Politics as usual?

The city of Birmingham was awarded a $1.8 million federal grant to continue a program offering grants for home improvements.

The additional money more than doubles the city’s capacity to provide grants of up to $5,000, said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Why would the HUD Secretary travel all the way to Alabama to hand out a measly $1.8 million grant?  Okay here it is:

Donovan made the announcement Monday downtown as he toured Birmingham and Tuscaloosa with U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham.

Davis, who was an early supporter of Obama,  is running for Governor.  As we know the Obama administration makes it a habit of rewarding his supporters with big events and big checks.  As the Politico noted;

..52 of the 66 events were in states that backed Obama. And taken together, the itineraries amount to a veritable map of Obama’s election-night victories — big-money states like California and New York, swing states like Ohio and Colorado that Obama turned blue and other solidly Democratic states Obama kept in his column.

The events were weighted to big cities that provided Obama some of his biggest election-night margins: Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Still, the stimulus bill has the potential to be a publicity bonanza for the Obama administration for years to come — through the 2010 midterm elections and beyond. As of mid-May, the administration had spent only 6 percent of the money Congress allotted for the program, and the White House says officials will continue to travel the country until all of the money is spent.

The events generally come in the form of roundtable discussions, upbeat speeches and sweeping announcements of billions of dollars for local communities. Some have all the hallmarks of campaign events, featuring banks of television cameras, flag-bedecked stages and local politicians working the crowds. Many generate the kind of admiring local media coverage that politicians crave — and largely escape the attention of national outlets.

I guess this begs the question, “How many more trips to Alabama will the administration be making before the 2010 election?”

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