Obama hits Detroit hot spots before auto show visit

Before his auto show visit President Obama made a few extra stops.

President Barack Obama hit several Detroit hot spots during his visit Wednesday.

When the president comes to Detroit, people pay attention and today he made his presence known even when he was never seen.

After touching down at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, President Obama, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and others enjoyed a burger at Jolly Pumpkin.

 
It isn't every day the cook here prepares a meal fit for the leader of the free world.

"He complimented me on the burger," said the cook, Keith. "He asked who cooked the burger, and I said me. He gave me a fist pound and then blew it up. He's a pretty cool guy."

After that a quick stop in a Detroit staple - the Shinola Watch Company where he came out with something. But he told reporters he already owned a watch.
 
From there it was on to the auto show where they were prepared for this visit.

"We've had people here since 3:45 a.m.," said Steve Dolunt, assistant Detroit police chief.  "Bomb sweeps, we have canines here, mounted (police), uniform, sniper, counter-sniper, you name it. State, federal, county, local. Everyone is here."

Attendees, even those working the event, were subjected to out of the ordinary measures.

"The secret service was here all day yesterday all day today," said Carly Francavilla, an auto show exhibit model. "Usually when you walk in they rip your ticket and you walk in. Today there's metal detectors, they are searching you, a full body search, they are making sure all our credentials are accurate today, and they have taken steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the building."
Even though he was kept out of the public eye, nearly half the auto show was shielded by a curtain when Obama was in the building.

Those in the auto industry can feel the significance of a presidential visit.

"When you have someone that holds the biggest office in the land, it's a big deal," said Scott Lariche, executive director for Lariche Chevrolet. "He's going to see how far we've come."
 


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