Considering Obama’s Clueless Response on Out of Work US Engineer

Executive Summary

  • In a debate over the effect of H1-B visas on domestic US engineer unemployment, Obama showed himself either entirely dishonest or lacking any critical thinking skills.
  • This shows that in his eight years, Obama had zero appreciation for labor issues.


These quotations describe an interaction between Jennifer Wedel, the husband of an out of work electrical engineer and then-President Obama.

Jennifer Wedel: “Hi, Mr President. My husband has an engineering degree with over ten years of experience, and he was laid off three years (ago) and has yet to find a permanent job in his feild. My question to you is why does the government continue to issue and extend H1-B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?”

Obama, clearly flummoxed, immediately started to filibuster.

Obama: Well, Jennifer, the president began I don’t know your husband’s specialty, but I can tell you there’s a huge demand around the country for engineers.

“Well, yes: There’s a huge demand. But only for cheaper, younger foreign engineers.”

Now, obviously, there are different kinds of engineers, he babbled, before plugging his government infrastructure spending to put civil engineers to work. Then he pivoted like a Bolshoi Ballet dancer.

Obama Accepts Whatever Industry Tells Him, and Ignoes Information Brought to Him by Ordinary Citizens

Obama: “Now, what industry tells me is that they don’t have enough highly skilled engineers. If your husband’s in that field, then we should get his resume and I’ll forward it to some of these companies that tell me they can’t find enough engineers in this field.”

At what price Obama? Did it occur to Obama that they may have meant high skilled engineers at a low price?

Obama Goes Back to Repeating Himself

Ignoring the facts just laid out to him by the wife of an engineer who couldn’t find work for the last three years, President Obama yammered againt that “as a basic matter, there’s a huge demand for engineers around the country right now.”

Jennifer Wedel:  “Um, I understand that,” Wedel tried to interject politely.

“And so…” Obama prattled on.

Jennifer Wedel:  But,” Wedel jumped in, seizing the moment, “given the list of job openings that you’re getting, we’re not getting that. I mean you said in the State of the Union for business leaders to ask themselves what they can do to bring jobs back to America.”

“Right,” Obama mumbled.

Jennifer Wedel: Wedel challenged the president: “But why do you think the H1-B is so popular with big corporations?”

Obama: “Jennifer, can I ask you waht kind of engineer your husband is?”

Jennifer Wedel: “He is a semiconductor engineer.”

Obama, unable to cope with the cognitive dissonance of what industry was telling him and what (Jennifer’s husband) had suffered, evaded Jennifer’s question again.

Obama: “See, it’s interesting to me,” he stated, then backtracked “and I meant what I said, if you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there, becuase the word that we’re getting is that somebody in that kind of high tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something, uh, right away.”

The president persisted in showing just how out of touch and clueless he was about how H1-B actually works.

Obama: “The H1-B should be reserved only for those companies who say they canot find somebody in that particular feild, he said. “So, that wouldn’t necessarily apply if, in fact, there are a lot of highly skilled American engineers in that position.”

While H1-B visas should be reserved for jobs that Americans are not filling, that is not how the program works. And when it comes to actual legislative change, Obama has only pushed for even more foreign workers with no changes to the broken system. Sold Out

Obama’s Massive Fail on Labor Topics

The Democratic party has moved further and further away from labor topics, and towards identity politics. So much so that their most successful politicians like Obama can’t even speak intelligently on labor issues. Too bad the question was not on racism or transgender bathrooms.

Obama could not interpret the information provided by this ordinary citizen. Secondly, the idea that Obama is going to “add some value” but forwarding Jennifer Wedel’s husband’s resume to potential hiring companies, again shows how out of touch Obama is. He might imagine than in the three years that Jennifer Wedel’s husband has been out of a permanent job he has probably submitted his resume already.

Obama’s Inability to Speak to People Who Do Not Own a Wine Cave

Obama showed zero interest in investigating this topic and switched between denying the story to trying to “fix it” by forwarding someone’s resume, which would have made him the world’s most overpaid recruiter. He was also unable or unwilling to engage on the primary issue that companies bringing in enormous numbers of H1-B engineers want cheap engineers, not just engineers. The US government’s statistics on H1-B shows that they not only work for less, are indentured to the employer, but also work far more hours than US citizens, as we cover in the article How Industry Coerces H1-B Workers to Work Overtime. 


Obama was never anything more than a lawn jockey for big powerful companies. He did the bidding of Wall Street during the financial crisis, and then all of this acts as president related to foreign workers worsened the situation for US workers. While he was cutting their throats, Obama talked about the “importance of education.”

This interaction significantly undercuts Obama’s reputation for intelligence. As soon as the conversation gets away from high-level concepts and Obama has to deal in the real world. He ultimately falls apart, unable to conceive of for a moment that he may be getting lied to by the companies that he gathered money from and where the spent time socializing in their wine caves. Obama never represented the overall population, just the interests of his doners.