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 spend Earth Day in the great Pacif­ic North­west as part of a swing through Wash­ing­ton and Ore­gon that will include stops in Seat­tle and Port­land, the White House announced in a press release today.

“On Thurs­day, April 21st, the Pres­i­dent will trav­el to Port­land, Ore­gon to dis­cuss how the unprece­dent­ed invest­ments in his Bipar­ti­san Infra­struc­ture Law are Build­ing a Bet­ter Amer­i­ca,” the White House said in a state­ment sent to NPI and oth­er media out­lets around 11 AM Pacif­ic Time.

“On Earth Day, Fri­day, April 22nd, the Pres­i­dent will trav­el to Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton to dis­cuss his Administration’s efforts to con­tin­ue bring­ing down costs for Amer­i­can fam­i­lies and grow­ing our clean ener­gy economy.”

The Fri­day event or events will prob­a­bly fea­ture a joint appear­ance with Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee and pos­si­bly State Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands Hilary Franz, along with local elect­ed offi­cials like King Coun­ty Exec­u­tive Dow Constantine.

It seems incon­ceiv­able that Biden would come to Wash­ing­ton State to talk about grow­ing our clean ener­gy econ­o­my with­out appear­ing with the gov­er­nor, who is one of the nation’s best known cli­mate action champions.

This will be Biden’s first trip to Wash­ing­ton and Ore­gon as Pres­i­dent. Biden has already been to Ida­ho as Pres­i­dent, stop­ping in Boise for a vis­it as part of anoth­er trip out west that he took last year. Biden was most recent­ly in Seat­tle in 2019 dur­ing a pre-pan­dem­ic fundrais­ing swing as part of his pres­i­den­tial campaign.

The last time Wash­ing­ton State had a pres­i­den­tial vis­it was in 2016, in the final year of Barack Oba­ma’s sec­ond term as Pres­i­dent. Don­ald Trump did not vis­it Wash­ing­ton or Ore­gon dur­ing the peri­od of time that he occu­pied the Oval Office.

President Obama waves
Pres­i­dent Oba­ma waves to the crowd at Boe­ing Field after land­ing in Seat­tle to begin his third trip to Wash­ing­ton State.

As Vice Pres­i­dent, Biden made a num­ber of trips to Wash­ing­ton State over an eight year times­pan, includ­ing to sup­port Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell and Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray. Many of Biden’s appear­ances were in 2010 and 2014, both midterm cycles. Biden head­lined a Taco­ma ral­ly for Mur­ray in 2010 that was well attended.

Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray with Joe Biden in October of 2010
Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell speaks at a ral­ly for Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray in Octo­ber of 2010, flanked by Mur­ray and Pres­i­dent Joe Biden, who was at that time Vice Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Biden also showed up for Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell, head­lin­ing an event for her in 2014, although she was not on the bal­lot that year. (Cantwell was first elect­ed in 2000 and then reelect­ed in 2006, 2012, and 2018. She’ll be up again in 2024.)

Joe Biden greets Maria Cantwell
Joe Biden greets Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell at a cam­paign event in Octo­ber 2014 (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

The White House says addi­tion­al details about the trip will be avail­able next week. NPI is plan­ning on cov­er­ing the vis­it here on the Cas­ca­dia Advocate.

Res­i­dents of the Port­land and Seat­tle met­ro­pol­i­tan areas can expect some day­time traf­fic impacts on Thurs­day and Fri­day, and should plan ahead accord­ing­ly. For secu­ri­ty rea­sons, it isn’t pos­si­ble to know what roads the Secret Ser­vice will have local law enforce­ment close, or when those clo­sures will take place. If you’ll be out and about on Thurs­day or Fri­day of next week, just give your­self plen­ty of extra time to reach your destination.

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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