WASHINGTON – Hours after delivering the State of the Union speech to the Republican-led Congress, President Barack Obama left D.C. for Idaho Wednesday morning to promote his plans for strengthening the country’s middle class.
Some of the plans Obama will discuss during his two-day trip to conservative-leaning Idaho and Kansas are those he outlined in his State of the Union address.
Among these plans is a proposal for a tax increase on the wealthy to help pay for programs for the middle class.
This is Obama’s first time in Idaho as president. From Boise, he will head to Lawrence, Kan.
I was at the White House to cover another event, but was allowed to go outside for Obama’s departure.
I was literally almost blown away by the gust of wind created by Marine One’s propellers as it landed on the South Lawn. I was lucky to have left my gloves at home because if my hands weren’t grasping the camera for whatever warmth it produced I could have easily dropped it.
Other members of the press didn’t appear to be impressed by the light snowflakes that floated down while we waited for the president to board the helicopter. Although I had left my jacket in the press room and wore flats, I couldn’t help but twirl a few times in the short-lived snow fall. For a Texan like me, it was a snowstorm.
Then the president came out of the White House and the magic of the snow was lost. He walked speedily across the lawn into the helicopter.
I could only make out the president’s profile, and I didn’t see him wave, which was what I was expecting because of movies I’ve seen.
When the helicopter took off, I was prepared. Maybe next time I’ll listen to the advice of a some of the photographers and wear boots and a scarf.