Political science professor weighs in on Biden’s visit to Troy

Steven Taylor said the muted response from Alabama’s Republican lawmakers points to how polarized the country’s political climate is. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 8:49 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - President Joe Biden’s planned visit to the Lockheed Martin facility in Troy isn’t drawing bipartisan support.

Biden will land in Alabama Tuesday morning for the first time since he was elected. Biden is coming to Alabama to thank the workers in Troy for manufacturing the Javelin anti-tank missiles, a lethal weapon helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia.

Some may wonder why a trip meant to thank American workers for helping the Ukrainian war effort has caused a political divide.

Steven Taylor, dean of the College of Arts and Science and professor of political science at Troy University, said the muted response from Alabama’s Republican lawmakers points to how polarized the country’s political climate is.

“There’s a little more of a muted response because of the partisan implications of a particular politician coming to visit. I just think that’s part of our times right now, that we see in some ways see the party affiliation of the president before we see the president’s office,” Taylor said.

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said she will not be joining the president on this trip. Her office said she has other plans.

Rep. Barry Moore, R-District 2, will also not be joining the president. The congressman who represents Troy did, however, issue a statement saying he previously visited Lockheed Martin to personally thank the workers.

The lone Alabama Democrat in Congress, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-District 7, will be joining the president.

As a predominantly Republican voting state, some could see Biden’s visit to the Lockheed Martin facility as effort to swing voters, but Taylor said that is not likely.

“It’s just not about trying to generate votes for Biden in Alabama,” Taylor said. “It is just a reconfirmation that the U.S. is committed to providing military aid to the Ukrainians.”

“In the past it would have been celebrated a bit more than it is in the current era,” Taylor said.

On balance, Taylor said Biden’s visit is shedding a positive light on the region, as the president has chosen to specifically highlight Troy and the Javelin missiles being made at that particular Lockheed Martin facility.

The Javelin missiles are single-solider-operated and used against tanks and other heavy armored vehicles.

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