There’s just one day to go before President Obama arrives in the Coachella Valley for his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, but very little is known about this visit.
The travel plans raised questions Wednesday during the White House press briefing, with reporters wondering why Obama and Abdullah didn’t just meeting in Washington.
“Well, we’ve announced the schedule and the fact that he is meeting with the king out in California, and the president looks forward to that meeting. The king has a lot of partners that he has conversations with, including in the administration the vice president, the secretary of state and others, as well as I’m sure on Capitol Hill — Jordan being an important partner in the region for the United States,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said, according to the briefing transcript.
Carney later continued:
“Well, as you know, I think we put out a schedule for California that includes the president is going to Fresno, where he is going to discuss the effects of this historic drought in California. The king is also going to go out to California. The President and the King can meet there and will meet there as part of this trip.”
Obama is expected to arrive in the Coachella Valley later on Friday, after stopping in Fresno to discuss the drought.
The king’s travel schedule hasn’t been announced. Information released by the Jordanian royal court does not indicate any other California meetings.
It’s also not known when either Obama and Abdullah will leave the desert.
Obama is expected to spend the weekend here, as the roads around Sunnylands are closed through Monday.
Reports in the New York Times have suggested his plans include golf – Obama also hit the links during his June trip to Sunnylands — and “binge-watching DVDs of his latest favorite television show: HBO’s edgy new “True Detective” series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.”
“Mr. Obama made a point of approaching HBO’s chief executive, Richard Plepler, at the state dinner for France on Tuesday night,” The Times reported.
“‘Where is my True Detective and Game of Thrones?’ Mr. Obama asked Mr. Plepler as he told him that the coming weekend would be a good time to have the DVDs.”
The official meeting between Abdullah and Obama is scheduled for Friday, and is expected to focus on Syria and on Middle East peace talks.