Better for your campaign – better for children’s education, too

President Obama back in Chicago (Chicago Tribune photo)

It was great having President Obama back home. Hearing all the helicopters overhead and seeing the police and Secret Service swarming up and down the block gives me a comfy feeling – Barack’s back in the hood.

When he was elected, he said he’d be back every 6 or 8 weeks, but that didn’t happen, and he seems to understand the problems that has caused. Here’s how he reflected on that yesterday, according to the Chicago Tribune story:

Obama noted that he was the first president in modern history to move his reelection campaign headquarters out of Washington, basing it in Chicago.

“I decided I don’t want our campaign to be just hearing all the pundits and powerbrokers. I want our campaign to be here because you guys are the ones who got me started,” Obama said.

“One of the things that I’ve seen again and again over the last couple of years is the conversation in Washington is very different from the conversation around kitchen tables and office coolers. And I wanted to make sure our campaign was rooted in your hopes and rooted in your dreams. I wanted to make sure we’re putting the campaign in your hands,” he said.

OK. Now let’s replace “campaign” with “your children’s education” — and listen to how nice it sounds! “I decided I don’t want your children’s education to be just hearing all the pundits and powerbrokers… I wanted to make sure your children’s education was rooted in your hopes and rooted in your dreams. I wanted to make sure we’re putting your chldren’s education in your hands.”

Come back to Chicago, Mr. President, and listen to the people around the kitchen tables and in the classrooms and on the playgrounds. We’re talking about our hopes and dreams for our children, which have little to do with “better tests” and getting rid of “bad” teachers and making us shop around for a school. No, those are the hopes and dreams of the hedge funders who are investing in growing charter school enterprises and the union busters who don’t want working people to have any power at all. You know, those power brokers and pundits you hear so much from in Washington.

Yes, you do need to come back to Chicago and listen to us. We’d love to give you another chance. But you have to show us that you’re listening this time.

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.