Analysts Weigh-in On Presidential Visit

6:50 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY -- As the President begins his four city tour in Buffalo, he will focus on making higher education more affordable for the middle class.

"The President, I think, wants to talk about the importance of higher education. The affordability is certainly a component of that, but I think it's the importance of the educational system," says former Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz.

The President will use UB as his backdrop where in-state tuition for the fall and spring semester is about $5,900 for undergrads, not including fees.

Tokasz thinks education affordability ties nicely into another topic the President will likely bring up.

"Hopefully, he'll talk also about the economy and how important it is to get a good education so you can participate in this world-wide economy," he says.

And, Former Congressman Tom Reynolds thinks choosing UB was a no-brainer for the White House.

"The President is looking to talk to all of America, and so the SUNY system is a large public entity, and he gets to showcase the University of Buffalo where there is a reasonable education many of us are proud of the flagship of SUNY being right here in Buffalo," says Reynolds.

Reynolds also sees it as parts of the President's strategy to control his message.

"He wants to change the subject as he comes off vacation to jobs and the economy and formal education and the opportunity to see a stronger economy through education," he says.

He also is looking ahead to what he sees as number of tough challenges President Obama will face in the fall.

"He has got to get a budget before October first. They have the debt ceiling there's going to tackle. He's got Egypt which is a hot bed with some type of decision that may need to be made there and so this gives him a chance to be on the topic he'd like to talk about and that is higher education as a part of the gateway for new and improved jobs for America," says Reynolds.

Tokasz says the exposure WNY will receive from the presidential visit is priceless.

"I think we're going to have great weather on Thursday. I think that will send a message to my friends around the country and certainly others who have this strange view of WNY weather. But I think more importantly, the focus on the community, the University of Buffalo, it's going to be the kind of marketing that you can't purchase and I think that's an important factor," he adds.

Both analysts say even though we know UB offers an affordable education, this will allow the entire country find out about the SUNY system.

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