The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 23, 2014

In Our Opinion: President's visit was a fun diversion

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The Daily Star

---- — In regard to President Barack Obama’s visit to Cooperstown on Thursday:

He came.

He saw.

He gave a speech.

And then he left, without the crowd outside the Baseball Hall of Fame getting so much as a glimpse of him.

But hey, it was fun having him here, exciting, too. For a couple of hours, Cooperstown was host to the leader of the free world, and the village was the epicenter of the mightiest nation on Earth.

There were Secret Service people, visiting media, and even the “nuclear football,” a briefcase carried by an aide that contains information needed by the president to authorize a nuclear attack.

Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary.

Mr. Obama said nice things about the Hall and Cooperstown, and encouraged international travel and tourism to the United States. Then he boarded a helicopter that took him to Rome, N.Y., and a flight on Air Force One to Chicago for a couple of Democratic fundraisers.

His life goes on … and so does ours.

It goes on for the people who came out to protest for and against fracking, the CORE curriculum in schools, and New York’s gun-control SAFE Act.

It goes on for all the folks who didn’t have any political agenda, who just wanted to see the president.

It goes on for the Hall of Fame, which has its annual Classic Weekend beginning Saturday. There will be a Main Street parade, a home run derby and a game played by former major league players at Doubleday Field, and that is pretty exciting, too.

It goes on for the 25 or so volunteers who were at the fire house in Cooperstown and out and about on Thursday. Assistant Chief Mike Donnelly said it was interesting and exciting to have the president visit. On a normal Thursday, he said, the third-shift worker would probably be sleeping.

It goes on for Natalie Wrubleski, who works at Christine’s of Cooperstown, and said it was “pretty cool” to have Obama visit, but the women’s boutique would have done better business if he had walked around the village.

It goes on for Brian Paterno of Paterno Brothers Sports, who said that while a visit from a sitting president is “cool,” it was hurting his business and was “without a doubt a waste of time. They closed the Hall of Fame and shut the whole town down.”

It goes on for Hayyoung Wilkens at the Depot Deli, who said business in general wasn’t good with the president in town, although “we did get a big order for lunch from the State Police.”

And so our lives go on in this really nice place, and maybe our lives are just a little happier knowing the president said it was a really nice place, too.