Obama decided to visit some FDNY firefighters over the past few days after the killing of Osama.

 

My question to you all is, and it's relatively opinionated as facts cannot truly be proven: Do you think that the primary reason that Obama visited the FDNY is because he truly cares for our emergency personnel, or because he's looking for a boost in his numbers?

 

Obama, not to my recollection, hasn't visited a PD/FD/EMS Station prior, only after the death of Osama.

 

Was it a publicity stunt?

 

My opinion: I am not heavily into politics, but I am intelligent enough to understand political maneuvers such as this. I believe, whole-heartedly, that it was a publicity stunt. If Obama truly cared, he would have been visiting fire houses and police stations long ago, not just in the past week.

 

What do you all think of this?

 

And please, keep it relatively friendly.

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T.O. Your comments are what are missing from American political discourse today. The death of civility and deterioration of of debate into random poo-flinging has really hurt America.

I long for the days I can have a political discussion that does not devolve into charges of socalism and birth certificates.
Bill - What colour is the sky in your world?
Vic

You don't what - have black friends, or get the point?
....or charges of racism.
just a photo op...

Station’s Only Black Firefighter, Off Duty, Is Not Allowed at Obama’s VisitBy AL BAKER
The lone black firefighter attached to the Midtown firehouse visited by President Obama on Thursday was not allowed to be there during the event because he was not officially on duty, a decision that drew criticism from the Vulcan Society, an organization of black firefighters.

“Secret Service only wanted the people that were working that tour there, and it is unfortunate that some provisions could not be made for the only black firefighter in the firehouse to be there also,” said Michael Marshall, a fire lieutenant in the department and the first vice president of the Vulcan Society.

Besides the black firefighter, Patrice G. McLeod, more than 30 other firefighters who were off duty on Thursday also did not receive permission to attend, said Francis X. Gribbon, the New York Fire Department’s chief spokesman. The department made exceptions in bringing in two of its best chefs to cook for the president, but those people were cleared in advance.

There is a scarcity of minorities in the Fire Department, an issue that has led to a successful federal lawsuit challenging its testing procedures. Black firefighters account for about 340 of the entire force of roughly 11,000 firefighters, Lieutenant Marshall said.

Of the 50 or so Fire Department employees assigned to the West 48th Street barracks of Engine Company 54, Ladder Company 4, Firefighter McLeod, 36, is the only black firefighter.

The Secret Service visited the firehouse on Tuesday, receiving a list of those who would be on duty on Thursday — and their Social Security numbers and their dates of birth. Fire commanders distributed a letter to its staff outlining the security measures.

In the end, 17 members were properly vetted. Even though Firefighter McLeod knew he was not on the approved list, he decided to show up anyway.

“I said to myself, ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,’ so I went down on my own this morning,” he said, emphasizing that he appreciates and respects the people he works with.

Firefighter McLeod, as well as others with higher rankings in the department, were not permitted to stay.

He said he had met Mr. Obama twice before when he was assigned to be on the department’s standby team for presidential visits. “This is the only black president this nation has had in its history, and if I have two million opportunities to meet him, I will take every one,” he said. “Especially if he is coming to my firehouse.”
He is black and just that will make 20% of white Americans not vote for him it really is terrible that it comes down to that but its true and I hate it. I wish people could look at him as a president and not a black president but I dont see that happening.
OK, I'll put it another way...where did Obama and the Democrats stand on the "Healthcare for 9/11 workers" bill (properly known as "H.R.847 - James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010")? This was the bill to provide for health care and treatment for emergency workers, first responders, and the recovery teams that attended the response and recovery at Ground Zero.

Guess which party filibustered this? I'll give you a hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zadroga_Bill#James_Zadroga_Act

Now, if you would like to talk about symbolic acts like laying wreaths, visiting fire houses or wounded soldiers, kissing babies, etc. that's fine. I agree it's a waste of time, but that's how you win elections; the dog and pony show is part of democracy.

Instead, let's look at the actual record of what the parties do that effects emergency workers. Let's look at things like grants to states so they don't need to lay off firefighters, the management and funding of agencies like FEMA, etc, etc, etc.
Whilst I agree that a lot of the racism charges are specious, you have to admit that there is a fair bit of it out there. I mean, look at this:

WOW What BS Leave politics OUT of the Fire Service

Do you ask the political affiliation of ANYONE you serve ???

Of course we have our personal feelings , but why vent them here??

My small FD (many years ago) had a STRICT policy of NOT responding or

commenting on any political issue. We protect ALL the public !
FWIW I can understand this. I will bet the department has a standing policy about "only on duty personell can attend when a dignitary is in the station." Otherwise they'd have half of the department turning up!

FF McLeod was not cleared by the SS, so he could not attend. No one would care if this were a white guy!
This "black" fire fighter was off duty, none of the other fire fighters that were off duty were permitted to attend... What's the problem? Why are they making a big deal over it? Is he not just another fire fighter? I thought the fire service was trying to get away from this and encourage equality.

Male, female, black, white, yellow, who cares? Aren't we fire fighters? Or does our gender and skin colour still define us first? Good thing he wasn't black and FEMALE! Imagine the uproar...

He went off and did his own thing because "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity" but then he says he's met your President twice before... I'm confused...
Thank God the Secret Service showed President Obama where the World Trade Center was in New York. How long is he in office for now?....he was only there for the PHOTO OP.

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