Hello Mr. President

President Obama with the Tappan Zee Bridge.
President Obama with the Tappan Zee Bridge.

I was glad to join about 100 other guests in welcoming President Obama to Westchester yesterday.  He was in Tarrytown to highlight national infrastructure priorities, using the Tappan Zee Bridge as a backdrop.

This was my second time seeing the President live, but the first doesn’t really count – it was the Democratic convention in Charlotte, where I was seated about a mile away from the podium, leaving the President looking, to the naked eye, like any other distant vertical object.  This time, the setting was more intimate, and I was seated about 15 feet away from the podium.

The content of the speech was very important, of course, but you could get that from live coverage on cable or news accounts afterwards.  More memorable from a personal perspective is the general spectacle of a Presidential visit.  The series of helicopters flying over the bridge, the expectant energy as the motorcade arrives, the mass display of iPhone cameras at the President’s appearance (my photo shown here is a little grainy), and the strange way that the world changes within a half mile radius of the occupant of the office.