I have only been to Montana once. I am told it is a very conservative area of the USA. They love their guns. I am told in some places in Montana and Idaho, you will not see a non white person very often.
Just days after a mild crowd President Obama at his town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the White House is employing a ...
... different process to distribute tickets for the Friday’s event in Montana.
Usually, the White House has ticket-seekers sign up on its Web site and then randomly selects attendees from that pool of requests. But tickets for the Montana event are being handed out on a first-come, first-served basis at two locations in the conservative Bozeman, Mont., area.
The switch raises the possibility that Obama will get a rowdier crowd than he saw in New Hampshire on Tuesday, one more similar to those that have greeted members of Congress.
Tickets for the town hall Obama is holding on Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo., however, are being distributed the way they have been for most of his events, through the White House Web site. http://www.whitehouse.gov/advance/ColoradoTownHall8-15-09/
The White House said the ticketing plan for Montana is not a response to the tame New Hampshire town hall. The plan was in place before Obama went to Portsmouth, according to Reid Cherlin, assistant White House press secretary.
Cherlin also said the White House tailors its ticketing distribution process to the size, venue and locality of the event.
The White House expects roughly 1,300 people at the Montana town hall.
Tickets for the event were handed out Thursday morning – two per person – at city halls in Bozeman and nearby Belgrade. At both locations they went fast, and there were far fewer tickets than there were people waiting in line.
Seventy-five people got 150 tickets from “Obama administration representatives” in Belgrade, where people began lining up Wednesday and camped out overnight, according to the city.
The situation was similar in Bozeman, where the bulk of tickets were handed out and a city employee and someone from the office of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) were also on hand to assist.
Baucus, a lead negotiator on health care reform legislation as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, will attend Obama’s town hall Friday but is not scheduled to speak or appear on stage with the president.
The event is being held at the Gallatin Field Airport hangar. The White House said Obama will discuss consumer protections that would be in a health care bill, specifically one that prohibits insurers from “dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.”
While it remains to be seen how feisty the crowd inside will be, as many as 500 protesters plan to demonstrate outside, according to the Associated Press. Patients First, a group affiliated with the conservative “tea party” protests, is organizing demonstrations.
Protests are also expected Saturday in Grand Junction, when Obama will convene a town hall at a local high school.
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