President Joe Biden disembarking AF1
President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Thursday, May 6, 2021. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Pres­i­dent Joe Biden will be in the Pacif­ic North­west for the first time since becom­ing the nation’s Com­man­der-in-Chief back in Jan­u­ary when he took the oath of office, the White House announced in a media advi­so­ry today.

The Pres­i­dent will be mak­ing a stop in Boise, Ida­ho as part of an west­ern swing that will also include a stop in Den­ver, Colorado.

The Pres­i­den­t’s pri­ma­ry des­ti­na­tion on this trip is Cal­i­for­nia, where he is mak­ing an elec­tion eve appear­ance with Cal­i­for­nia Gov­er­nor Gavin New­som to urge vot­ers to turn out and vote no on the Repub­li­can recall. He will also vis­it fire-scarred com­mu­ni­ties in the Gold­en State to observe dam­age firsthand.

Here’s the notice from the White House:

On Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 13th, the Pres­i­dent will trav­el to Boise, Ida­ho where he will vis­it the Nation­al Inter­a­gency Fire Cen­ter; Sacra­men­to, Cal­i­for­nia to sur­vey wild­fire dam­age; Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia to par­tic­i­pate in an event with Gov­er­nor Gavin New­som; and Den­ver, Col­orado, where he will par­tic­i­pate in a Build Back Bet­ter event.  The trip will be pooled press. Addi­tion­al details to follow.

The advi­so­ry does­n’t say if Biden will be stay­ing overnight on the Left Coast, but a four stop itin­er­ary will make for a long day regard­less. For­tu­nate­ly, the Air Force knows how to get VIPs from A to B to C to D in an expe­di­tious fashion.

The Pres­i­dent has not yet vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton or Ore­gon since assum­ing office, although that could change by the time the midterms roll around. Ore­gon will have an impor­tant guber­na­to­r­i­al elec­tion next year, along with a new­ly expand­ed con­gres­sion­al map, while Wash­ing­ton will have a U.S. Sen­ate election.

The Nation­al Inter­a­gency Fire Cen­ter, which the Pres­i­dent is vis­it­ing in Boise, is an impor­tant strate­gic facil­i­ty that hous­es teams of peo­ple work­ing on fire pre­ven­tion, con­tain­ment, and extinguishment.

“NIFC is a place. But it’s far more than a col­lec­tion of build­ings. It is the epit­o­me of inter­a­gency coop­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion,” the agency explains.

“It’s the ener­gy of near­ly six hun­dred employ­ees, rep­re­sent­ing eight sep­a­rate fed­er­al and state agen­cies, engaged in mul­ti­ple aspects of the same mis­sion: to devel­op nation­al wild­land fire pol­i­cy and lead in its imple­men­ta­tion; and to serve as the logis­ti­cal and sup­port cen­ter for the nation’s wild­land fires and, at times, oth­er nation­al dis­as­ters and emergencies.”

Con­ve­nient­ly, NIFC is sit­u­at­ed right next to the Boise Air­port, which means the Pres­i­dent can fly in on Air Force One and already be with­in a few steps of the place he’s vis­it­ing upon land­ing. No need for a heli­copter ride or road clo­sures in the heart of Boise to accom­mo­date a motorcade.

The Pacif­ic North­west has not had a pres­i­den­tial vis­it since the Oba­ma era, as Don­ald Trump did not set foot in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon, or Ida­ho dur­ing his occu­pan­cy of the Oval Office. Trump did, how­ev­er, make sev­er­al stops in Alas­ka and Mon­tana. Most of his trips to Mon­tana were in oppo­si­tion to Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Jon Tester’s reelec­tion. Despite Trump’s efforts to defeat Tester, Big Sky vot­ers sent him back to the Sen­ate for anoth­er six-year term in 2018.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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