President Obama lands in Kirkland amidst hundreds of supporters | Slideshow
By CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
Kirkland Reporter Editor
February 21, 2012 · Updated 1:37 PM
Hundreds of Kirkland residents cheered as President Barack Obama touched down at the former Seahawks practice field at Northwest University on Feb. 17 on his helicopter Marine One.
Many in the crowd, which lined N.E. 53rd St. and 112th Ave. N.E. near the campus, had waited for over two hours for the president, who was en route from an event at Everett’s Paine Field before heading to two private fund raisers in Bellevue and Medina.
“I think he’s going to go blazing by us,” said Seattle resident Barbara Buck, who heard about the event from a neighbor who lives in the area. “How do I tell Obama I’m a big fan?”
Kirkland resident Kathy Cannon was driving home when she saw a crowd of people gathered at the corner of her street.
“I was actually scared at first because I saw the police and so many people,” said Cannon, who joined the crowd after she found out they were waiting for Obama’s arrival. “I read about it in the paper, but I didn’t know he’d be in Kirkland.”
But others were not so surprised.
Northwest University junior Ashlynn Pauls said the campus was abuzz on Feb. 15 when at least eight helicopters were reported near the school. The helicopters were practice landing at the Northwest University field in anticipation of Obama’s visit to the region, said Secret Service spokesperson Bob Kierstad on Feb. 15.
“Rumor got around that Obama was going to land here,” said Pauls. “I’m really excited because nothing exciting happens like this at this school.”
Before the president arrived, the crowd held up iPhones and cameras as several government helicopters landed. Then Kirkland police and the Secret Service closed off 53rd St. to traffic as a motorcade of nearly a dozen police motorcycles and government vehicles passed through.
Tara Bobbarjung and Camryn Martin, both 5 years old, waved American flags as the motorcade passed, while others yelled out, “I think I saw Obama waving.”
The motorcade traveled southbound on I-405 to the fund-raising events in Bellevue and Medina.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Editor Carrie Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-822-9166 (ext 5050).