Cannon Falls, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) More than 100 people – mostly military and secret service families -- where corralled in a small holding area near a media riser at the Air National Guard base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
As Air Force One pulled up, the president was greeted by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar; Reps. Keith Ellison, Tim Walz and Betty McCollum. He was also met by Brigadier General Robert Cayton.
POTUS strode confidently down the steps from Air Force one, embracing Dayton for a quick hug.
The president wore a white button-up shirt, a blue blazer and pants the color of light mocha.
The president and governor shook hands and exchanged a few words.
He then moved on to Klobuchar and the rest of the delegation, offering hand-shakes and hugs.
From there, the president walked over to the military and secret service families, many of whom cheered, lifted cameras to shoot photos and held out books for autographs.
The president first made his way over to greet a young girl and the high –fived a preschool-aged boy.
“Does everybody know your governor?” the president asked the crowd, gesturing to Dayton.
Several cheered and clapped.
After a few minutes shaking hands and signing autographs, the president got a on a gleaming, all-black tour bus with dark, tinted windows.
The crowd cheered as he stepped on the bus.
Minnesota’s congressional delegation quickly scrambled onto a fleet of Suburbans and vans that made up the caravan.
From the airport, the dozen-vehicle motorcade left the airbase and began a 65 mph caravan to Cannon Falls.
On a hazy, sunny day, the president roared fields of eight-foot high corn and other crops on the way south.
People sat on their porches watching the motorcade whoosh by, some held up cameras and signs that said “OBAMA!” Another sign said, “HOPE!.” A few miles outside of Canon Falls, a large man on overalls held up an American flag.
At 11:11 a.m., four Minnesota Highway Patrol troopers flew past the motorcade at roughly 100 mph.
At the Black Stallion restaurant, perhaps a hundred gathered to cheer as the president’s motorcade zipper by.
The sign that usually touts meal specials urged the president to stop and visit.
In Cannon Falls, along the leafy banks of the Cannon River, several hundred people attended the town-hall style meeting. The event was rimmed with bright orange school busses. Before POTUS spoke, speakers blared US and country western music.
He told everybody to get comfortable, “we are going to be awhile.”
He spoke and took questions for one hour.
A huge American flag strung from trees served as the backdrop.
No hostile questions.
He was asked by student why Cannon Falls. POTUS said because he heard the town of 4,000 had the brightest, most attractive children.
He left the stage to huge applause.
Posted to the web by Melissa Burlaga