Sunday, May 16, 2010

President Obama visits Buffalo

"Buffalo LOVES Obama" was the message conveyed by a red,white, and blue sign on a Liberty cab roof when President Obama came to town on May 13th.

The purpose of the president's visit was to talk about jobs and the effect his administration is having on the economy, as well as to hear from Buffalonians, according to White House deputy press secretary and
Buffalo native, Bill Burton, as described in an article in The Buffalo News.

The president also held a private meeting with several representatives of the Families of Flight 3407. Obama thanked the families of Flight 3407 for their efforts to boost aviation safety in wake of the plane crash that claimed their loved ones, according to Burton.

Previous stops on on his "White House to Main Street Tour" have included a visit to a local restaurant. Obama and his entourage did stop to buy something to eat, and the prez ordered Buffalo chicken wings. So where did they go? Anchor Bar, home of the Original Buffalo Wings? Nope. They went to Duff's Famous Wings, also an excellent choice.

It was the Buffalo wings stop at Duff's, and in particular something that a local resident said to the president there, that received the most media attention. According to The Buffalo News article, "Obama stories, blog put reader where action was", by Margaret Sullivan, readers of heard about it first, thanks to News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski, who was with the president almost every step of the way.

Below is the electronic message that appeared on the Buffalo News live blog:

1:23 p.m.: Louann Haley, of Chaffee, greeted the president with the words: "You're a hottie with a smokin' little body." Obama's response: He hugged her. --JZ

Oh, yes, and about jobs and the economy...

Obama did meet with workers at Industrial Support Inc., where he offered a vigorous defense of his economic policies, saying they are creating jobs to boost the economy, according to live blogger, JZ.

Industrial Support Company officials spent about 45 minutes with Obama, introducing him to employees and giving him a tour of the plant, which manufactures a variety of products, from aeronautical parts to salad bars for the grocery industry, as stated in The Buffalo News article, 'President's visit makes impression at Industrial Support', by Jay Rey and Jay Tokasz.

David Sullivan, founder and president of Industrial Support, told Obama that 15 years ago he was in a shoe-box of an office, struggling to meet payroll. Today, he was shaking hands with the president. "That's the American dream," Obama told Sullivan, as he gave him a big hug.

Although Obama was in Buffalo ostensibly to talk about small business and jobs, the national media attention on the president's visit focused on the stop for Buffalo wings and and the "hottie" quote, not on small business matters. This, together with the decision to have the president give his wing business to Duffs, not the Anchor Bar, prompted an editorial cartoon, below, by Adam Zyglis.
[Click image to enlarge]

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