Green Room

Obama’s coming to Maine. Er…why?

posted at 8:02 pm on March 31, 2010 by

Earlier today, thousands of people braved the cold spring rain to get their hands on tickets to attend Obama’s health care rally in Portland, Maine tomorrow.

The doors of the Expo have opened and tickets to see President Barack Obama are being distributed to the line of waiting people.

Nicole Perrine, who was the first in line at 12:45 this morning, walked in quietly, hands in pockets, and when she got the first two tickets held them up and smiled.

“I feel pretty good,” she said. “Now I can go home and sleep.”

Others leaving after waiting for hours held up tickets happily and smiled.

Carl Inkel, who was third in line, brandished his tickets and said, “Wooo-hooo, Obama rocks.”

The number of people who waited in line isn’t all that surprising. According to the Maine Secretary of State’s website, the city of Portland cast 36,840 votes for president in 2008.  John McCain received 7,844 of those votes.  Obama received 28,317 – about 77%.  That’s a full 20 points ahead of his statewide total of 57% of the vote.  Portland is a liberal city in the most liberal part of the state.

Which begs the question – why does Obama feel the need to sell his health care plan in the most liberal, urban part of a largely rural state?  Shouldn’t he be selling it to a less devoted area?  Why not Penobscot County, where the election results nearly mirror the national percentages?  Why not Washington County, where the result was almost 50-50?  It’s not as though Portland has a monopoly on Maine media.  It has roughly the same number of television stations and newspapers as Bangor, which voted for Obama, but by a smaller margin.  It’s almost as though the president has purposely chosen the area of the state where he is guaranteed the friendliest, most liberal audience.

According to a Congressional report, the cost of operating Air Force One is $56,518 an hour.  This figure does not take into account the cost of security and transportation of presidential vehicles.  In addition, Maine taxpayers will foot the bill for the state and local police who will provide additional security at the event.  All of this money is being spent to sell a health care reform bill that has already been signed into law to what is sure to be a mostly liberal audience in a deep blue state.  In the middle of a recession, this doesn’t seem like a particularly good use of taxpayer money.

Obama doesn’t need to sell this law here, and frankly, I don’t think that’s why he’s visiting Maine.  It seems to me he’s not here to convince Mainers this law is a good idea (we know otherwise), but to take a victory lap on our dime.

I hope a lot of tea partiers show up tomorrow.

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Just make sure that nobody spits anywhere or uses the “n-word”.

In fact, it’s probably best if the tea-partiers restrict themselves to swaying gently back and forth and singing “Kum-ba-ya”.

cthulhu on March 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

To put pressure on Snowe and Collins to fall in line with his coming agenda?

malclave on March 31, 2010 at 8:44 PM

Spend April Fool’s mocking the ultimate April Fool, Maine Tea Partiers!

Sekhmet on March 31, 2010 at 8:49 PM

Which begs the question – why does Obama feel the need to sell his health care plan in the most liberal, urban part of a largely rural state? Shouldn’t he be selling it to a less devoted area? Why not Penobscot County, where the election results nearly mirror the national percentages? Why not Washington County, where the result was almost 50-50? It’s not as though Portland has a monopoly on Maine media. It has roughly the same number of television stations and newspapers as Bangor, which voted for Obama, but by a smaller margin. It’s almost as though the president has purposely chosen the area of the state where he is guaranteed the friendliest, most liberal audience.

What’s this “almost as though”? Given PlaceboCare has gone back underwater nationally, Teh Won desperately needs the illusion of popular acceptance only a +56 area can deliver.

steveegg on March 31, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Portland is not full of Mainers, mostly it’s people from away and it’s very far left.

jeanie on March 31, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Hi Slublog, you’re from Maine, too? I’m a Maine-iac in exile in Los Angeles at the moment. As to the question, I can only assume Obama’s there to woo Susan and Olympia back to his harem. There’s no other reason to visit Maine unless his numbers are so bad that it’s actually a swing state now.

joe_doufu on March 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM

Telephone repair?

It seems History and Destiny have been unable to reach Sen. Collins and Snowe, they’ve asked Obama to look into it….

Mew

acat on March 31, 2010 at 11:34 PM

it’s probably best if the tea-partiers restrict themselves to swaying gently back and forth and singing “Kum-ba-ya”.

cthulhu on March 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

or “We Shall Overcome”

John the Libertarian on March 31, 2010 at 11:49 PM

My son and I went to the movies up there over the winter. This is a city in which many of the inhabitants are heavily medicated. It was very obvious. SSI check and then over to CVS for the meds. Scary.

tessa on April 1, 2010 at 12:19 AM

Obama’s coming to Maine. Er…why?

Lobster?

Daggett on April 1, 2010 at 12:52 AM

Obama is going to where people will cheer for him. The satisfies his need for applause and may also provide a nice clip for the Seven O’clock and Eleven O’clock Toady.

njcommuter on April 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM

“I feel pretty good,” she said. “Now I can go home and sleep.”

Zombie alert!

We need to resurect those B-movie indefatigueable zombie cast members who refused to die when immolated.

percysunshine on April 1, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Obama is going to where people will cheer for him. The satisfies his need for applause and may also provide a nice clip for the Seven O’clock and Eleven O’clock Toady.

njcommuter on April 1, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Maybe they’ll follow up with a story about how Obama is going to be in MA for *2* DNC fundraisers the White House has clearly stated that he has no intention of visiting the flood ravaged areas of MA and RI.

racecar05 on April 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM