Friday, August 14, 2009

Perhaps, a raucous town hall for Obama?

In the aftermath of the scream matches and slugfests that have peppered town hall meetings by Democratic senators around the country, what the president encountered at his health care town hall in Portsmouth on Tuesday seemed like a peaceful PTA meeting.

For one, he is the president (and even though it seems unlikely considering the brouhaha we’ve witnessed all around, the weight of the office might quell even the most angry, irrational protester just a tiny bit); two, there was a tightly controlled ticketing process; and three, it was New Hampshire.

The Montana town hall planned this afternoon will likely be quite different – it's less controlled since tickets are being handed out on a first come, first serve basis, and well, it’s Montana.

Hundreds have been waiting in lines since Wednesday afternoon for tickets. There are reports of organized protests around the Gallatin Field hangar in the town of Belgrade, where Obama will hold the town hall. The group planning the protests is connected to Americans for Prosperity, now infamous for its involvement in the “tea party” protests on Tax Day.

Obama plans to hold another town hall in Grand Junction, Colorado on Saturday, and tickets are being issued through an online lottery.

It might actually work in favor of the administration if Obama were to be confronted with tough absurd questions. He certainly seemed to be itching for some form of contention at the almost-subdued town hall on Tuesday. Outrageous questions from protesters might give him a chance to better quell these ridiculous assertions on national TV, if the protesters give him a chance to actually answer them, that is. Obama also seems to do really well with the dry wit he often uses to tackle obviously preposterous claims. But then again, those who see the obvious preposterousness, don't necessarily need a refutation.