First lady set to fly in for fundraiser speech
By Mark Huffman, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
August 11, 2012
For most Jackson Hole residents, the visit Saturday by first lady Michelle Obama will be nothing more than a convoy of dark vehicles passing by. If they get that close.
Obama is scheduled to speak Saturday to a crowd of the faithful — and the willing to donate — at Snow King Resort. The cheap seats, at $25, sold out quickly; if you had the cash for one of the more expensive ones — topping out at $38,500 — you probably bought it weeks ago.
Obama will fly into Jackson Hole Airport and go from there to her talk, set for lunchtime at Snow King. The event is expected to be done by 2 p.m., according to the Obama re-election people.
Jackson police Lt. Bob Gilliam joined Obama staffers in urging people attending the event to get there early because of possible traffic problems and the regular security screening the first lady sets in motion. If you’re not attending, staying away from Snow King would be a good idea.
“I expect the streets surrounding Snow King Resort will be congested to a certain extent and the parking will be at capacity,” Gilliam said. “Arrive early and don’t be surprised if you have to hunt for a parking spot.”
Organizers are urging those attending to carpool, ride bikes or walk. They warned of “airport-like security — except you can keep your shoes on.” Don’t bring “backpacks, sharp objects, umbrellas,” they said.
Organizers also urged “Western casual” attire for the gathering
Organizers hoped to have a free public speech by Obama, but gave up the idea when they couldn’t find a place that the Secret Service liked.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made his own fundraising trip to Jackson Hole in July without problems, and a 1992 fly-in, fly-out visit by President George Bush was uneventful. Summer vacations in 1994 and 1995 by President Bill Clinton and his family passed with two security scares, both of which turned out to be big reactions to small events.