Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bush in Alabama

(Montgomery Advertiser)

Oh, I almost forgot. The president came here today to speak at my alma mater, Auburn University Montgomery, Auburn U's little sister. I found out he was coming here last week and thought, would be cool to see him speak in person since he's the president and all. I wondered how someone would get to attend the "Social Security Town Hall Meeting." Apparently, there was a lottery to select unimportant people to attend that involved an application and a background check, the governor's office was given 500-600 tickets to pass out to whoever they wanted and the university was given 150 tickets. Darn. I probably could have gotten a ticket if I was still in school there since I worked on the school newspaper. Don't know if I would have wanted to be stuck in that traffic to get out of the school after the meeting, though. Everyone I saw leaving the campus looked pissed.

The interstate and parts of roads on the motorcade's route were blocked off for the president to pass easily and quickly through and it screwed up everything within 10 miles of AUM. I was going to the gym to work out as the president was pulling up at AUM. I got to see all the backed up traffic on the freeway, the on and off ramps and all the streets within a 10-mile radius. I left the gym a few minutes after the president took off in Air Force One and got stuck in the traffic again. That was a lot of fun. I waited about 15 minutes in line to get off the interstate at a ramp that usually takes half that time to exit and as I passed AUM, traffic was still jammed on the roads around the campus 45 minutes after Bush left.

His speech, of course, preempted everything on all the local channels and most of the TVs at the gym were tuned to one of those stations. The employees stood around TVs in offices, several women stood in front of a TV in the locker room and most people, including me, watched him speak while running, cycling, or whatever.

So far, I haven't heard of any protests. Not that everyone in Montgomery agrees with and is in love with President Bush, but Montgomery's boring that way. I did hear that lots of people pulled over on the interstate and waited for the motorcade to pass by, holding signs and cheering and waving. I guess that's all that can be expected.

Bush saluting Gov. Bob Riley. Umm...he's not in the miltary, but ok. (Montgomery Advertiser, Karen S. Doerr)

There we go. (Montgomery Advertiser, Karen S. Doerr)

These dudes followed Bush on his way to and from AUM. (Montgomery Advertiser, Karen S. Doerr)


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