In the wake of President Obama’s visit, Alaskans are still sorting out the significance of new climate initiatives, cultural recognition, and more. But there’s lingering frustration among one particularly vocal group, who found that all the president’s messages came from the same place: His staff.
Obama was in Alaska for two-and-a-half days. In that time he made an important speech on the imminent threats of climate change, announced new programs on Arctic research and community relocation, and sped up the timeline for a new ice breaker. During that same stretch of time he did not take a single question from the press.
“There were no opportunities to ask questions, whatsoever,” said Hannah Colton, who covered the president’s visit to Dillingham for KDLG.
“There was not a single opportunity to ask the president questions,” KNOM News Direct Matthew Smith said from Kotzebue.
“He did not take any questions,” APRN’s Liz Ruskin told News Director Lori Townsend during Obama’s trip to Exit Glacier near Seward. Asked why the press was on a separate boat from the president in a tour of Resurrection Bay, Ruskin replied, “I think that helps us take better pictures of him.”