NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

President Barack Obama rolls into town for another fundraising-only visit

Barack Oba­ma has land­ed in our Wash­ing­ton for his first sec­ond-term vis­it as Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States, after a flight last­ing a lit­tle less than five hours from Joint Base Andrews in Mary­land. As with past vis­its to our state, the Pres­i­dent has no pub­lic or offi­cial events sched­uled, just fundrais­ers for the DNC and the DCCC, mak­ing this just the lat­est in a series of cash ‘n dash visits.

Unusu­al­ly, Air Force One touched down at Seat­tle-Taco­ma Inter­na­tion­al Air­port instead of Boe­ing Field, which meant nor­mal oper­a­tions had to be tem­porar­i­ly paused until the Pres­i­dent was off and away in his motor­cade. The Pres­i­dent emerged from the dis­tinc­tive­ly-paint­ed Boe­ing 747 he usu­al­ly travles in to decid­ed­ly nicer weath­er than what he left behind, as recount­ed in the pool report:

Air Force One touched down at 4:16 Pacif­ic Time in Seat­tle, and the Pres­i­dent gave a lit­tle wave as he walked out of the plane twelve min­utes lat­er. The sun­set cast­ing a pink glow on Mount Ranier, com­bined with the rel­a­tive­ly balmy fifty degree tem­per­a­ture, made it feel down­right trop­i­cal com­pared to that frigid oth­er Wash­ing­ton the pres­i­dent just came from.

We’re en route to the first fundrais­er, for the DNC, at a pri­vate res­i­dence. Expect­ed dri­ve about half an hour.

The Pres­i­den­t’s first stop will be the home of Tom and Sonya Cam­pi­on. The event they are host­ing will ben­e­fit the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee. Around thir­ty sup­port­ers attend­ed, con­tribut­ing up to $32,400.

Tom Cam­pi­on is the co-founder of Zumiez, which sells appar­el pri­mar­i­ly to young peo­ple. Aside from being major Demo­c­ra­t­ic donors, Tom and Sonya are also phil­an­thropists and cham­pi­ons of envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. Tom serves on the boards of the Alas­ka Wilder­ness League and Con­ser­va­tion North­west; while Sonya serves on the boards of Seat­tle-King-Sno­homish Coun­ty YWCA, Whit­man Col­lege Board of Over­seers and Fun­ders Togeth­er to End Homelessness.

The Pres­i­den­t’s sec­ond stop will be at the home of Jon Shirley in Med­i­na. This event will ben­e­fit the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee (DCCC). The White House has indi­cat­ed it will make avail­able a tran­script of the pres­i­den­t’s remarks at this event, and reporters will be allowed inside for just that part.

The event at the Cam­pi­ons’ is closed press and no tran­script is expect­ed to be made avail­able of the Pres­i­den­t’s con­ver­sa­tion with DNC donors.

SR 520’s Ever­green Point Float­ing Bridge is expect­ed to be closed by mid-evening so that the pres­i­den­tial motor­cade can make it over to Med­i­na for the 7:10 PM DCCC fundrais­er. Fol­low­ing this event, the Pres­i­dent will return to Seat­tle and spend the night at the West­in, where he has stayed before.

The Pres­i­dent will depart for San Fran­cis­co tomor­row at 8:50 AM. His motor­cade will be on the road dur­ing the 7 AM and 8 AM hours.

If you com­mute to work on I‑5 or SR 99509 between Seatac/Des Moines and Seat­tle on week­day morn­ings, be aware that traf­fic tomor­row could be snarled, as one of those high­ways is almost cer­tain to be closed so that the Pres­i­den­t’s motor­cade can get back to Sea-Tac Air­port. Traf­fic will prob­a­bly also be worse than usu­al on oth­er high­ways too due to the domi­no effect caused by the closure.

UPDATE, 6:45 PM: KIRO just aired a report on the pres­i­den­t’s vis­it. The net­work’s Chris Leg­eros report­ed that many peo­ple watch­ing from the win­dows clapped as Air Force One touched down and snapped pictures.

Leg­eros asked a few peo­ple if they were both­ered by the flight delays but appar­ent­ly no one was upset. One man said he had tak­en video of the land­ing and planned to do some work on his lap­top before board­ing his delayed flight. Anoth­er man showed Leg­eros the pic­tures he’d tak­en through the win­dows with his Canon DSLR, say­ing he’d nev­er been so close to Air Force One.

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