Sometimes, the political spin becomes the news even as much as the event itself. And thus it is with the White House announcement that President Barack Obama will declare a Virginia fort a national monument — and proclaim that the action is a jobs creator.
, which hardly can be accused of pushing a partisan agenda, reports on the White House’s spin today: “In times of high unemployment, even the designation of a national monument can become a jobs program.
“And that's how the White House is characterizing President Obama's proclamation today declaring Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., a national monument under the U.S. Antiquities Act,” USA Today observes.
Proclaims the White House: "Today's announcement is part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy," adding that the new monument "will help create nearly 3,000 jobs in Virginia."
Fort Monroe, which once was among the nation's largest Army posts, “played a key role in the history of slavery — receiving slaves back in the 17th Century, and sheltering escaped slaves in the Civil War,” according to USA Today.
"Fort Monroe has played a part in some of the darkest and some of the most heroic moments in American history," Obama says in a statement from the White House. "But today isn't just about preserving a national landmark — it's about helping to create jobs and grow the local economy."
As the president has done several times in recent weeks, he said he is using an executive order for the monument because congressional Republicans are blocking his $447 billion jobs act.
"Steps like these won't replace the bold action we need from Congress to get our economy moving and strengthen middle-class families, but they will make a difference," Obama's statement says.
The monumental spin from the White House also includes these statements:
“ ‘With the strong support of the people of Virginia, from the congressional delegation to Governor (Bob) McDonnell to Mayor Ward and the citizens of Hampton, President Obama has ensured that this historic fort, a symbol of the long struggle for freedom for African Americans, will be preserved as a national park for generations to come,’ Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.
“First exercised by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to designate Devil's Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument, the Antiquities Act has been used by 14 presidents since 1906 to protect some of the most unique natural and historic features in America, such as the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Today marks the first time President Obama has used this authority under the Antiquities Act.
“According to an economic analysis commissioned by the Fort Monroe Authority in 2009, the implementation of the Fort Monroe Reuse Plan - the centerpiece of which envisions the preservation of the majority of buildings located within the 570-acre National Historic Landmark District as well as significant landscapes and viewsheds — will help create nearly 3,000 jobs in Virginia.”
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