Should Obama go to IMTS

By Lloyd Graff

I received the email announcement entitled “AMT and NAM Announce Historic Partnership.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or yawn because of my gut cynicism about Washington based organizations. But then I thought about the financial regulation bill, which is the current obsession of D.C. politicians. Apparently the massive compromise bill is being written by a collaboration of Washington lobbyists and staffers.

Most of the lobbyists are former staffers and many of the staffers are former lobbyists, so you need a scorecard to know the players.

American manufacturing certainly needs an all-star team to advocate and trade for the interests of metal cutters and benders around the country.

The disconnect between the alphabet groups on K Street in D.C. and the contract shops of Dayton and Duluth has become a gulf. But behind my cynicism I’m hoping that our Washington advocates actually know the difference between carbide and high speed steel, and can cut through the red tape and blather in the Capitol. That would be historic.

The post 4th of July work week is a good time to celebrate the value of passionate and precise political advocacy. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, but his pure prose was edited and rewritten before it made the final scroll.

The reporters and public relations flacks will Red Bull it through windy John Engler’s National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) speech at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), but Bonnie Gurney of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) says they will stream IMTS interviews with real people to members of Congress, which may actually penetrate the Capitol Hill haze.

Question: Should Obama attend IMTS?

The Capitol Building in Washington DC (Photo from US Southern Command)

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27 thoughts on “Should Obama go to IMTS

  1. Fran Brady

    I think it would be great if he would attend when students are there. We have busloads of students with their teachers who will be attending to show that manufacturing is not dead. Our students need to see the innovation that manufacturing can bring to our economic system.

  2. lalms

    I absolutely love your answers. I do not know how he is the President. I agree he knows about the hammer and sickle –

  3. Cutnmetal

    Have you forgot that he lived in Chicago? He could have went anytime in the past, when he wasn’t at his homeland of Kenya. It would only be a distraction to all the people who took time from their jobs to go to IMTS. Please keep the idiot away from the Show!

  4. Jim Goerges

    If he goes, I will not go to IMTS, I’ll consider selling my company, and will look seriously for a 2nd home out of the United States. Why have a guy who says he only met Blogovich once at a ball game, while there are many pictures of the two talking, laughing, enjoying each other’s company. Manufacturing has no room for people who say one thing and do another, like passing affordable health care….

  5. wayne

    It is correct that manufacturing like the average person has no voice. I was in manufacturing until about 6 years ago when and as the jobs dried up I went into real estate.
    Realtors have a very good lobby. They along with the builders are able to stop any tax they feel may affect them. Look at the first time home buyers credit. Do you think you are going to see a $8000.00 credit if you hire a machinist.

  6. Ron

    By all means the President should come along with Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and Ben Bernanke. They should realize the important contribution that manufacturing makes to our economy and how a small group of machine builders has been responsible for the great productivity increases that has made our country great.

  7. pjb

    With all due respect Fran, I suggest keeping Obama and like minded as far from young minds as possible. Or vice-versa. Now about bringing busloads of students to the show, I think that is a wonderful idea- provided the schools attending have industrial arts programs and students are actually encouraged to explore careers in manufacturing.

  8. Jeffrey Kopp


    Excellent question in a well written article. and a real conversation starter. In an Utopian world it would be extremely beneficial to have the President more involved in US manufacturing and the crucial role it plays in the US economy. Sadly you and I and most of the readers of this article have seen the tragedy that US manufacturing has become. I find it ever amusing to deal with Mexican plants that have closed or have surplus griping about how the Chinese, Koreans and Taiwanese have taken their jobs……where do they think those jobs came from? It begins with the consumer, each of us in the daily buying decisions we make impact our economy. That being said I would gladly tour President Obama around IMTS and share with him my thoughts and ideas of US manufacturing gathered in my 27 years in this field; My first idea would be if you want to employ 3 million Americans tomorrow stop trade with COMMUNIST China! Our forefathers in the Great Generation are turning over in their graves knowing that we are monetarily supporting one of our enemies! Would a 1950’s business owner buy from Russia? Not in a million years. We need a major buy American push in this country, that way our kids and dogs aren’t being poisoned by toothpaste, wallboards and dog food that have plastic resins in it etc etc, items by the way that don’t have to conform to our standards to be sold in this country, and provide a better way of life for our kids, which sadly at this point isn’t going to happen. Manufacturing is what made this country strong, we have lost the majority of foundries in this country, the American machine tool builders are almost all gone, names like Reed, Lucas, Blanchard, Bridgeport, Cincinnati have been replaced by Mazak and Mori Seiki etc. We have left ourselves economically vulnerable in so many areas of manufacturing; And as for the other comments regarding our Commander in Chief, the fact is he IS our President, while its your right to not like him or disagree with his policies, I find it objectionable in a war time, to degrade or attack him in anyway, it’s akin to aiding and enpowering the enemy, which in my book is treason. And just so you know I didn’t vote for him. Just my 4 cents, long story for a simple answer: Yes Obama should come to IMTS!

    Best regards,

    Jeffrey Kopp

  9. Ken

    NO! He would not know the difference between vertical machining and chrome muffler bearings.
    All he would do is find out more about manufacturing and use it against us.

  10. Mark Mannion

    I think he stinks to the high heavens as a president… I don’t think I would stop to listen for five minutes at the IMTS verse any other place. He hasn’t done a darn thing for this country so far as president in my opinion. Best regards, … Just my opinion only.

  11. faa


    “Treason”…….come on man watch the news!!!

    This guy has defrauded the American people his entire life from Senator Obama to Pres. Obama and if not show the American people the proper documents proving otherwise. It is he that has no respect for the American People! Besides all that hi tech equipment will only confuse him more not to mention IMTS is about selling and buying and all he’s interested in is the “free shlt”! So you see his own demeanor says he does not belong there. And even if he did consider going to the show it would be in his nature to likely vote “Present”. November he goes on a short leash until it’s over!

  12. C myers

    I see nothing in all these comments supporting another interference by Barack at this american manufacturing show. If he shows up, ask for ID and birth certificate. We had to scare the japs away with there cameras back in the sixties, so the next time they came, they brought quick sketch artists to steal our technology. Is hussein gonna bring a camera???

  13. Daniel Richter

    Sure…I don’t think it will do any good, but I don’t see why not other than the logistical nightmare it will cause. It wouldn’t hurt for him to see what’s behind the engine that drives this country. Maybe Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright would like to join him since he’ll be in Chicago. Without manufacturing we will not survive and the jobs that have been sent away and the runaway government spending are the reasons we have not had much of a recovery.

  14. Patricia

    Interesting input Jeff. I agree that if he had any interest in your 4 cents that would certainly be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately as far as I’ve seen, his speeches are cold and calculated to be “charismatic,” and he cares more about photo shoots than the actual underlying problems. And maybe I’m talking as someone who takes only a moderate interest in politics so I’m just not aware of the inner-Obama?? But probably not. I absolutely agree that we need to find a way to stop relying on trade with other countries but unfortunately we simply don’t manufacture ANYTHING here anymoreand it presents a very real opportunity to cause war-like problems with other countries – no, not just China. Simply stopping trade would be like the South’s seccession from the Union all over again and may leave us more vulnerable than before. Regarding “treason” … in a downsized situation you may be correct but when it’s an entire country… it’s not like you’re going to be able to pull the President of the United States aside to talk to him privately about your little differences in opinion to avoid risking the front of unanimity that the country should put on. People are not happy and to expect them to just shut up about it borders on absurd.

    I would love to see Obama at IMTS – if he agrees to be there as one of those students. No photo ops, no speeches, no bullshit – we’re all tired of it.

  15. GEORGE

    Please advise us which day Obama will be attending, so that our group can attend on alternate days. We would like to avoid the congestion and depression connected with any appearance of the annointed one.

  16. Scott

    Let’s have him come so that he can tell us how he’s going to make all the illegals apologize, learn english, become legal and then take our jobs!

    But seriously, while it would be nice to draw more attention to the show, at the end of the day he’ll be far more of a distraction than the value he would add. Not to mention the chaos of the security team he’d need.

    He’s done nothing for the industry, and really appears not to care about the industry. Why give him a photo op that says otherwise that he can point to and say “I support you”. Yeah right, just like he listens to the common man when he makes his policies.

  17. Charlie

    If he were to attend, it would be to attract media coverage and make political hay for himself and the administration. A complete distraction for the intentions of the show. Like another comment made “Not No But Hell No”

  18. Engineer

    Of course he should if it is at all possible. That’s not even a question.

    The idiots who are babbling above are the same type who complain manufacturing doesn’t get any visibility and good publicity with the general public, complain about the big bad government but will jump at the first chance for a shot machining parts for a Recovery Act-supported job, complain about foreign dumping but won’t give the administration credit for pursuing it more aggressively, and complain nobody helps US manufacturing but won’t say anything positive about someone who stopped the implosion of two of the US’ largest domestic manufacturers which would have further decimated large and small shops all over the country.

    Perhaps they’d like to return that brain surgeon W to the White House. That worked out well, didn’t it?


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