President Barack Obama praised Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in an endorsement video released Thursday that focuses on her ability to sign legislation that Obama has struggled to get through Congress.
“It’s fashionable to complain about political gridlock in America,” Obama says in the video. “But when you look, there are good things happening in America. That’s especially true in Oregon where my friend Kate Brown is getting things done.”
The president praises Brown for signing legislation that raises the minimum wage, moves Oregon toward renewable energy and boosts funding for career and technical energy.
Obama has not had a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress since his first two years in office. In contrast, Oregon is one of just seven states where Democrats hold both the governorship and both legislative chambers.
As a result, Brown has been able to work closely with Democratic legislative leaders on a series of bills that Republicans have been unable to block.
Congressional Republicans have resisted efforts to raise the minimum wage at the federal level. And Obama has also been unable to win passage of legislation aimed at fighting climate change.
The Obama administration has made progress on the first bill in a decade reauthorizing the main federal law dealing with career and technical education. A bipartisan measure passed the House in September and appears to have good prospects in the Senate.
The Brown campaign will feature the Obama message in its online advertising and social media, according to spokesman Chris Pair. He said that the president has done radio spots and recorded phone calls for other gubernatorial candidates but that this is the only video he has done so far.
He said that Brown and Obama have gotten to know each other well since she took office in early 2015 following the resignation of her predecessor, John Kitzhaber.
In the video, Obama tells Oregon voters that when they get their ballot in the mail, “don’t set it aside with the bills or bury it under a stack of menus.”