The President of the United States of America visits Madison today. As I write this I think I may have heard AF1 buzz over my place of business. We don’t get too many 747s (like, none) landing in Madison.
Also as I write this, some of the major roads are blocked off or are getting blocked off for the President’s motorcade. I honestly have no clue how I am going to get home, as my residence is on the other side of a highway that is blocked off. I believe the overpasses are also blocked. Obama’s speech is set for 6pm.
Some interesting anecdotal evidence for you. I made a point to be visible outside of my usual office area and to talk more than usual to guys who had things to pick up – from parts runners to technicians. Almost every single person is not happy about this – not only for the extreme inconvenience, but for the sheer waste of money. Many guys explicitly said “that’s my money they are wasting”. I know that some of these guys voted for Obama, but none of them are pleased with this show of bluster.
So if you see my town on the news tonight with a huge crowd on Library Mall in downtown Madison to hear the One speak, just remember that there is a seething underbelly of people who are major-league pissed off at this spectacle.
9 thoughts on “Obama Visit to Madison”
He came to Chicago and fouled things up royally here. People seemed not to mind. They are used to politicians walking around like they own the place here, I guess. Plus, Chicagoans have an unreasonably strong loyalty to the home team, whether it deserves it or not. The many decades of miserable Cubs baseball is one example, and not a happy one. A more positive example is the recent arrival in Chicago of the new CSO music director Ricardo Muti. He played his first concert to an a huge crowd at Millenium Park, and was greeted with a very emotional and tumultuous welcome. My wife and oldest kid were there, and I am jealous. Muti has the love and loyalty of the place for the asking, and I hope he does great things here4.
He did an appearance in West Hollywood about a month ago, that absolutely strangled rush-hour traffic in LA that day, for the convenience of his motorcade. Local residents were majorly annoyed.
You gotta hand it to the O-man, though: he’s alienating former supporters at warp-speed levels.
I spoke yesterday evening to my mother, who lives in Albuquerque. This coming weekend, Albuquerque hosts their annual Balloon Fiesta, which draws nearly a thousand balloons (and their owners, crews and fans) from all over the planet, along with many tens of thousands of visitors and tourists. It is probably the single most lucrative tourist event for the city all year.
This year, mom said, Obama and his entourage are set to arrive and disrupt the opening weekend, grounding the balloons for at least 2 days in the name of “security”, likely costing the Albuquerque economy millions in tourist dollars. Not to mention creating a large cohort of annoyed and frustrated citizens. One balloonist was quoted in the local news, saying he expected to lose some $10,000 in lost revenue over the weekend. But that’s OK – since only well-heeled people can afford to indulge in a pastime like ballooning, they’re probably overwhelmingly Republicans, anyway.
Mom went on to say that VP Joe Biden is scheduled to arrive the following weekend – during the Fiesta’s closing ceremonies, of course. Maybe he’ll have a little less security?
Jimbo – interesting. I am guessing from all the cops I saw yesterday on my slog home that this thing cost the city of Madison well over $100,000. So not only will Albuquerque be taking it on the chin on the front side with less ballooners showing up, they will take on the back side with all of the extra security, etc. Just what all of our cities need right now.
Lex: “They are used to politicians walking around like they own the place here, I guess.” Sometimes I wonder if Chicago is LA with snow. That is definitely not a typical Midwesterner attitude.
It’s been close to 20 years since I left Mad Town.
Why wouldn’t those wild-eyed students (and old hippies) wise up on that phony?
Please, please The One—make more appearances! Show us the glory of your Imperial Magnificence! On our dime! You’re the best campaigner that we have—for a Conservative victory on 11/2.
Hey, maybe another teleprompted rant on Fox and unscrupulous business owners and greedy surgeons will help. Yeah, let’s do that. It’s worked so swimmingly so far, it may be time to remind the electorate that they are uninformed and don’t recognize how good You’ve been to us! Have Biden on a splitscreen, translating your speech into Stupid, so most of us can understand it. Maybe hand puppets would help—after all, most of us don’t pay attention, and need help understanding your Harvard-educated Wonderfulness…
Dear Mr President.
It’s called a Helicopter! Use It!!!!!
It is all about darsan: giving the people the opportunity to make a connection with the divine nature that shines through its incarnation in the illustrious leader. Merely to look is to be blessed, and that compensates for all inconveniences. What kind of messiah would he be if he did not offer such blessedness to his subjects?
I had the opportunity to work from home Tuesday, and I took it.
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