President Bush has been to 49 states, but not Vermont. During more than six years in the White House, he also has traveled to 62 nations, some more than once, but not Vermont. "Do I think it is a coincidence that this is the last state, the only state that the president has not visited?" Senator Bernie Sanders wondered aloud during a Burlington press conference. "No, I don't think that it's a coincidence. "
Sanders personally invited the president to visit Vermont. He brought it up at a White House reception earlier this year.
"I think he understands that he is not enormously popular in this state," Sanders allowed. "But, let me be very frank. He is the president of all 50 states, and I hope he has the decency and the courage to come to the State of Vermont. That's his job as the president of the United States. Furthermore, I hope he will do what he very rarely does, and that is, in a respectful meeting, answer the questions that people have. He is the president of the United States and he deserves to be treated with respect."
White House spokesman Tony Snow told CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller, who keeps close tabs on the president's travel, that Bush has no plans at the moment to visit Vermont.
"Visit Vermont" used to be the slogan on our license plates, the Bennington Banner recalled in an editorial that urged Bush to do just that. "Americans — especially Vermonters — like to see a politician who can face his critics in person," the Banner wrote.
Before Bush was sworn in as president in 2001, there was concern abroad about his lack of foreign-policy experience. The Mirror, a London tabloid, printed a front-page picture of a globe with an arrow pointing to Britain, under the headline: "P.S. We are here."
Maybe the Mirror got the president's attention. Bush has been to Great Britain four times.
Next stop Vermont?
To read the Bennington Banner editorial, click here.
To read Mark Knoller's report on CBS.com, click here.