After two days of swirling rumors, it’s official: President Barack Obama and his family will visit Asheville next weekend. There will be no public events.
“On Friday, April 23, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Asheville, North Carolina where they will spend the weekend,” the official announcement from the White House reads. “There will be no public events.”
Yesterday, Democratic Party officials said they’d heard rumors that Obama is coming to town — depending on who was telling the story — to visit an ailing Rev. Billy Graham, take a vacation, attend tomorrow’s local party convention or all of the above. One noted that if the President were to drop by the area when it wasn’t a presidential election year, this weekend, with a hotly-contested political season would be the moment. Others swore that the President would visit this weekend, which neatly coincides with the county Democratic convention this Saturday.
But apparently the visit is next weekend, and no political appearances are forthcoming..
Obama last visited the city in October 2008, while preparing for the presidential debates against Sen. John McCain. Obama also held a rally and visited 12 Bones barbecue for lunch.
— David Forbes, senior reporter