Obama To Make History With Friday Arrival In Palm Springs

Obama To Make History With Friday Arrival In Palm Springs


Coachella Valley Region

Post-presidential visits to the desert are nothing new. Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Ford all came to the Coachella Valley after their time in office. President Obama though will make history Friday when he becomes the first president to head straight for the desert the moment he becomes a private citizen.

After all, they don’t call the Coachella Valley "the playground of presidents" for no reasons.

"The presidents have gravitated here, like so many of us do. They feel the same magic in this valley that we all do and it’s a wonderful place to be. And so the presidents, when they have their choice of where to be in this world, they choose the Coachella Valley," said Anne Rowe, director of collections and exhibitions for the Annenberg retreat.  

The White House has confirmed the president will arrive sometime Friday afternoon. In the past, Richard Nixon famously came to the desert about a month after he resigned the presidency and stayed at Sunnylands to escape the controversy of his resignation.

"As the swirl around that news occurred in the eh world he was right here at Sunnylands and he wrote in he guest book, ‘You know who your real friends are when the chips are down," Rowe said.

Gerald Ford made his way to the Coachella Valley after only two weeks of being out of office. But President Obama and his family won’t waste anytime and the Palm Springs Police Department has already begun their preparations. 

"It takes a lot of man-power, it takes several meetings, it takes a lot of coordination between local agencies, local government and the secret service to ensure safe travels for our president," said Sgt. William Hutchinson of the Palm Springs Police Department.