Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obama set to visit troops at Elmendorf

Obama set to visit troops at Elmendorf: "ANCHORAGE, Alaska — President Barack Obama was scheduled to address Alaska troops Thursday in his first — and very short — visit to the state.Obama planned to arrive at Elmendorf Air Force Base shortly before 1 p.m. for a refueling stop before he heads to Tokyo to launch his first Asia trip.His speech to troops and invited politicians is closed to the public. That didnt kept people from inundating the Alaska Democratic Party office Wednesday.'Our phones have been ringing constantly, people wanting to know how they could get in,' spokesman Kevin Harun said.Harun said that because the visit is private, his office is not planning any events to coincide with the visit from the Democratic president.The Republican Party of Alaska also has no events planned, according to chairman Randy Ruedrich.

He said earlier this week that staging a political event would be inappropriate in light of the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, last week.Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, is among those attending the event at Elmendorf. The two other members of Alaskas congressional delegation — Republicans Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young — dont plan to go.Neither does Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. Spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said he has a speaking engagement that was booked a month ago, but added a representative from his office would attend.In the general election last year, Obama lost the traditionally red state to Republican John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, then Alaskas governor. Obama received almost 38 percent, while McCain garnered over 59 percent of the more than 326,000 votes cast.More than 126,000 Alaska voters are registered as Republicans, followed by more than 77,000 as nonpartisan. Among the states total of 485,098 voters, nearly 75,400 are registered as Democrats.Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said the former governor was in Chicago taping an interview with Oprah Winfrey and wouldnt be at Elmendorf."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

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