Queensland to get large share of Obama sunshine
US President Barack Obama will visit Australia in March.
The White House has just confirmed a rumour that has been circulating in Queensland since last November.
President Obama’ visit will commemorate the 70th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between the US and Australia and there is mounting evidence that the visit will feature Queensland prominently being the home state of Prime Minister Rudd.
The trip has been confirmed by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. Details of the President’s itinerary are still to be settled, but his visit will be in the second half of March
Here are some of the inside secrets of the Queensland itinerary.
Kevin Rudd plans to serve Barack Obama a big Aussie breakfast on his back deck in Brisbane.
Not sure yet if it includes an opportunity for Kevin’s good mate and near neighbour the car dealer John Grant to give the President a spin in the infamous ute. The suburban street is under 24/7 security by the Australian Federal police and access is restricted.
The home visit is a certainty.
Last November Black Hawk helicopters operating from Amberley air base near Brisbane conducted a number of training missions over Brisbane city and surrounding suburbs including Rudd’s home suburb of Norman Park. The Presidential visit was the specific reason for this military activity.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew McNab, Chief of Staff for the 16th Aviation Brigade confirmed the Queensland scenario in a Press Release when he said the training was essential to ensure a high level of readiness and expertise to respond to any special contingency that the Federal Government might require.
Local media also observed intelligence officers from the Federal Police and FBI snooping all over the city as the helicopters roared overhead and several inner city hotels were checked out as being suitable to accommodate the 250 strong support staff and US media.
The President will also make a stopover in Port Douglas just like President Bill Clinton.
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree chief Doug Ryan said a week ago that Port Douglas had been vetted by the Prime Minister’s office.
“The PM’s office has a good knowledge of the region and I know they already have a huge dossier on the region and would recommend it as safe,” he said.
Ryan also confirmed that the Australian Federal Police and the FBI had been taken around and shown all the places a President might go including a reef trip and they checked the security aspects
When the Presidential visit does occur can Kevin Rudd create a campaign slogan for the 2010 Federal Election as good as Harold Holt achieved when President Lyndon Johnson visited?
“All the Way with LBJ” might become “For any world drama call Rudd and Obama”
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