Mayor Francis Slay was asked to welcome President Barack Obama to St. Louis and to introduce the President at a reception. Here are the Mayor’s prepared remarks for the latter event:
In the past, when things have arrived in this city from Chicago (deep dish pizzas, baseball Cubs, and hockey Blackhawks) we have reacted with a sustained and heartfelt chorus of boos. Tonight, though, I would like to start off by asking you to do something that goes against the very grain of being from St. Louis. Please join me in making a large amount of St. Louis noise to welcome a Chicago export that we do love: the President of the United States, Chicago's Barack Obama. And when Carlos Zambrano gets here on August 13th, let's remember to give him and his teammates the opposite kind of welcome.
Ladies and gentlemen, the president who will speak to us tonight inherited two wars and a recession that has wiped out millions of jobs. He still faces a Congress deeply fractured by partisan bickering.
He has led us through these trials, and the country through this world, with hope and with a clear way forward.
As we approach the midterm of his first term, we now know that we elected a president of compassion, of pragmatism, and of hope. And it is very clear that we St. Louisans (and Chicagoans, Bostonians, Philadelphians, and Detroiters) elected a president who understands importan things about raising families in cities.
President Obama has argued forcefully that spending money to cover the bad practices of big corporations and big banks, while turning a blind eye to American families, is wrong. And his beliefs have translated into new, substantial federal investment to create jobs in small businesses along Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard; useful job training for workers at the manufacturers on S. Broadway; better education at Sumner and Vashon; more police officers for S. Grand, more investment in life science research at SLU and Wash U; and affordable, safe and reliable transportation throughout the region to get people to their jobs. And earlier today, President Obama delivered a powerful message about health care: We want health care reform now.
Claire McCaskill, you were the second person to tell me that Barack Obama would be a president for America's cities. Thank you for bringing him back, so that he can hear me say "Claire McCaskill was right!