President Obama is coming to Idaho less than twenty-four hours after making his second to last State of the Union Speech to the nation. The happy press nationally and locally have missed the reason the president is here. Yes, stories of ticket sales and happy supporters are nice. However, the president is coming here to make a statement. Or rather a land grab.
The Boulder-White Clouds will be declared a national monument tomorrow during the president's appearance in Idaho. Mike Simpson sent a signal that this would happen last year. The environmental base of the Democratic Party will be elated, and the president will become the modern day Teddy Roosevelt.
This ploy works on many levels that I will share with you now. Congressman Simpson gets a much-needed assist from the White House for not getting in the way of this proposal, which he has wanted for years. In return for his cooperation, look for the INL to get more money. And look for Idaho to get more Nuclear Waste. Can anyone say 'Snake River Aquifer?'
In working with Simpson, the White House gets a back door channel to House Speaker John Boehner. Simpson gets a pass on Boulder becoming a national park, since it wasn't his idea; it was the president. Congressman Simpson will work with Boehner and Obama on bigger contentious issues like immigration, gas tax, etc.
The talking points will tout the jobs created in Camas, Butte, Custer, and Blaine Counties. Never mind the loss of Idaho's sovereignty over its lands. Will anyone have enough cuts, resources, connections to investigate all the nuclear waste that will be heading to the Gem State?
Already local folks in Idaho Falls are worried that my prediction may be true. Is it a coincidence that Governor Otter was slapped last week by two former governors? Gee Idaho gets more nuclear waste from Washington DC, and the president magically appears in Idaho announcing a community college program?
When has that ever happened? I hope that I'm wrong about this story. However, the president is all about his legacy in his final two years of office. Can there be a bigger one than stamping Idaho Obama Country?