As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s pretty exciting when Air Force One is at LAX. It is, after all, probably the most recognizable 747 in the country, if not the world. In addition to being exciting to see, it can also be a tremendous pain in the ass. If Air Force One is here, that means the President is, too. And that likely means especially bad traffic on L.A.’s streets.
If you’re a fan of plane spotting, I’m here to give you the hot tip. Pick your spot on the lawn next to In-N-Out on Sepulveda on Thursday afternoon. If all goes according to schedule, Air Force One will cross directly in front of you as it comes in to land at 2:45pm. I always recommend getting there at least 30-60 minutes early, as this flight sometimes runs ahead of schedule.
If you’re not a fan of plane spotting (or heavy traffic,) I’m here to give you the hot tip. Stay the hell away from West L.A. on Thursday afternoon! President Obama arrives in mid-afternoon and will be heading to Sony Studios in Culver City to appear at a fundraiser for his reelection campaign. The Secret Service has worked closely with LAPD and LADOT to mitigate the traffic caused by the presidential motorcade, but seriously, how much can they do? Traffic in that area is typically bad anyway. Add the President to the mix, and things could get ugly.
President Obama will spend the night in southern California, then depart on Friday morning. Scheduled departure is 8:55am, if you plane spotters would like to see AFO in flight again. Remember to set up at the opposite end of the airport, as departing flights head out over the ocean.
Air Force One touched down at LAX this afternoon at 12:55pm, bringing President Obama to southern California for an evening fund raiser in Beverly Hills for the Democratic National Committee. Although the President will spend the night in Los Angeles, he will make no public appearances and will depart early tomorrow morning.
I was somewhat disappointed that the President turned immediately toward the helicopter when he reached the bottom of the stairs. I had hoped that he would approach the press pool, even if only for a few questions. Sadly, not even a nod in our direction.
What was it – oh, yesterday, when I wondered why the hell LAPD Chief William Bratton would yell “terrorism!” into a theater already mobbed with stressed-out, trigger-happy voters?
Well, here’s another clue to the payoff: Times blogger Joel Rubin’s scoop that Bratton has recorded a robo-call announcement shilling for presidential candidate Barack Obama – or, more to the point – attacking GOP rival John McCain’s record on crime and punishment:
The message reportedly criticizes the record of Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain on law enforcement issues.
A spokesperson for Bratton confirms that he has recorded the political campaign message but would not provide details of its content or where the Obama campaign plans to use it.
My beef’s not with anyone backing Obama – quite the contrary, the man is currently the best man in the race for the job, and I’m curious to hear what he has to say about McCain’s law-n-order chops.
My quarrel is with Bratton abusing his taxpayer-funded position to engage in politics waaay out of his jurisdiction. Sure, law enforcement is a local issue everywhere. But if Rubin’s sources are correct, this feels suspiciously like chair-fluffing for a cabinet seat in an Obama administration.
So, what’s your bet – Homeland Security or Department of Justice?