Updates: President Obama’s four-and-a-half-hour Seattle visit

July 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 55 Comments

3 PM: President Obama is expected to land at nearby Boeing Field around 3:15 pm, according to regional media; if you recall, the Boeing Field advisory linked here Monday opened the window at 3 pm. There’s widespread confirmation today that he’ll be headed to two Democratic Party fundraisers. First one’s in Madrona, which means I-5 traffic stopdowns (including exits from the West Seattle Bridge to I-5); second one is in Hunts Point – The Seattle Times (WSB partner) even published the invitation. Then he is expected to fly out by about 7:30. We’ll add updates here.\

(Tweet from Times political reporter Jim Brunner)
3:07 PM UPDATE: Air Force One has just landed, per live TV streams. (Here’s the link to KING 5.)

3:17 PM UPDATE: A prominent West Seattleite is at Boeing Field to help greet the president, according to KING’s Linda Brill on the live feed linked above – King County Executive Dow Constantine.

3:26 PM UPDATE: Motorcade is on the move now, after the President spent a few minutes shaking hands at Boeing Field.


Here’s more info on the not-public party-fundraiser dinner that will be his second stop.

3:46 PM UPDATE: The presidential motorcade has arrived in Madrona.


His second event, dinner in Hunts Point, is scheduled to start at 5 pm, so we’ll update when we hear that move is on. His return to Boeing Field is likely ~7-ish.

5:04 PM UPDATE: That next motorcade move is reportedly about to start – Madrona to Hunts Point.

5:39 PM UPDATE: Apparently the preparedness starts way in advance. TV people on the ground are tweeting that the trip between locations is under way *now*. (Added: He is reported to have arrived in HP around 5:50 pm. Next leg of the motorcade will be back to Boeing Field in an hour or so.)

7:11 PM UPDATE: Per regional media, the motorcade is either on the move again or about to be. (Added: Now departing:)


7:32 PM UPDATE: The motorcade has arrived at Boeing Field.

7:43 PM UPDATE: And Air Force One is off, headed for San Francisco. As outlined in the Boeing Field advisory published Monday, he was on the ground here for four and a half hours.

9:42 PM UPDATE: For details of what the president said at his first stop, there’s a full report up on The Seattle Lesbian by its founder, West Seattle journalist Sarah Toce.

55 Comments

  1. I am monitoring Air Force 1 now on my scanner. Landing now at Boeing (03:02 PST)

    John

    Comment by John — 3:07 pm July 22, 2014 #

  2. No sonic booms this time. I guess all the seaplane pilots were notified! :-)

    Comment by Maris — 3:25 pm July 22, 2014 #

  3. Good grief; Gaza, Ukraine, Illegal invasion, the economy,
    and still O’bozo has time to come and rummage for cash.

    Comment by old timer — 3:52 pm July 22, 2014 #

  4. Well, he has to get the all important fund raising in before he leaves on his two week, $12 million vacation, all at taxpayer expense.

    Comment by Ray — 3:57 pm July 22, 2014 #

  5. Love seeing the snarky Obama comments on WSB. If people here (of all places) are finally waking up, it gives me great hope.

    Comment by A — 4:03 pm July 22, 2014 #

  6. fox news strikes again in west seattle. Pathetic and embarrassing. Get a life Old Timer and Ray — maybe you two can get together and form a support group — tea party for two.

    Comment by Kit Cudahy — 4:13 pm July 22, 2014 #

  7. Wow, it only took two posts for the low information voters to pop up. Don’t know whether to laugh or yawn. Perhaps Fox didn’t cover it, but every president does fund raisers and takes vacations. Republicans, Democrats, doesn’t matter, though the R’s are ahead in the vacation days.

    Comment by elikapeka — 4:28 pm July 22, 2014 #

  8. Easy, Kit Cudahy. I don’t agree with Old Timer’s or Ray’s rhetoric, but I understand the underpinnings of their frustration. Calling their remarks pathetic and embarrassing is uncalled for.
    I dislike that our President has the time for the folks that can cough up $25k to see him, but not for those who don’t? The well-to-do get his time and attention and everyone else gets bad traffic (and before you vilify me for being a fox news proponent– I like Obama, voted for him and watch the Daily Show instead of the news).

    Comment by Please — 4:50 pm July 22, 2014 #

  9. What does it say about the basic level of civility in our culture and political discourse when we refer to our president as “O’bozo”? Have some respect for the office if not the man. As President Obama regularly says, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

    Comment by John — 4:51 pm July 22, 2014 #

  10. Faux News does it again and manages to send low info voters into a panic.

    Comment by cj — 4:54 pm July 22, 2014 #

  11. The idea that fundraising is somehow specific to a political party is pretty entertaining. Either way I know better than to blindly trust any politician from any party (even the one I lean towards). That said fingers crossed the rest of the evening commute goes smoothly. Don’t fail me now, Metro! :)

    Comment by Heather — 4:55 pm July 22, 2014 #

  12. Or maybe, jut maybe, some of us are just that disappointed in Obama.

    All of his promises (Gitmo, pullout in the Middle East, transparency, NSA spying, IRS spying, etc). He has not lived up to the cast majority of his promises. And do not blame the Republicans. He owned both houses and still accomplished nothing other than force Obamacare on the country, with its wondrous results.

    He makes time for fundraisers, and parties in the White House, but spend so little actually doing his job; instead he presides via proxy and sound bites.

    Yes, he is a complete disappointment.

    Comment by Ray — 4:57 pm July 22, 2014 #

  13. Just got on my bus at the Montlake freeway station on 520 as troopers were moving their vehicles into place. Glad I beat the shutdown and can get home at a reasonable time!

    Comment by B — 5:06 pm July 22, 2014 #

  14. I don’t feel anything will change no master what party or person is in power until we lose the two-party system that is so beholden to corporations (as long as those corporations continue to value their bottom line above human beings).

    Comment by JCK — 5:22 pm July 22, 2014 #

  15. Love the look on that baby girl! I feel the same way!

    Comment by JS — 5:31 pm July 22, 2014 #

  16. John need I remind you what the left was calling Bush? It was a lot worse than O’bozo. I certainly hope you felt the same way during B’s year’s in office
    Jim

    Comment by clark5080 — 6:08 pm July 22, 2014 #

  17. All these people complaining about the Presidents’ holiday and the cost to the taxpayer – you do realize that he has no option for the security? He does deserve some time off at some point. Why aren’t you bitching about the endless cost of the Benghazi hearings?! Please grow a brain and learn some civics.

    Comment by Dan — 6:49 pm July 22, 2014 #

  18. Rich liberals in Medina get top priority over burned-out families in Eastern Washington? Pathetic, sad, but expected from the worst President in modern history.

    Comment by Bradley — 6:50 pm July 22, 2014 #

  19. Stop blaming the president for Congress’ failures. Whomever the president, they can only sign or veto. Ray, learn about your own country, and get out of my city – your brain is not your own.

    I think this President is a bad democrat, but I’m not going to blame him for a useless, do nothing congress.

    Comment by Dan — 6:52 pm July 22, 2014 #

  20. Old Timer and Ray — I agree with you. O is just a figure head not a president. Figure heads are excellent mouthpieces for fundraising and community organizing — get my drift. He has shown zero leadership in the USA/Mexico border crisis, VA crisis, foreign policy crisis and on and on.

    Comment by Seattlite — 6:54 pm July 22, 2014 #

  21. I thought this post was about traffic, not about whether or not you like Obama.

    Comment by West Seattle since 1979 — 7:04 pm July 22, 2014 #

  22. As an outsider, this comment thread really epitomizes the typical Seattle elitist complex. I see multiple comments referring to anyone critical of Obama as “low info voters”. Really? How old are we? Because someone disagrees with your opinion of our current leadership they are dumber than you keepers of all important information? Come on, truly pathetic. I’m embarrassed to be surrounded by you.

    Comment by Not surprised — 7:10 pm July 22, 2014 #

  23. “What does it say about the basic level of civility in our culture and political discourse when we refer to our president as “O’bozo”

    I prefer shrub.

    Comment by Smitty — 7:46 pm July 22, 2014 #

  24. i’m very grateful for the details re when/where the motorcade was on the move. The original time I was to depart home for the airport (and my route) would’ve put me smack in the middle of the mess. Avoided all of it. Thanks!

    Comment by Sue — 7:51 pm July 22, 2014 #

  25. You’re welcome!

    Comment by WSB — 7:59 pm July 22, 2014 #

  26. You do know that Ronald Reagan lamented in his memoir (and was criticized in the press) that he had to cut short his (25 day) vacation at his California ranch when the Korean airliner was shot down by a Soviet fighter jet in 1983. In fact, he didn’t address the nation until 4 days after the tragedy occurred.

    Comment by seattletimebandit — 8:10 pm July 22, 2014 #

  27. ….I served with Ronald Reagan. I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. , Obama, you’re no Ronald Reagan.

    Comment by Smitty — 8:47 pm July 22, 2014 #

  28. seattletimebandit -

    What’s your point? Regan did the wrong thing so Obama should get a pass?

    Comment by A — 9:09 pm July 22, 2014 #

  29. http://littleblackvillage.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/obama-accomplishments-too.jpg

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:52 pm July 22, 2014 #

  30. every fund raising visit by Obama and Biden cost tend of thousands in overtime cost for the police. yet Seattle refuses to be reimbursed by the Democratic party……yet Seattle clam ins they have no money for basic programs. If you are broke and someone owes you money wouldn’t you collect on a debt?

    Comment by joel — 10:11 pm July 22, 2014 #

  31. No, Obama doesn’t deserve a pass. The point is whether it’s a republican or democrat in the White House, there is absolutely no difference. Anyone who believes otherwise…

    Comment by seattletimebandit — 10:20 pm July 22, 2014 #

  32. Yes, I will say low info commenters. This county is ran by Corporations … If you do not know this, you have been fed low information. Grow your brains on real information… Loop holes held in place by congress is a good place to start your research… Wake up, know it alls!

    Comment by Elle Nell — 11:11 pm July 22, 2014 #

  33. Not Surprised,

    That is the reason I can only take a month at a time in my hometown. then I want to run – screaming.

    Comment by G — 11:14 pm July 22, 2014 #

  34. @joel…as a point…the person in Medina who is hosting will have to pay the $30,000 or so for extrsapolice, etc. not you, not me, not any other tax payer…just that homeowner, who is Jim Senegal , ex-CEO of Costco. So get over what it’s costing taxpayers for that. It’s not.

    Seattle is not involved…he’s going to the eastside..

    Comment by JanS — 11:56 pm July 22, 2014 #

  35. Datapoint on that, his first stop of the night was Madrona, which is in Seattle. Then he went to Hunts Point. Medina provides police for Hunts Point, according to KING 5, and that’s why Medina is billing Jim Sinegal.

    Comment by WSB — 12:01 am July 23, 2014 #

  36. Jan…..not quite true there……there is cost for every agency involved. maybe you did not see the hundreds of police blocking every exit and providing an escort? most of those cops are on overtime working extra for this event. wanna guess the OT rate for cops? these are costs by county, city and state resources. each place can bill back the party for the extra costs. the city of seattle chooses to not bill back. so eastide, westside, white center or wherever this event was there was cost to Seattle…..

    Comment by joel — 12:38 am July 23, 2014 #

  37. Ray, you are right on…
    As for all your detractors, they love keeping their heads buried in the sand and clinging to that old played out mantra that if you think the man is a failure then you must watch Fox News…
    They are the left’s version Rush-heads and their opinions are simply popular bullet points they cling to from 6 year ago…

    Comment by Former Dem — 5:56 am July 23, 2014 #

  38. Since 2008, the GOP strategy has been fill Congress with obstructionists and then to promote the illusion that the administration is disconnected from the people.

    The fact that people still fall for this theater six years later is astounding.

    Also, keep in mind that the King County GOP has an active, ongoing misinformation campaign to flood emails, social media, and message boards such as this, The Seattle Times, /r/Reddit, etc. Pot-stirring and sowing discontentment is far easier than offering thoughtful solutions and addressing real issues.

    Comment by Militant Moderate — 6:54 am July 23, 2014 #

  39. Comparing Obama to Ronald Reagan
    A joke
    So many more pressing things he need do aside from schmoozing with the elite
    Timing is off
    At least he did cancel his jimmy kimmel interview this week to deal with some issues

    Comment by Mn — 7:00 am July 23, 2014 #

  40. Not surprised
    Well said
    I’m so sick of being attacked because I don’t and never have idolized this president
    We can have differing views without being called idiots
    Shameful

    Comment by Mn — 7:11 am July 23, 2014 #

  41. Actually, it was a stroke of luck that the President was in town when the Wildfires were going on. WA Governor was able to discuss and ask for Federal Assistance in a more direct manner for those residents affected. This trip had been in the works for many weeks. For those who think the current President is not working hard enough for them I refer you to recent articles which confirm this administration has taken substantially less time on “vacation” then his predecessor, by a 3:1 margin.

    Comment by Dale — 8:49 am July 23, 2014 #

  42. http://q13fox.com/2014/07/23/president-obama-signs-emergency-declaration-for-washington-fires/

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:06 am July 23, 2014 #

  43. For those who think the current President is not working hard enough for them I refer you to recent articles which confirm this administration has taken substantially less time on “vacation” then his predecessor, by a 3:1 margin.

    .

    But…..but……Benghazi!!

    .

    Mike

    Comment by miws — 9:07 am July 23, 2014 #

  44. Actually, the fire situation is mentioned in the story we linked in this story … and here’s the update directly from the governor’s office, link via Twitter just a few minutes ago, emergency declaration signed:
    .
    http://governor.wa.gov/news/releases/article.aspx?id=303

    Comment by WSB — 9:12 am July 23, 2014 #

  45. This forum has reached a low point when a real tragedy – contrived controversy or not – becomes a punchline.

    You people are my neighbors, albeit part-time??

    Comment by G — 9:33 am July 23, 2014 #

  46. If you want to find the true reasons for O’s support, just identify the folks he sends checks to. The rest of us are a bit pissed. And usually too busy working to comment on blogs 24/7.

    Comment by Rick — 9:39 am July 23, 2014 #

  47. Smitty: You are correct Obama is no Reagan and for that we are thankful and all better off especially the middle class.

    Secondly, it is a shame and sad fact that politicians must spend time raising money. It has been going on a long time but has been exacerbated by Citizen’s United whereby the free flow of money into campaigns by donors can even be hidden from the Public (us) and whereby foreign nations can secretly pour money into our elections. Get the money out of politics, which will never happen, and fund raisers and political “payback” would be a thing of the past in political campaigns.

    Comment by WS since '66 — 9:47 am July 23, 2014 #

  48. We can have one idiot after another and still have a zoo in D.C. untill we clean house in congress and the house of reprobates we will have more of the same. when the leftovers get voted out of office they go into Lobby work. so nothing will change..WE NEED TWO TERMS AND THE THIRD TERM -JAIL TERM. for all of these stickey finger bums… they and their television buddys are getting rich off the taxpayers and we the taxpayers are low man on the food list. they win -we loose.reguardless who is in office…….

    Comment by Robert — 9:50 am July 23, 2014 #

  49. WS/66′s point was embodied at the most recent meeting of the 34th District Democrats, where Ann Martin announced that Initiative 1329 hadn’t gathered enough signatures for the ballot, noted toward the end of our report.
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2014/07/seattle-tax-alternatives-for-transit-north-highline-ballot-measure-more-34th-district-democrats
    .
    http://www.wamend.org/

    Comment by WSB — 9:55 am July 23, 2014 #

  50. Can we just have a civil war and get it over with already?

    Comment by DTK — 10:13 am July 23, 2014 #

  51. Benghazi, I mean.

    Comment by G — 10:29 am July 23, 2014 #

  52. I’m generally an Obama supporter (voted for him) BUT I do feel its a misuse of Presidental power and Federal & Local resources to shut down large swaths of I-5 so the President can come fundrais

    This trip didn’t benefit the taxpayers in any way and at the very least he could’ve planned it so it wasn’t so burdensome to commuters.

    If we could just get Congress to pass campaign finance reform all the fundraising insanity (of which both sides continue to feed the fire) could fade away….alas my Congresswomen & Representatives have been frustratingly unresponsive on this issue when I contact them about it :-/

    Comment by Ms. Sparkles — 10:38 am July 23, 2014 #

  53. Influence will always be for sale in the District of Corruption. The two party system just makes it simpler to subvert the will of the people. YMMV.

    Comment by Thomas M. — 10:43 am July 23, 2014 #

  54. Most divisive president ever. In the words of your favorite scapegoat, “mission accomplished”. Brooklyn Bridge flags are testament.

    Comment by R — 12:32 pm July 23, 2014 #

  55. Wish I could have my votes back. As a new voter in 2008, I’ve learned a significant lesson.
    -
    Re-sign the Patriot Act? Yep. Close Gitmo? No. Still in Afghanistan? Yep. $22 Trillion in debt in 2016 when he leaves office? Yep.
    -
    Both parties are slimy. Obama flies in on our dime, and only visits the richest Americans in Madrona and Medina. Shameful. Shame on any partisan who’s still defending this indefensible mockery of what the US once was (miws).

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 7:23 pm July 24, 2014 #

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