Fallin snubs presidential visit

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

Over spring break, Oklahoma had a very high profile visitor. President Barack Obama came to the state to address the Keystone XL Pipeline extension. The Pipeline would go through Cushing on its way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline has been a topic of contention for Congress and the White House since the beginning of the year. When payroll tax cuts made their way through Congress, and as a stipulation for renewal of the tax cuts, Republicans insisted that the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline be passed as well. The Obama administration announced in January that they would halt the project due to the “ rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans [that] prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” President Obama said in a statement.

On March 22, the president announced in Cushing that he was expediting the permit for TransCanada to build the southern portion of the pipeline. This turnabout in policy may have been prompted from the harsh criticism he faced from Congressional Republicans and governors, including Oklahoma’s own Gov. Mary Fallin.
Mayor Mick Cornett of OKC and Mayor Jack Fry of Midwest City were on hand to greet President Obama along with Tinker officials. Come that night, the question on many Oklahomans’ minds was, where was Gov. Fallin, or any other high-ranking Oklahoma official? There were no state officials there to greet Obama as he arrived at Tinker Air Force Base. Many did have reasons as to why they did not attend, some citing the lack of notice as to why they were unavailable, but such is the nature of presidential travel. Many saw this as an intentional snub by the governor, who they believed to be placing political ideology over respect for the Executive Office of the President. A statement released by the governor’s office later revealed she was in Puerto Rico for a family vacation.

State Representative Mike Shelton responded to Fallin’s comments on Obama’s decision to expedite the permit.
“For the governor and most major state officials to skip President Obama’s visit is insulting to the president and an embarrassment to the state… While the governor did not have time to meet or even greet the president, she did have time to issue press releases attacking him… Today, Oklahomans looked good on energy, but poor on leadership,” he said in a statement released March 22.

With a past of high tension between the two, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer shared an intense exchange in January on a Phoenix runway with the President when he visited her state. Even when they do not agree with their policies, it is seen as a duty of the governor to greet the president and other high -ranking federal officials when they come to the state.


  1. mwheeler04 says:

    After reading this article, I was sorely disappointed in the lack of facts presented. I was even more irritated with the lack of facts presented by the editorial and the overt liberal bias of the assistant editor in the “Campus Chat”.

    I should point out that the President must be invited by the state government for a visit. He can’t just come in on a whim or a moment’s notice. Governor Fallin had scheduled her vacation prior to the President’s so-called advanced notice of his visit.

    According to the press release from Lieutenant Governor Lamb’s office dated March 23rd, 2012, he was at the National Lt. Governors Association Federal-State Relations Meeting.

    With Gov. Fallin and Lt. Gov. Lamb being unavailable, our other high-ranking state officials were welcoming home our Army National Guardsmen from Afghanistan.

    The lack of facts in this article could have caused Rose State to get into some serious trouble with our state government if someone had chosen to take it to Gov. Fallin’s office.

    Perhaps next time, the person who is writing a political piece should do their research because for this article it was rather apparent the assistant editor didn’t! Can you say JOURNALISM ETHICS???

  2. Idiot. ^
    Nobody likes Fallin, and there is no way the Assistant EIC could have gotten in trouble because she gave factual information with correct citation. In no way did she falsely quote a state official or politician, so how could she have gotten in trouble? Fact: she could not have gotten in trouble and did not, because I highly doubt Governor Fallin would care what a community college paper has to say (no offense Assistant EIC!). She has the freedom to say whatever she pleases, it’s part of being American.

  3. Zombie83 says:

    To mwheeler04,
    I find it rather hilarious that you say “I was sorely disappointed in the lack of facts presented”, and then begin this dribble about ” the President must be invited by the state government for a visit. He can’t just come in on a whim or a moment’s notice.”
    Anyone who has looked, with even the most blinded eye, into what the president can and can’t do will tell you this is not true. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/teacher_lessons/3branches/17.htm According to the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, the President can’t: make laws, declare war, decide how federal money will be spent, interpret laws, and choose Cabinet members or Supreme Court Justices without Senate approval. It says nothing about this fictitious fact you are claiming. Also may I point out, as the article stated, the President arrived at Tinker Air Force Base!!! The base is governed by the Federal government NOT the state!! So technically, yes he can visit, stay the weekend, pull up a chair and watch the game IF and WHEN he wants.
    You go on to claim “With Gov. Fallin and Lt. Gov. Lamb being unavailable, our other high-ranking state officials were welcoming home our Army National Guardsmen from Afghanistan.” I seriously doubt that is what they all were doing. I find it sad that we could only muster up 2 Mayors and some Tinker officials from the state (thanks for that FACT 15th Street news.) to welcome our President to our state.
    As for your idle threat and claim of lack of facts that could cause Rose State some “serious trouble with our state government” Anyone who can spout off such nonsense has to be intelligent enough to scroll down and read the disclaimer that dissociates Rose State College from the articles posted by 15th Street News.
    I also believe that Gov. Mary Fallin would be glad to read that 15th Street News did not include the fact that the govenor took her sons’ and daughters’ boyfriends and girlfriends on vacation with her. I can only assume our tax dollars paid for some tropical pre-marital sex.

    Um….lets see what else……
    The End 🙂
    15th Street News rocks! Keep up the hard work!

  4. She could have cut the “vacation” short…BY ONE DAY!! They came back the DAY AFTER his visit. Call it what you want…IT WAS A SNUB!!!

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