President Obama gave a speech this week touting weatherization as a “sexy” way to save money and make the world a greener place. His audience included Senators, mayors, and labor leaders, and he cracked jokes in between serious discussion of insulation, job creation, and clean energy.
All well and good, right?
But the backdrop for Obama’s “sexy” discussion? Home Depot. Yes, THAT Home Depot, the big-box home goods store famous for its union-busting bosses. Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus once referred to the Employee Free Choice Act, the bill that would make it easier for employees to unionize, as “the demise of civilization.” Robert Nardelli, former CEO of Home Depot, was a Pioneer fundraiser for George W. Bush.
Just a few days before jetting to Copenhagen, Obama couldn’t find a small business to tout while pushing his green agenda? Home Depot wasn’t just his backdrop, after all—he gave them several shout-outs, saying he was “with folks who play a vital role in helping America’s families build strong homes.”
Imagine, this is the same president who spoke out on behalf of Republic Windows and Doors employees whose occupation of the factory kept the place open. How about holidng the presser there? He could have praised their energy-efficient windows and doors — and their union while he was about it.
Obama sent a message by supporting the union workers’ fight a year ago, and as recently as April, Vice-President Joe Biden made a speech with the Serious Materials factory as a backdrop. I can’t help but think that Obama was also sending a message by choosing Home Depot this time.
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.