It was 2007, and then-Sen. Barack Obama was on the campaign trail in South Carolina trying to drum up support for his presidential platform. During a stump speech he made an interesting promise: should union collective bargaining privileges be threatened (such as they are in Wisconsin), he would "walk on that picket line":
"And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."
According the White House, however, Obama has no plans to do that. Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked about the quote on Thursday and brushed aside the comment.
“I think what we have made pretty clear is that the president thinks, and we think, that, obviously a lot of states in the union are dealing with fiscal issues, big problems in their state budgets… they need to act responsibly, tighten their belts, live within their means just as we in Washington, the executive branch, congress, need to do with our federal situation,” said Carney.
The shoes, for now, won't be hitting the picket pavement.
(Watch Ed Schultz's take on the whole thing here. It might surprise you.)