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Eye On Boise

Tue., Aug. 23, 2005, 6:46 p.m.

‘Desperately seeking friendly ground’

Idaho’s Democratic Party is accusing President Bush of “desperately seeking friendly ground” in his current visit to Idaho, what with his approval ratings down and concern over the nation’s war deaths in Iraq getting widespread attention, sparked by grieving mom and protester Cindy Sheehan.

The president can expect a welcoming crowd at the Idaho Center for his speech on the war on terror tomorrow – two-thirds of the tickets went to Idaho military members and their families, and one-third went to Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and Idaho’s all-Republican congressional delegation, who distributed them to supporters and dignitaries. The Idaho National Guard is in the midst of its largest deployment ever, and has nearly 2,000 of its members currently serving in Iraq.

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Richard Stallings, in a press release today, said the president will appear “before a crowd of carefully selected military families and political friends.”

The president reportedly also will hold more than two hours of private meetings with relatives of dead soldiers after his Nampa speech. It was in a similar series of meetings that he met with Sheehan last year; she has since demanded a second meeting, which the president has declined.

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.