President Barack Obama is giving a speech on his jobs program right now at Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver. It’s a hot day and helicopters are circling and people in the crowd are reportedly passing out from exhaustion. It’s going to be a big news story. Yet the press badges issued for his fundraising trip around the American West would seem to place him somewhere in Wyoming, not Colorado. The Washington mix-up won’t come as any surprise to politically disillusioned westerners used to people in the nation’s capital breezily getting everything wrong.
As CNN pointed out today, the press credential map shows California, Washington and Wyoming highlighted in white, with Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles and Denver listed as stops to raise campaign funds and tout his $477 billion jobs plan.
Problem is, Wyoming wasn’t actually on the agenda and likely wouldn’t be the friendliest of places to make his pitch for saving the economy. Swing-state Colorado, where Obama accepted the nomination to run for president in 2008 and in 2009 announced his massive stimulus package, makes a lot more sense as a stopover.
Whatever geographically challenged staffer produced the credential confusing the two rectangular states stacked on top of each other near the middle of the country probably wasn’t aware of the cross-border animosity.
Wyoming residents call Coloradans “greenies,” an allusion to Colorado license plates, and in many cases resent both the larger number of people who live in Colorado as well as Coloradans’ more politically progressive outlook on life.
Wyoming residents are particularly testy these days as Colorado officials eye a huge water grab that would pipe precious H2O out of southwestern Wyoming and spray it all over lawns up and down Colorado’s Front Range.
But if you’re inside the Beltway, anything west of the Mississippi and short of the Left Coast is one of those square states.