EVANSTON — After headlining a mega donor fundraiser for Gov. Pat Quinn — about 25 people at $50,000 per — President Barack Obama helicopters to Northwestern University, where on the beautiful fall day, lines of students and other invitees — Democratic donors, local elected officials and a few activists with Organizing for America — the spin-off of the Obama presidential campaign — are going through security on Orrington Ave. before entering the Cahn Auditorium, the venue for the annual NU Waa-Mu show.
Spotted: Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who represents Evanston in Congress; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Rep. Mike Quigley D-Ill. whose district is anchored on the North Side of Chicago. En route with Obama on the helicopter: Quinn,Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff and Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill.
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Across Orrington Ave. there is a crowd of demonstrators protesting Obama’s decision to delay taking executive actions to curb deportations, one of the biggest issues for pro-immigration (and Democratic leaning) activists. This evening, after returning to Washington, Obama will appear at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
Obama will speak for about 30 minutes about how, the White House is saying, “Our economy is stronger now than when the President took office during the Great Recession. Businesses are creating more jobs, our manufacturing sector is booming, and our nation is more energy independent than ever before. But we’re not there yet, and to build an economy that works for every American — not just the privileged few — we must invest in key economic cornerstones that will create security and opportunity for America’s middle class.”
Obama’s Thursday speech here is a bookend to an address he will deliver on Friday in southwestern Indiana, at Millennium Steel Services in Princeton.
Security is heavy around campus; streets surrounding the auditorium on Emerson and Orrington are blocked off, which is standard for a presidential visit. I spotted an Evanston garbage truck blocking one intersection.
And may I add, as a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, it’s really great to be back on campus.