Update: Crandall's Report on Obama Transition
Editor’s note: The following report by American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President Derrick Crandall was sent jointly by RVDA President Mike Molino and RVIA President Richard Coon to their respective memberships in the two associations' ongoing efforts to provide news about the Obama administration and the transition process.
Less than a week after the Presidential election of 2008, the national mood seems clear: “Somebody get the economy fixed – quickly!” And that certainly seems to be the focus of President-elect Barack Obama.
That said, getting anything done in Washington is a challenge and we don’t know today whether the Congress will really meet in a lame duck session next week and address any significant issues. But there are some important observations to share.
First, the Obama campaign was marked by discipline and good strategic planning, and we expect the same during the transition process. This weekend, the transition leaders and newly announced White House Chief of Staff all spoke publicly from the same card: economy is No. 1, followed by energy and international relations, including Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran. After that – health care and education. And then – everything else.
What I think we can safely say is that the “everything else” can't cost much money or consume much political capital, and will be measured against the higher order priorities like the economy.
There are a few additional 40,000-foot observations that we’d like to share:
Message to the recreation community: time to make green a synonym with recreation community efforts.
As we prepare for an unusually busy pre-inaugural period, there are key messages we need to use and refine. The first is American jobs. The auto industry has achieved the support of the incoming administration by demonstrating the consequences of major loss of sales and market share by the Big Three. We need to do the same – gaining appreciation for the jobs involved in manufacturing RVs and boats and in the entire recreation industry.
We also need to develop a new call for using the nation’s “Great Outdoors” to benefit all Americans – and not primarily regarding food, fuel and fiber. We need to increase our advocacy of our public lands as critical to improvements in healthcare and our educational system, and to the economic sustainability of thousands of communities across the nation. And we expect a focus on close-to-home lands, and lands along the coasts, and less on Wilderness and remote public lands.
Stay tuned – and stay engaged. Regardless of your feelings about the outcome of the election, key decisions regarding the future of recreation and the recreation industry will be made over the next four years, and your input is vital.