This afternoon President Obama's office announced he will come to Oregon next week to talk about education during a visit to Intel in Hillsboro. And that visit creates two interesting local questions for political obsessives about whether a couple elected officials will be around to greet the president on Friday, Feb. 18.
One of the questions stems from when Obama last came to Oregon in October to campaign in Portland for then-gubernatorial candidate (now-Gov.) John Kitzhaber, Portland Mayor Sam Adams was not on the airport tarmac then to greet Obama, standard practice for mayors when a president comes to town. Instead, the mayor was with Police Chief Mike Reese in the motorcade "to understand first-hand the challenges of providing security and public safety for the head-of-state's visit." Others say the mayor wasn't invited because he remains persona non grata from the Beau Breedlove revelations.Adams is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the City speech on the afternoon of Feb. 18, so he will have a much better explanation if he doesn't join the president this time. (Asked last week in a much longer WW interview that will run in the paper Feb. 16 whether he'd be on the tarmac the next time Obama lands in Portland, Adams said "We'll see." And the mayor reiterated that nobody asked him to stay away from the president's October visit.)
The second question is whether the congressman from the district Obama will be visiting will be in attendance. Rep. David Wu's (D-Ore.) stance against trade with China makes district powerhouses like Intel and Nike unhappy. And there is a swirl of fresher controversy around Wu, who ordinarily would be expected to have some role when the president comes to his district. The White House did invite Wu to a state dinner last month for the Chinese president. But we'll be curious what role Wu may have when he'd be expected to share the stage with Obama.
We've got calls in to the offices of Adams and Wu to find out if either will have any role in Obama's visit, and will update this post when they return those messages.