Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

Obama Likes the Ladies

Presidents have to make a lot of choices. And today, at least, President Barack Obama is choosing the ladies over the kids.

Obama plans to spend this afternoon wooing deep-pocketed women at a fundraiser put on by the Women’s Leadership Forum — even if that means snubbing an invitation to attend a science and technology festival filled with children that is being held today in the same building.

Down the hall from the Women for Obama fundraiser, 15,000 underprivileged children and children from military families will be getting their education on as part of a science and engineering festival sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the Washington lobby shop K&L Gates.

Instead of the commander in chief, the kids will have to settle for Bill Nye the Science Guy, who is super-duper rad in his own right. Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is scheduled to make the trek from one side of the Washington Convention Center to the other.

More than 1,000 people, including a dozen Nobel Laureates, signed a letter asking the president and the first lady to make an appearance at the science fair.

Larry Bock, an entrepreneur who founded the USA Science and Engineering Festival and put $250,000 of his own money behind it, was not thrilled.

“We were excited to give [the president] an opportunity to talk briefly with underprivileged children and the children of veterans about the importance of science and engineering, without having to disrupt his schedule since he’ll be in the convention center anyway,” Bock tells HOH. “I am sorry that it didn’t work out.”

For their part, Texas Reps. Ralph Hall (R) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, also assumed the White House would be totally into this. They reached out to first lady Michelle Obama.

“Your support in attending the 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival Sneak Peek would be a tremendously powerful way of underscoring the true importance of STEM education as a national priority and your long-standing commitment to supporting military families,” the Members said in their letter.

The response? Crickets, apparently.

We’re still waiting for the Obamas to tell us their side of the story.

 

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