Stubb’s has a new ‘Presidential Special’?
What did the leader of the free world order when he stopped at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q on Thursday for lunch?
A quarter-pound of brisket, two pork spare ribs, cornbread and sides of pickles, onions and peppers, said Jennifer Freudenberg, the assistant special events director for the the restaurant on Red River Street.
“We might call it the Presidential Special,” said Freudenberg, who said Stubb’s received about a 30-minute warning that President Obama would be visiting.
What an unbelievable experience for everyone here,” said Ryan Garrett, the restaurant’s general manager. An advance man from the White House ate at the restaurant several weeks ago to check the place out, Garrett was told.
— Patrick Beach, American-Statesman
Worth the wait for Obama supporters
Though several downtown streets were closed for President Barack Obama’s visit on Thursday, the blocks surrounding the Omni Hotel were busy, with secret service agents, uniformed officers and people peering over police barricades, hoping to get a peek of the country’s commander-in-chief.
People waited for several hours, tracking his moves on Twitter, watching dogs sniff trash cans outside the hotel and wondering if the two heads visible on the roof were snipers meant to protect the president.
Those waiting across from the hotel were subject to scrutiny, too. Authorities asked at least two people for their identification and in one case, had a dog sniff the backpack of a man wearing a black costume mask.
Most of the crowd that secured a spot across from the Omni seemed to be Obama supporters, though the chants of at least one protester could occasionally be heard beyond the caution tape blocking off the area.
People had grown weary before the motorcade finally rolled down the street, crouching on the cement and complaining.
“This was such a waste of time,” one woman said. Minutes later, as Obama drove by, smiling and waving, she cheered with the ecstatic crowd that pushed forward to get a good look at him.
“That was so worth it,” she said.
— Ciara O’Rourke, American-Statesman
Groups protests near high school
Two groups peacefully protested Obama’s visit, holding signs as they stood along East Parsons Road behind Manor New Tech High School.
David Gilmartin, who said he was representing the Austin Coalition for Life and the Texas Alliance for Life, had one message for the president: “Tolerance yes, permissiveness no. We tolerate alternative lifestyles but we don’t give permission to break God’s law of promoting and respecting life in all its forms,” he said.
Morgan Miranda, 14, of a Waco pro-life group, also protested with a sign. “I’d just like for the president to know that it’s unfair that children don’t get to decide if they live or not,” she said.
Chris Wilson said she was protesting the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. “We want the president to know we don’t want toxic tar sands oil pipelines in Texas,” she said. Her sign read “Obama Sold Out Texas.”
— Ricardo Gandara, American-Statesman
First daughters put on notice
More than 1,000 people crowded into a chilly clean room at Applied Materials’ manufacturing campus to hear Obama speak. The president’s talk was in a decommissioned manufacturing building at Applied that was put up for sale three years ago. The California-based company, which once employed more than 4,500 people in Austin at the height of the 1990s tech boom, now has about 2,500 people in Austin.
The crowd was enthusiastic — and cold. Because the event was in a former manufacturing clean room, the air-conditioning system ensured that people stayed uncomfortably cool.
“If this is what you call a clean room, then Sasha and Malia (Obama’s two daughters) have to step up their game,” the president joked. “Their rooms aren’t that clean.”
— Kirk Ladenforf, American-Statesman