Feb. 22, 2008
By Ken Krayeske • 11:30 AM EST
Congressman John Larson preps the crowd for the arrival of Barack Obama at the Hartford Civic Center on Monday, February 4, 2008, before Super Tuesday.
Congressman John Larson took a few minutes at the fundraiser for Jim Himes last night to answer a bunch of my questions, some of which I will turn into my column for next week. But he had some interesting thoughts about Obama and his Congressional priorities for the coming session.
Since I have a snow day and am trying to do some fun stuff that I want to do rather than law school homework, I figured I'd share. Larson may have iterated this sentiment elsewhere, but I thought that his words were worth repeating:
"I was in Europe talking to members of Parliament, in England. Obama intrigued them. They wanted to know if it could be that America could seize the possibility only America has? They told me that people in the United States don’t see how the rest of the world looks at America," Larson said.
"When a boy from Egypt or a child from Iran wakes up and sees that the president of the United States looks like them, they understand that democracy can work," Larson continued. "It would be the biggest thing for democracy building since the Marshall Plan. And I can see at home, in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, even in my home town of East Hartford, how a young African-American could wake up and see President Obama and say, 'Yes, it can happen here in America.'"
As for making things happen in this coming session of Congress, Larson stated that his top priorities were jobs and the economy, pressuring President Bush with respect to Iraq and foreign policy, and energy.
"There is a confluence of issues that meet in globalization, climate change and foreign affairs," Larson said. "This is driving energy policy and the economy."
Dealing effectively with energy efficiency and independence can help job creation, and he wants to talk long-term about the infrastructure.
Apparently, spending $250 million a day on a foreign invasion of a soverign nation has had serious repercussions on our ability to maintain our infrastructure. Go figure. It takes a Congressman to tell you, sometimes.