The Campaign Spot

The President, a One-Man Mobile Negative Enterprise Zone

I said on Twitter, “Obama’s in a Edison, N.J. sub shop to show how he helps small businesses today. For security, all customer access will be shut down.”

I exaggerate, but only slightly:

Kari DeFalco thinks Wednesday will be an exciting day on Plainfield Avenue when the nation’s commander-in-chief arrives at a nearby sub shop.

But her business, she said, will likely not be a beneficiary of President Barack Obama’s visit.

“I think it’s wonderful (that he’s coming); it’s extremely exciting,” DeFalco said Tuesday inside DeFalco’s Automobile Service Center, which she owns with her husband Bill. “But the problem is what it does to the businesses around here. It really makes it difficult.”

Obama is slated to participate in a roundtable discussion inside Tastee Sub Shop to discuss the national economy and efforts to boost small businesses.

DeFalco voiced a concern shared by other business operators: With their part of Plainfield Avenue closed off, business will likely take a temporarily hit.

“They’re going to prohibit us from being able to do any kind of business in and out with the trucking,” DeFalco said.

As of midday Tuesday, some of Tastee Sub Shop’s neighbors said they hadn’t yet been told by authorities which roads would be closed and when.

Look, I realize the security of the president is a paramount concern; the last thing anybody wants is some nut getting near the commander-in-chief. But the necessary security apparatus and perimeter has now grown so large and controlling that the president is a mobile one-man negative enterprise zone, bringing all economic activity within a certain radius to a halt wherever he goes. I don’t pretend to have a good solution; but it’s particularly ironic that when the president does an event about helping small businesses, he ends up temporarily hindering local small businesses.

Besides, I’ll bet Chris Christie has kept a lot of New Jersey sub shops in business all by himself.

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