President Obama delivered a speech today in Marquette, Michigan, a town of 20,000 in Michigan's upper peninsula. The locals were understandably enthused:
"I think the town is really excited for this," said Kurt Mensching, 32, a substitute teacher and writer.
"Almost as soon as it was announced, I think a feeling of pride went through a lot of people, and everyone was talking about it and hoping they'd get a chance to see him speak. I think it rises above party lines and we're all happy to host his visit."
Mayor John Kivela is coming back tonight from the balmy temperatures in Florida to be part of the event.
"I'm flying back … so I can be a part of this," said Kivela from the 13th hole of a golf course in Bradenton, enjoying 70-degree weather.
"I'm very excited because this is an incredible opportunity for Marquette." He was to have stayed in Florida until Saturday.
He'll be met by bone-chilling temperatures that will barely get into the teens Thursday with partly cloudy skies.
Kathy Divine of Marquette said everyone supports the president's trip, announced just last Friday. "We are all so excited to be recognized," she said.
Obama's speech centered around extending broadband access, including to remote rural areas like Marquette. As Obama put it, "If you can do this in the snowy wilderness of the Upper Peninsula, we can do this all across America," Obama said.
Translation: If we can hook up a place like this, a frigid little burg at the end of the Earth, we can do it anywhere.
Uh.. thanks, Mr. President?