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Politicians, political observers weigh in on presidential visit

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Albany/HV: Politicians, political observers weigh in on presidential visit
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As President Obama gets ready for his visit to UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Tuesday, state leaders and political observers give their reaction to what this means for the Capital Region. YNN's Solomon Syed joins us now from Albany with the latest.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- President Obama is set to make his third visit to the Capital Region on Tuesday, and New York's political leaders as well as the general public are excited about what this means for the area.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "I think it's a good opportunity for us to demonstrate our creativity and the innovative economic development initiatives that are going on in Upstate New York."

While it's a showcase for the region, and technically an official presidential visit and not a campaign stop, some wonder why the president would highlight a blue state that he'll likely carry with ease in November. Political observers believe the president needs our area at least as much, if not more, than the voters need him if he's to run a successful re-election campaign.

Dr. Leonard Cutler, director of the Siena College Center for Study of Government and Politics, said, "The president is coming here to look beyond New York. A message with respect to the significance of public private partnership for the purpose of high-tech economic development."

President Obama's political allies in Congress agree the president intends use the region as a blueprint for the rest of the country if he wins a second term, with about 5,000 jobs created in here in Tech Valley.

Senator Charles Schumer said, "The Capital Region is one of the great success stories in terms of bringing new jobs to an area."

Rep. Paul Tonko of the 21st District said, "It's accompanying his vision for America's manufacturing, advanced manufacturing."

But as for politics also playing a role in shifting the president's visit from GlobalFoundries in Saratoga County to the nanoscale college at UAlbany, some speculate the foundry has too many favorable ties to former state Republican leaders and what some consider a controversial connection to the Middle Eastern state of Abu Dhabi, which owns the fab through a subsidiary. However, some observers believe the change is just a matter of logistics.

Cutler said, "Well, anything is possible. I'm not going to dismiss the possibility. What I'm suggesting is that there were other factors which lead me to conclude that that's not the probability."

The White House as well as Congressman Tonko insist the move to the nano college is because it just works better for a presidential visit, with better speaking venues and better access to and from the campus.

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