FRIDAY UPDATE: Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloan sets the record straight:
I’m the person responsible for the Ulysses S. Grant statement and I’m really sorry for my miscommunication. President Obama is indeed the first sitting president to visit GOLDEN since Ulysses S. Grant and I told him so while greeting him. I should have been less ambiguous in my antecedents (“here” could mean either Jefferson County or Golden) or more willing to speak up in the middle of a presidential speech.
Mayor of Golden
UPDATE #3: The Colorado GOP appears to correctly take issue with President Barack Obama’s claim, as reported by CBS below, to be the “first sitting president to visit Jefferson County since Ulysses S. Grant.” They point to a 2004 New York Times article about President George W. Bush’s rally at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison–very much located in Jefferson County.
We’re thinking this may not be the only such visit either: we have to think other Presidents have found the backdrops afforded by Jefferson County to be irresistible, like Dwight Eisenhower, whose wife Mamie was raised in Colorado and who spent a great deal of time in our state. But regardless, this was clearly an error by Obama, fairly (and easily) called out by Republicans.
Having said that, AP’s Kristen Wyatt notes helpfully:
You’d hate to be the staffer who “discovered” this little factoid.
UPDATE #2: CBS News:
After a week largely focused on the turmoil in the Middle East and his administration’s foreign policy, President Obama on Thursday revived his economic campaign pitch in one of the most critical counties in one of this year’s key swing states.
“We don’t believe in a top-down, trickle-down economy that says to everybody you’re on your own,” Mr. Obama said to a crowd of supporters in Golden, Colorado, against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. “We believe the economy grows from the middle class out, from the bottom up.”
…Mr. Obama noted Thursday that he is the first sitting president to visit Jefferson County since Ulysses S. Grant. “Back then you couldn’t even vote — you guys were still a territory,” the president joked with the crowd.
UPDATE: 9NEWS reports from Golden at noon:
The Washington Post has a good story today on the battle between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for suburban Denver voters–just as Obama arrives in Golden.
For Obama, who won Colorado four years ago by nearly nine percentage points, the focus has been heavily on Latinos and women. One of the quirks of the new unaffiliated voters who have moved into suburbs across the country – including in other battlegrounds such as Virginia and North Carolina – is that the men who describe themselves this way tend to vote Republican, according to polls, while the women are more likely to swing between the parties.
Just as non-ideological as their male counterparts, unaffiliated women voters are also particularly moved by issues that affect them, such as contraception and abortion. The proof came two years ago, when Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) eked out a narrow victory over Republican Ken Buck largely by targeting women in the suburbs and portraying Buck as ideologically extreme.
“We created the largest gender gap in the country,” said Guy Cecil, who was Bennet’s campaign manager and now runs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “The suburbs of Virginia, the suburbs of Indianapolis, the suburbs of Denver – you have people who are turned off by the sort of extreme points of view that now represent most of the Republican Party.”
Obama is following a similar playbook…
The story identifies Jefferson and Arapahoe counties as “a central focus for both campaigns.” Given the frequency of return visits by both the Obama and Romney campaigns–belatedly for Romney, who inexplicably spent several months making stops in the unpopulated hinterlands of the state–it’s a story our metro area readers already know well, with traffic jam anecdotes.
We’ll update through the day with further coverage of Obama’s visit to Golden.