Senate Democrats launched a “rural outreach” effort Wednesday afternoon. And, yes, it comes with a website, which is here (logo above). There are photos of each Democratic senator and links to news releases. Organizers intend to beef up the site with profiles of rural businesses and people.
Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas held a press conference (by phone), saying her colleagues realized that there had been an explosion of job losses in rural America in December. She talked through a list of issues — funding economic development programs; promoting renewable energy projects; finding ways to attract teachers to rural schools — that are on the senators’ rural agenda.
Lincoln was asked about a national rural forum that would be convened by the President. (Obama promised a rural forum as a candidate but has since backed away from his promise, according to National Public Radio.) “I hope so,” Lincoln said of the prospect for a presidential rural forum. “I think he (Obama) has great outreach to rural America…From our standpoint, we’re going to encourage the President to work toward that end.”