Roseburg, the recent setting for a horrific mass shooting at the local community college, is not thrilled about President Obama visiting the small town.
While it’s impossible to generalize the attitude of thousands of citizens precisely, local chatter is largely centered on an unwelcoming note; in essence, the message is simple: “We don’t want him here.”
The feeling is understandable. Just hours after the gunfire stopped and as family members sought information about their friends and loved ones, the president took to his podium to offer an obnoxious lecture to Americans that oozed with self-righteousness and pomp.
The speech went-over like a lead balloon for many Americans and nowhere was this anger more palpable than in the hills of Oregon as many Roseburg residents understandably viewed the president’s speech as a nakedly transparent attempt to capitalize upon the deaths of nine innocent people to promote his unconstitutional agenda that already irked many within the rural, more-conservative community of Roseburg.
On Monday, after the White House announced that the president would come to Roseburg, David Jaques, the editor of the Roseburg Beacon, a newspaper in town, joined Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly to discuss the upcoming visit and blasted the president, saying,
“He wants to come to our community and stand on the corpses of our loved ones and make some kind of political point.”
“We’ve talked to dozens upon dozens of citizens, some family members of the victims, our elected officials,” Jaques stated. “Our Douglas County Commissioners, along with our Douglas County-elected sheriff, who is very popular, and our chief of Police all came to a consensus language about him not being welcome here for political grandstanding.”
86-year-old resident Carolyn Kellim runs a gun store in town where she donates profits to charity. When asked, Kellim was not enthusiastic about Obama’s visit– who she called the “executive anus”- and expressed that she disagreed vehemently with Obama’s unconstitutional gun control stance.
While Obama will likely find a few flag-wavers and excited liberals in the devastated community, many have turned their backs on the opportunistic president who adheres to Rahm Emanuel’s mantra, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
Jacques’ comments are hardly unique. After the news of Obama’s visit was released, social media users throughout town blasted the visit and the prevailing narrative appeared to be one of disgust and assertions that Obama was not welcomed in their town.
As Roseburg is my hometown, several contacts I have in the area have informed me that this is the predominant feeling among the residents. While some have expressed a favorable opinion of Obama, there are many even within this group who view his message on Thursday to be highly-politicized and inappropriate as his grandstanding appeared to trump any legitimate concern for the families devastated by the shooting.
However, city officials are looking to silence this predominate narrative by asserting that the residents of Roseburg do not speak for Roseburg. In essence, Roseburg is officially happy to have Obama visit.
“Since the announcement that President Obama may be in the Roseburg area on Friday to meet with the families that lost loved ones at Umpqua Community College, news outlets have been announcing that the President was not welcome in Roseburg,” a statement released by city officials read. “These announcements have included alleged quotes from community leaders.
“… We wish to be clear that Mayor (Larry) Rich, City Council (Tom) Ryan and the Roseburg City Council welcome the President to Roseburg and will extend him every courtesy,” the statement continued.
Because nothing says “he’ll be met with open arms” like releasing a statement assuring the world that despite the palpable backlash, the city of Roseburg officially welcomes the president…
It’s very likely that some within Roseburg will enthusiastically support the visit. When this happens, the city’s officials will likely hype-up this modest level of support to show that the town is truly hospitable.
Fine. However, while city officials may play the role of hospitable host, the truer metric of local enthusiasm is not the official statement by the city council, but by the grumblings and rants by many, many people within Roseburg.
In this view, it’s clear that Mr. Obama is about as welcomed as a bout of chlamydia.