During his bus tour across Upstate New York, the President made stops in a number of communities. YNN's Bill Carey reports the longest stay, by far, was in a city where glimpses of the Chief Executive were very rare.
AUBURN, N.Y. – "Thank you, Syracuse. God bless you. God bless America."
The President's speech in Syracuse was over and in Auburn, anticipation grew. Crowds had already gathered at what would be Barack Obama's temporary "home." A Holiday Inn.
But there were delays. The arrival held up as, back in Syracuse, the President taped an interview at Henninger High School with CNN. When the questions were finally done, the motorcade was on the road, winding its way into Auburn, something of an anti-climax as the bus simply pulled into a parking lot and the President and traveling party were out of sight.
The next morning, the crowds were smaller, but persistent, still hoping to catch a glimpse of the Chief Executive. And just after 8 a.m., there was movement. A smaller version of the motorcade, no bus attached, sped through the downtown area. The President ready for his daily workout.
"I certainly didn't think I would ever meet a President and I didn't think I'd meet him at work this morning. That's for sure," said Kurt Kramer, Auburn YMCA-WEIU CEO.
The site was the local YMCA
Kramer said, "Came in, paid a guest fee. Said he wanted to support the YMCA."
President Obama shared the cardio room with Y members.
"There was probably two-thirds of the room full with people," Kramer said.
Down the hall, a basketball camp for young people. The President decided to pay a visit.
Kramer said, "Gave them some pointers. Spoke to them for a few minutes. Took a few shots. Made one out of three from the three-point line."
Then he was on his way and it didn't take long for the bus tour to move on.
"Had a few seconds with him, a very few seconds. But it was really quite exciting, to be honest with you," said Auburn Mayor Michael Quill.
Auburn's mayor was among those who received official thanks for their hospitality. The mayor hoping the President's brief stay has an impact on the city's effort to draw in tourism.
Quill said, "We have trouble getting that word out. Hopefully this will encourage more people coming to see us."
Soon, the motorcade was on the road and Barack Obama was saying goodbye.
The City of Auburn has now returned to normal. Knowing that, for a few hours, at least, it served as the residence of the President of the United States.
Something people here will never forget.