of the people out there protesting voted for this guy. Buyers remorse of the worst kind!

  13. I guess you can say we (Dems) have taken a page out of the Republican playbook. Practically the moment PBO took the oath of office the Republicans (conservative talk radion, the tea party and the rest of the extreme right) started protesting. They never accepted his Presidency and never will.

    I think what is happening in WI is a good thing. Yes elections have consequences but sometimes the wrong person wins so when and if that happens it doesn’t mean we have to sit on our hands and wait him out. It means in a democracy that we can protest and sit-out and put pressure on our elected officials to consider the will of the people.

    It may in the end amount to nothing or it might just give him and the rest of the Republican Governors all over the country something to think about before they go crazy with policy.


  14. That my friends is democracy at work. Let’s hope he follows through and does indeed make those changes and at a minimum puts back the workers bargaining rights.

  15. This type of protest was needed on capitol hill when the repugs voted to repeal HCR. This type of protest is needed NOW in Washington. I really just don’t think people realize what they got them self into when they voted repugs in offices across America.

  16. Hopefully the unions can shake loose three votes. GOP has the 19-14 advantage, so three votes would be needed. I guess you gotta hope the 19 Republicans are not as nuts as Walker is. However I suspect crazy pressure is being put on them for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

  17. I’m so glad David Plouffe is back. His enthusiasm is contagious and exciting, and he’s a master at reaching out.

  18. If the GOP continue this war on womens rights, immigration rights, birther CRAP and Unions rights, Obama and the democrats won’t have to lift a finger in 2012 to get relected cause the voters across the country will be running to the polls to vote for them in droves.

  19. Listening to the head of AFSCME this morning, he thinks they can shift three Republican vote. Several of them are new and didn’t win by much. Wisconsin is a fairly strong union state and they better watch their steps or they won’t gt re-elected.

  20. Plouffe is a master of communication strategy. I have a hunch he is behind Obama having 2 pressers pretty close to each other, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see more. Somebody mentioned on anothr thread that he was giving 3 TV interviews today to local stations, Milwaukee being one. Probably another Plouffe idea. Fortunately, with the President, you have the perfect communicator to go with a great communication strategy.

  21. From your lips to the Universe’s ear! But, yes, I think the GOP is overplaying its hand disastrously. We have to make them pay.

  22. Bingo:
    There is real danger in thinking there is little difference, or to sit out in protest or whatever it was.

    So well said.

  23. They’re seeing it now with the budget negotiations IMO. There’s so much of an effort to deflect everything onto President Obama, but the reality is that the GOP won an enormous amount of influence over the federal budget, and the ugliness of the budget which emerges, despite best efforts to minimize the pain, will reflect that.

    There is a big difference between the parties.

  24. This is indeed a great idea of Plouffe’s. I remember in doing research on FDR’s administration the hundreds and hundreds of letters from ordinary citizens suffering from the Great Depression, and they were all filed and there for historians to read. Heartbreaking as they were to read, they showed also the resilience of the American people during the worst years of United States people.

    So also with this initiative of Plouffe’s. The concerns of the citizens are there in black and white, the answers will be there, too. And soon, the outcomes. This is real history, not something made up by people dressed up in what they assume are eighteenth century costumes.

    I’ve mentioned elsewhere two studies (one several years ago) that the intelligence of the average Republican is lower than the intelligence of the average Democrat. Why could we be surprised then that the tea partiers were hatched out in the last couple of years like feathered monstrosities?

    Moreover, I’m convinced by now that reading comprehension is nonexistent among Republicans. If they read at all. And that therefore they never know what the SamHill is going on.

  25. Good point. I think the jobs issue probably fell under a lot of the other big words especially “innovation”.

  26. Yup – there are always some union members – as much as 40% for the private sector unions – who like to vote Republican because they are “socially” or “culturally” conservative. Apparently they persuade themselves that somehow their economic interests will not be adversely affected by aligning themselves on the side of naked capitalism in all its might . . .

  27. Feingold was a tool who ran an awful campaign. He took his re-election for granted until the end. Had moronic votes against Democratic legislation and spent a lot of time pissing of loyal Democrats because he was trashing Obama and held that stupid “czar” investigation.

    Barrett on the other hand, ran a great campaign and I was surprised that he lost.

  28. Egypt has inspired Americans to do what we already knew how to do…Demand democray and not this attempt by an elected official to act like a dictator.

  29. People are already complaining that Obama wasn’t strong enough on defending unions in his WI interview. He called the WI governor’s bill an “assault on unions”. Apparently that wasn’t strong enough for some. Did anyone see the interview?

  30. No but Ed Schultz is trying to make it about him. they did this to themselves. I just emailed ed telling him that his assertion are a bunch of lies and that he should be going after the tea party who tricked wisconsin into voting for him.

  31. Wisconsin elected him. Do you think he gives a damn what Obama would say? He’s probably get off on that. Leave it to Wisconsin and see if three votes can be flipped from the state senate. If it becomes a national issue it will galvanize the Republicans involved.

  32. This has no business being released – none. How does this hep the cause when all the despots can point to this and say “See, America is behind it”.

    NYT can’t help themselves I guess.

  33. Exactly. As also said below, David Plouffe is engaged with the people, and there’s no better team than President Obama and David Plouffe to engage the American people.

    That’s right — take it right to the people. We have to decide which century we want to live in — the 18th or the 21st.

  34. Ed Shultz is seemingly unable to analyze and engage in deep thinking or he is still a closet republican.

    He was a MAIN critic of HCR because of the “public option” not being included. For this reason, on his radio shows he encouraged people not to vote in 2010; people listened and NOW he is complaining because union workers are being thrown under the bus.

    Unbelievable!! Hey Ed, you did not send a message to President Obama by engaging in voter suppression, you hurt the people that you seemingly care about the most (union workers).

  35. Ed Schultz, republican in dem clothing, really ticked me off. Everything is PBO’s fault. How conveniently Ed forgets he was the one leading the faux progressive bashing of the President at every turn. He was the one telling people not to vote in November. Now he wants to blame this on the President?

    The President went to Wisconsin and campaigned his heart out for that traitor Feingold and the rest of the dems. He told the people to get off their butts and vote or face the consequences.

    Well, they’re having to face the consequences and they’re going to have to fix the mess they got themselves in. They’re going to have to recall this joker.

    I will bet you most of these folks voted republican.

    I have absolutely had it with phony Schultz trying to lay everything at the feet of the President. I’m glad his stupid show got bumped and I hope he loses so many viewers, he gets shut down.

    And while I’m ranting, what the heck is up with Lawrence O’Donnell? He gave some much air time to that incompetent, big bully, Christie, I thought I was watching Fox.

    Why wasn’t he hammering the republicans on their cuts resulting in a million jobs being lost? Or, the piss poor job they are doing of governing in the house?

    Thank God for this site and the other truly pro-Obama sites.

  36. Joan – I’m sure you are right and I know you are dead serious, and I appreciate it, but your last line made me laugh out loud! Thanks for your thoughts (and the chuckle).

  37. I had to get up and not allow Ed to insult my intelligence with his unfounded comments toward the President. Ed and a lot of others DO NOT listen to the President of the United States. They DO NOT read excellent information, nor do they dig for good information. He seems to always be in a mode of credulity. It works the nerves, for sure. Thus he comes across as agitated, and ugly on his program. I am not giving him my time, when I hear him bashing of the President. It is so easy for Ed and others to do this because they do not do their homework in a manner that will inform the people to think and reason with intelligence to create a sound and positive conversation concerning our problems. I am so elated that we have a sound, calm, and intelligent President. Most of all, I am grateful for the comments and information on this site. Thank you all so very much!!!

  38. From reading the article, I’m not sure the actual secret report was released. (Maybe I missed something.) Looks as though anonymous “senior officials” or “administration sources” spoke about the report … Could it be that the administration was trying to get the word out that they have been closely watching the Middle East, for many months?

    At least, I hope that was the case – rather than a leak.

  39. I stopped listening to ed when he was on the radio blustering about then Senator Obama vs hillary. I have no patience for willfully ignorant people, if they persist in spreading lies and disinformation, I will persist in not giving them any time in my day and I will persist in supporting President Obama. When will we have someone speak up every day and continually in support of the president, not on occasion, not when something is so outlandish they have no choice but to speak but as constantly as his bashers. I listen to Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes and thom hartmann is between them and I have to always turn him off with his progressive purity, snide and snarky remarks. He will downplay most actions the president takes, allow his guests to say the most outrageous things without calling them out most times and then sometimes tell his listeners that they should have the president’s back when even he doesn’t. The professional left are worse than teathugs because they know what they say affects swing voters and those looking for information from the “liberal or democratic” side and they do those of us trying to get positive information out a dis-service and that is unforgivable. ed, thomm, arianna, cenk, the orange site, hamsher, all our traitors to me. They are not original in their bashing and most of it, in most cases, is not personal, it’s just a cynical, devious, lying way to make money and garner attention and again, that’s unforgivable. I’m sick and tired of these people being portrayed as speaking for me. I support President Obama without qualifiers, where’s my spokesperson in the media?

  40. I watched Eddie Munster for all of 4 secs last nite. How soon they forget “that Elections Matter”, it really pisses me off! Now they’re screaming for the President to do something, What have these progressives Do for the Country lately except whine that the President hasn’t done exactly what they want. The remind of that “spoiled child”, many of us recognize from childhood. What is that saying when I was a child I spoke like child………….

  41. “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

    I Cor. xiii. 11

    Could be modified to read, “when I became a man, I just kept right on doing the same things. Why not?”

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