Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mr. Reed goes to Washington — again

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Chillin with the Prez
  • Chillin' with the Prez
If y'all still had any doubt that our mayor has become a national political figure, you may be interested to know that, this morning, he was (maybe still is) at the White House meeting with President Obama and VP Biden. Reed is one of two elected officials — the other is Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat (duh) who just started his third term — invited to participate in a roundtable discussion with academics, labor leaders, business leaders, and other senior administration officials on the subject of “Insourcing American Jobs.”

This is from a real-time article that just went up on an L.A Times blog:

The White House is trying to promote more "in-sourcing" of jobs by U.S. companies after decades of outsourcing to foreign countries. In conjunction with a forum Wednesday in Washington on ways to boost domestic investment, the Obama administration announced steps to encourage more factory construction in the U.S. and more investment here by foreign companies.

“Today I am meeting with companies choosing to invest in the one country with the most productive workers, best universities, and most creative and innovative entrepreneurs in the world: the United States of America," Obama said in prepared remarks to executives at the forum. "And I’m calling on those businesses that haven’t brought jobs back to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work.”

In addition to that forum, Reed told CL yesterday that he would be talking to the president himself about the $600 million or so that the state needs to deepen the Savannah port. All you Libertarians out there can turn up your noses at manna from Uncle Sam, but the Reed-Deal tag-team action to get this federal wampum has been impressive to watch. Here's a gubernatorial sound bite from last night's State of the State address:

We are continuing to work towards the completion of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project — a project that is imperative to our state’s competitiveness when the bigger ships start traversing an enlarged Panama Canal in 2014.

I can't meaningfully predict whether we'll get that money, but it would certainly make Atlanta a more exciting place over the next several years if we did, seeing as it would transform the city into even more of a freight and logistics hub than it is now.

But consider that Obama has, according to what I'm hearing, already tapped Reed for a major public role in his re-election campaign this year. I don't how much leverage that gives the mayor to wrangle the port-deepening money, but it sure can't hurt.

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