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Monday, May 5, 2014

President Obama's Wednesday visit still in planning stage

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Precise details on President Obama's visit to tornado-damaged Arkansas still haven't been released, but presidential visits to other disaster sites probably give a clue of how it will work.

President Obama will likely land at Little Rock Air Force Base, close to the damaged areas, and take a helicopter tour with stops at key points. He'll likely have private meetings with victims and first responders. He'll have a national press pool in tow and be joined by a small local press pool. At some point, he'll likely have a general press availability and then depart Arkansas in the afternoon. Use of the helicopter should diminish, but not eliminate, the complications that come with the security and other vehicles that inevitably attend presidential visits.

I'd guess Sen. Mark Pryor and 2nd District U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin will be on board the helicopter with the president. Sen. John Boozman might have made the ride were he not recuperating from heart surgery. We're hoping to attach David Koon to the local press pool, depending on the size of pool approved and those chosen after the big organizations.

I guess, judging from his weekend Tweet, that Republican Rep. Stephen Meeks of Greenbrier won't want to join Republican Congressman Griffin for the event. Not even if he learns Mike Ross won't be riding along.

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