The Deacon's Bench

President Obama continued his election season backyard tour, and paid a call on the Clubb family — who, whether by accident or design, just happen to be Catholic.

From the Catholic News Service:

President Barack Obama chose the backyard of a Catholic Des Moines family Sept. 29 to talk about issues ranging from the economy and taxes to education, poverty and health care.

The president arrived at the home of Jeff and Sandy Hatfield Clubb and their two children in the tree-lined Beaverdale neighborhood about 10 a.m. and stayed for more than an hour. He spoke to a group of about 80 people, mostly friends of the Clubbs who sat in lawn chairs provided by neighbors.

Obama’s visit was part of a swing through four states.

The couple described themselves as a typical American family. Jeff, who had been a firefighter, is a social studies teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Des Moines. Sandy is the athletic director of Drake University. Their two children attend Holy Trinity School.

Continuing the Holy Trinity theme, its pastor, Father Michael Amadeo, was the last of five people to ask a question during the forum.

The priest shared a story about a Holy Trinity family in which the 55-year-old father lost his manufacturing job more than a year ago. He asked what Obama’s economic policies could do to help people like his parishioner in the next year.

Obama said many manufacturing jobs will not return because factories are more efficient and require fewer workers, and some jobs are moving overseas where wages are cheaper. His advice is for the unemployed to keep up their skills so they’ll be ready when the economy becomes strong again. He singled out clean energy as a promising business for the future.

Read the rest. And CNN has the story behind how the Clubb family was selected to play host to the president.

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