Friday, April 23, 2010
Obamas coming to Appalachia for recreation, memorial service for Upper Big Branch miners
In Asheville, "The couple have planned a totally private weekend, with no public events scheduled," and their two daughters are not coming, reports Barbara Barrett of McClatchy Newspapers."Still, no presidential action is totally apolitical. This is Obama's fourth visit to North Carolina as president, and he visited nearly 20 times as a candidate. He took lefty Asheville heartily in the 2008 election but fared worse in the surrounding rural, conservative counties." Obama's margin in the Tar Heel State was thin; in West Virginia, he got drubbed.
The Asheville Citizen-Times website is blanketed with Obama coverage. A story by Joel Burgess says local Republicans are planning a protest but Tea Party activists are not. In Beckley, Mannix Porterfield of the Register-Herald reports that those wanting to attend the 3 p.m. service must pick up a free ticket at the Tamarack arts-and-crafts center on Interstate 77 just north of Beckley, or "the information desk of the West Virginia Culture Center at the Capitol complex" in Charleston, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday. (Read more)
story by Patrik Jonsson. "Hip, environmentally aware, self-reliant and undeniably quaint, Asheville, N.C is a progressive’s vision of what America could be. But mountain liberalism comes at a price." Accompanying the story is this official White House photo by Pete Souza, showing the Obamas meeting another hiking couple on a trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway outside Asheville. “He is the first sitting president to ever visit the Blue Ridge Parkway,” Parkway Superintendent Phil Francis told Karen Chavez of the Citizen-Times. (Read more)