Topic: Barack Obama
The president makes his fifth visit to the state since being elected, but no public events are planned.
November 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM
With President Obama visiting Seattle on Sunday afternoon and evening, officials are warning about traffic and flight delays from mid-Sunday through Monday morning.
The president is scheduled to arrive at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and will depart at 8:50 a.m. Monday, also from Sea-Tac.
An airport spokeswoman said air traffic will be halted a little before Air Force One arrives and remain stopped while Obama is at the airport, but she didn’t expect major delays.
A bigger problem might be getting to or from the airport Sunday or Monday, or driving anywhere in that area, since roads often are shut down for a presidential motorcade. The Washington State Department of Transportation is warning travelers to expect delays on “major highways,” but gives no details.
Obama is scheduled to attend two fundraisers during his stay — one in North Seattle on Sunday afternoon, and a second in the evening in Medina on the Eastside.
May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM
The president returned to Boeing Field shortly before 4 p.m. and Air Force One took off at 4:09 p.m., bound for California. President Obama will attend a celebrity-studded fundraiser there at the home of actor George Clooney, an event that is expected to bring in $15 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
May 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM
A vote for former Gov. Mitt Romney, he said, is a promise to renew the battles of the past four years.
“We can’t return to the policies that got us here in the first place,” Obama said.
The crowd, seated on the main floor around tables, stood for much of the speech and cheered wildly, especially when the president highlighted his views on gay rights and abortion rights.
Obama conceded that his work was not done, saying, “Are we satisfied? Of course not.”
May 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM
President Obama is speaking at the Paramount Theatre fundraiser. Seattle Times reporter Emily Heffter is tweeting from inside the theater.
May 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM
Outside the Paramount Theatre this afternoon, a small but devoted crowd of supporters basked in the afternoon sun along the police barricade at Eighth Avenue and Pine Street.
Kept so far from the action at the Paramount, they mainly entertained each other.
Willie Dixon, a homeless man, nonetheless put on a tie and wingtip shoes to meet the president. He brought his acoustic guitar to serenade Obama, too.
He didn’t seem to mind playing for him at such a distance. ”The president is coming,” he said. “This is the place to be.”
The president’s acknowledgement that he supports gay marriage was on the mind of Rodney Upchurch, 37, who was also among those in the crowd.
He said he suspected Obama embraced gay marriage “for the votes.”
“I don’t think it’s in his heart,” Upchurch said. “He’s from a Christian background. I don’t feel he’s 100 percent behind it.”
But Upchurch, who is black, said the issue was not a deal breaker for him.
“I’m supporting him because he’s black,” he said. “But I don’t like what he said.”
Holly Teige, 37, from Monroe, and her partner, Nefanton (who uses only one name), brought four of their six children to the Paramount to thank the president for supporting gay marriage.
“We are so grateful,” Teige said, as her children held a glitter-encrusted sign that said “Thank you Obama.”
Teige said she knew it was difficult for the president to take that stance, and didn’t hold any bitterness about how long it took him to arrive at that position.
“I would rather he stay in office in support of our cause,” she said. “If this keeps him out of office, that would be unfortunate.”
May 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM
Posted by Jim Brunner / Seattle Times staff reporter
At the Seattle home of Ann and Bruce Blume, where the fundraising brunch for the president is being held, Obama spoke to a small room of donors for about 11 minutes.
(He was introduced by the Blumes’ daughter, Libby.)
The president did not mention gay marriage, which he announced yesterday that he supports. Instead, he gave a standard campaign pitch about getting the economy back on track and ensuring all Americans have the opportunities he had, including access to a college education.
He contrasted his plan with what he says is the Republicans’ “narrow vision” that says: “If I’m doing well, it’s up to everyone else to figure out their own way.”
The president spoke in a casual tone, using a microphone in a small room, which had a view of Lake Washington and the Bellevue skyline .
The media were hustled out of the room after the speech, so reporters were unable to hear a question-and-answer session after Obama’s remarks.
The Blumes’ home is assessed at $17.5 million.
Lake Washington Boulevard through the Denny-Blaine neighborhood is the land of waterfront mansions and high hedges. The Blume house isn’t visible from the road. A steep driveway lined with cypresses curves down from the street. Three police boats were patrolling the lake not far off-shore.
May 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM
Interstate 5 traffic was stopped for several minutes on the Ship Canal Bridge, and Highway 520 traffic blocked approaching Portage Bay in both directions, to make room for President Obama’s motorcade, according to tweets from the state Department of Transportation, at @wsdot_traffic.
Traffic reporters are also saying that at least one freeway exit to north downtown has also been closed — which makes sense given that his upcoming stop at the Paramount Theatre is near Stewart Street. The highways reopened about 2:03 p.m., but one car stalled afterward on 520.
Earlier, traffic on westbound Highway 520 was stopped on the floating bridge, to keep it away from the eastbound motorcade that exited at Montlake Boulevard.
Police agencies do not reveal presidential routes in advance for security reasons, but DOT warns drivers to beware of temporary highway delays until 4 p.m. The president is scheduled to appear at the Paramount Theatre at about 3 p.m. After that appearance, he will leave for California from Boeing Field.
King County Metro transit said delays are likely to worsen from this point on, through the afternoon commute. Pine Street and Convention Place Station near the Paramount are closed, but busy Westlake Station remains open.
May 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM
The line is long outside the Paramount Theatre where President Obama will speak at 3 p.m. today. Supporters are paying $1,000 for general-admission tickets and $5,000 for a photo reception. Jam band leader Dave Matthews is scheduled to perform at the event.
May 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM
President Barack Obama’s May 10 visit to Seattle sparked a flurry of reactions from some people on social networks. Click below to see selected tweets, photos and reactions.
May 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM
Post by Jim Brunner / Seattle Times staff reporter
Bibian Odhiambo, originally from Kenya and the same Luo tribe as the president’s father, watched the president’s motorcade arrive at the lakefront house of his brunch hosts.
“I’d like to say I got a glimpse of him. I saw the car,” said Odhiambo.
“It’s really exciting. I’ve never been this close to the president. Being from Africa where democracy is not as established, it’s great that people get out and get involved.”
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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