McDonnell to greet Obama at airport; attend Prince George event
In a show of bipartisanship, this Friday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will greet President Barack Obama at Richmond International Airport and then attend the president’s event in Prince George County.
Obama is scheduled to speak about the economy at the growing Rolls-Royce plant in Prince George. Earlier this week, McDonnell announced that the company was planning a major expansion. Obama is expected to talk about that expansion during his remarks.
A sitting governor welcoming the president to his state is hardly breaking news, but in this highly contested election season it is no longer a given. Obama had made many visits to Virginia, many of them short jaunts across the Potomac. McDonnell has attended very few of those events, but he did attend an event in Norfolk during the president’s summer bus tour of North Carolina and Virginia. He also met the president on the tarmac in Hampton in the spring of 2010 before Obama’s commencement address at Hampton University. The governor rode in the motorcade with Obama and attended his speech.
All of McDonnell’s meetings with the president have been largely uneventful. This despite the republican governor being a big critic of Obama’s policies, a top surrogate for his potential opponent Mitt Romney and perhaps a candidate for Vice President.
Obama has dealt with at least one dust up on an airplane tarmac. Earlier this year, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer challenged the president over his immigration policy during their brief meeting after he de-planed. The exchange left behind a lingering image of Brewer with her finger pointed in Obama’s face.
Don’t expect anything that exciting this time around. McDonnell and Obama are both hoping to take part of the credit for Rolls-Royce expansion. Senate candidate Tim Kaine, a former governor and an ally of the president applauded both sides for their bi-partisan cooperation to make the deal happen.
We will have complete coverage of the president’s visit on NBC12, including live reports from the airport and Prince George.