When he was running for president, Barack Obama said, “If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States.”
That was in 2007. By 2011 there was some liberal consternation over the fact that Obama—who did actually end up president—didn’t join the protests in Wisconsin, where governor Scott Walker had proposed legislation that would enact the exact hypothetical Obama had posed four years earlier. The president’s spokesperson issued an explanation: “I think that the president has different means of speaking out on issues and being heard . . . And, clearly, he did. He made his viewpoints known on the situation in Wisconsin, the need for people to come together.”
Yesterday the people came together to retain Walker, who was up for recall, as governor. His challenger was Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett; Obama, for his part, released an 11th-hour video on the importance of voting, which mentioned Barrett. Obama also tweeted his support on Monday.