NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, February 17th, 2012

President Obama arrives in Everett for first 2012 visit to the real Washington

Good morn­ing, every­one, and greet­ings from the Boe­ing plant in Everett, where Patrick, Eve, and I are wait­ing to be trans­port­ed to Paine Field and the fac­to­ry where the 787 Dream­lin­er is assem­bled on press bus­es. We’re here in Everett to cov­er the final leg of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s mid-Feb­ru­ary tour of the Left Coast, which began a few days ago when the Pres­i­dent arrived in Los Angeles.

This will be the Pres­i­den­t’s first 2012 trip to Wash­ing­ton State, and his fourth offi­cial vis­it since he assumed the office. (He made two vis­its in 2010 and stopped by once last year as well).

Air Force One is expect­ed to touch down at Paine Field around 10:45 AM or so, and from there the Pres­i­dent will head into the build­ing that Eve and I are being tak­en to for a tour of the facil­i­ty. (The assem­bly line is not in oper­a­tion today, pre­sum­ably because it would be too noisy and unsafe to hold a media event in that envi­ron­ment). We’re told the Pres­i­dent has not yet set foot inside a Dream­lin­er, so today will be his first oppor­tu­ni­ty to go inside Boe­ing’s new rev­o­lu­tion­ary wide­body jet, which has tak­en many long years for the com­pa­ny to get into the air.

UPDATE, 9:10 AM (Andrew):  Just received this update a few min­utes ago from the White House press pool (the print reporter that trav­els with the pres­i­den­tial entourage): “Motor­cade depart­ed San Fran­cis­co Inter­con­ti­nen­tal at 8:34 am PST, under sun­ny skies and the dul­cet tones of a loan, albeit loud, pro­test­er. Unevent­ful ride to the air­port. Air Force One head­ed to Seat­tle [actu­al­ly, Everett] at 8:55 AM.”

UPDATE, 9:30 AM (Patrick): Those of us who went out to the flight line got to see a pret­ty remark­able line­up of Boe­ing air­craft, includ­ing many 747–8s (the newest vari­ant of Boe­ing’s dis­tinc­tive jum­bo jet).

UPDATE, 9:50 AM (Andrew): We are now in posi­tion on the press ris­er inside the fac­to­ry. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has a good back­drop for his speech: three Dream­lin­ers in var­i­ous stages of com­ple­tion, a big Amer­i­can flag hang­ing from the rafters, and Boe­ing machin­ery. In the fore­ground is a grow­ing crowd of Boe­ing work­ers, who are talk­ing shop with each oth­er while wait­ing for the Pres­i­dent to show up. It’s going to be a while.

View of the Boeing factory floor prior to President Obama's speech

What the scene looks like inside the Boe­ing fac­to­ry where Pres­i­dent Oba­ma is sched­uled to speak (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

UPDATE, 10:07 AM (Patrick): Out here on the tar­mac, I’ve count­ed sev­en heli­copters land­ing so far. A cou­ple look like Black Hawks, but with an exec­u­tive paint scheme. The air smells like jet fuel. It appears that the Marines will be trans­port­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma down to Bellevue/Medina for his after­noon events.

UPDATE, 10:20 AM (Andrew): There are a lot of reporters here. It’s a good thing there’s a real­ly long press ris­er inside the fac­to­ry here, because every major tele­vi­sion net­work seems to have a crew, and there are many print reporters and still pho­tog­ra­phers here as well on behalf of their respec­tive publications.

UPDATE, 10:23 AM (Patrick): The Wash­ing­ton State Patrol, sher­if­f’s deputies from King and Sno­homish coun­ties, and oth­er fed­er­al and local author­i­ties are out in full force. Glad to see them mak­ing sure the Pres­i­dent is ful­ly protected.

UPDATE, 10:50 AM (Patrick): Air Force One has land­ed and the Pres­i­dent has exit­ed the air­craft using a Lift-a-Loft. He is now talk­ing to a group of friends and fam­i­lies of Boe­ing workers.

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