Barack Obama’s vision as president is shaped by the fact that he knows what “it’s like to take a subway or a bus just to find a fresh piece of fruit in a grocery store,” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said last week.
Unfortunately, his vision as president — in addition to whatever species of meat he wolfed down along with that fruit — is shaped by the fact that he’s not very sympathetic to those who take the subway or a bus to get to work, as we noted in 2010:
“I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me,” Barack Obama told the AP in the early 1990s, as Joel Kotkin reminds us, in this passage highlighted by Instapundit:
Many of the administration’s most high-profile initiatives have tended to reflect the views of urban interests – roughly 20 percent of the population – rather than suburban ones.
When the president visits suburban backyards, it sometimes seems like a visit from a “president from another planet.” After all, as a young man, Obama told The Associated Press: “I’m not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me.”
Add that to Obama’s previous utterances regarding other aspects of America that induced in him a sense of ennui as a young man. In 2008, Jim Geraghty spotted this telling passage in a book by David Mendell titled Obama: From Promise to Power:
“[Obama] always talked about the New Rochelle train, the trains that took commuters to and from New York City, and he didn’t want to be on one of those trains every day,” said Jerry Kellman, the community organizer who enticed Obama to Chicago from his Manhattan office job. “The image of a life, not a dynamic life, of going through the motions… that was scary to him.”
And then there was this classic bit by Michelle Obama on the campaign trail:
“We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”
Flash-forward two years, as Doug Powers runs down what is likely an incomplete list of the numerous industries that Obama, once in power, punitively demonized with either harsh rhetoric, harsh legislation, or both, and then asks:
Only one question remains — what area of the private sector — aside from the slip-and-fall attorneys — isn’t hated and vilified by the Obama Democrats?
CNS goes on to note:
Donovan seemed to be suggesting that the president had once lived in what First Lady Michelle Obama now refers to as a “food desert”–a place without a nearby supermarket. The First Lady has launched an initiative to eliminate these places.
But if, as this recent report states, that Detroit’s “food desert” (it’s difficult to even type such a ridiculous phrase) is a myth (“Grocery Stores Do Exist,” in Detroit, it trumpets in a subhead, “We have 115!”), then presumably wherever Obama was living during the period imagined by HUD’s Donovan did as well. And even the New York Times noted this week, “Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity.”
Unless it was Kansas City, of course.
Related: Thomas Sowell on “Race and Economics.”
(Via Hot Air; its readers are having lots of fun debunking Donovan in the comments.)
Update: At Big Government, “Obama Admin Politicizes Obesity with ‘Food Deserts.’”
Actually, I think the shorter list — maybe the shortest list — would be to track down that this administration hasn’t politicized.