So what did we learn during President Barack Obama's visit to Elkhart, IN on Monday?
Here's one thing:
When it comes to taking questions, it appears Obama is fair and balanced. In Elkhart, he made that point clear at the start, informing his audience that those who would be called upon to ask questions had not been pre-screened.
You might recall Obama's predecessor was so disinclined to hear from critics that a 2005 Fox News piece looked into "how far President Bush will go to ensure friendly, sympathetic audiences at his town hall-style forums.
Obama explained his philosophy on the matter this way: "We want to take questions from everybody."
So when the Elkhart crowd booed mildly at a woman who asked about Cabinet nomination controversies, Obama cut them off.
"No, no," he said. "Look, I think it was a perfectly legitimate question."
It was. And it was a reminder that all politicians should expect and welcome questions from those who perhaps didn't vote for them.
As far as Fred Hansen, when there is any sign of trouble, he hides under a rock and makes himself unavailable to the general public and the TriMet front line employees. President Obama inherited a big mess. Much of TriMet's problems are a result of Fred Hansen's tenure as General Manager. I would be embarrassed to face the public too.
(This post is strictly the opinion of Ross Wrede and not the owner of this blog.)