Wyoming rarely gets any attention from the presidential candidates. As everyone knows, we're pure red, a caucus state, and too small to matter anyway. In the last seven years, we've had several fun opportunities to denounce and reject Dick Cheney on his allegedly home turf but, as for attention from national Democrats, forget it. Even Gary Trauner, who only lost to Barbara Cubin by 1000 votes in 2006, had a hard time getting the national party to pay any attention to him.
But, for today and tomorrow, we are front and center.
Welcome to Wyoming, Barack, Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea!
First up: Bill and Chelsea in Riverton, a smallish Wyoming city in the center of the state next to the Wind River Indian Reservation.
More than 2,000 people packed into Central Wyoming College's gymnasium today to hear former President Bill Clinton campaign for his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The former president, campaigning in a state where he never fared well as a candidate himself, drew loud, frequent applause during a 35-minute speech. He was accompanied by daughter Chelsea.
"Hillary has no chance to win here unless you turn this into an election," Clinton told the group, noting that Wyoming's Democratic county caucuses on Saturday allow all registered Democrats to express a presidential preference.
...Central Wyoming College facilities manager Linda Becker said the crowd, which spilled out of the gymnasium, was three times as big as the college had expected.
After that, Bill and Chelsea split, with Chelsea heading for Casper College and a meet-up in the food court there. No reports on that yet.
Bill meanwhile headed down here to Laramie where he just started a rally at the UniWyo Sports Complex, a smaller gym on campus.
Hillary arrives in Casper tomorrow where she will be speaking at the Casper College Administration Gymnasium at 6:30. I've never been there so have no idea what kind of a venue it is. She apparently tried to book the larger Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gymnasium but the state basketball tournament was already scheduled there.
Obama blows into Casper a little earlier tomorrow.
The Illinois senator will speak at 2 p.m. Friday at the Casper Recreation Center gymnasium. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m., and the public is asked to enter through the Casper Ice Arena.
The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited, and tickets are required. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
But if you don't already have tickets, it's apparently too late:
There are no more tickets available to Sen. Barack Obama's "Stand for Change" town hall meeting at the Casper Recreation Center gymnasium, Obama's campaign announced Thursday afternoon.
So, your only choice is to head on down to Laramie where, tomorrow evening, I am confident that Obama will be meeting something approaching, if not surpassing, a capacity crowd (16,000) in the University of Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium.
Obama will then speak at 7:15 p.m. at the University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Tickets are not required for this event, but admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Apparently tickets are available to campaign volunteers. I expect this to be a huge crowd. Everyone I've talked to is planning on attending. And, just for some perspective, if you fill the AA, you are essentially sitting in the midst of Wyoming's fourth or fifth largest "city."
Finally, poor little Wyoming is getting some overdue respect. And what makes it all kind of funny is that it was the WY GOP who moved up their caucuses to be more "relevant" and got totally ignored when they voted for good old, where-is-he-now?, Mitt Romney.
As usual, tomorrow as people begin to line up for the Obama event, we'll be continuing our five-plus year tradition of standing on a downtown street corner with our HONK FOR PEACE signs. Should be a very interesting stand up!
Much fun being a Wyomingite this week.
UPDATE: I apparently missed this one, too. Hillary in Cheyenne as well tomorrow. Don't know about tickets/no tickets. Check with a Hillary Clinton campaign office near you.
Friday, March 7th, Cheyenne: Senator Clinton will speak at the college. 2:30 PM LCCC Gym. Doors open at 12:30 PM.
Oh yeah. And Obama also just opened up a campaign office in Sheridan, 118 N. Brooks.