President Barack Obama talks to a group of kids from Lenora Academy in Snellville, Ga., during a stop at the Varsity, a restaurant in Atlanta, Ga., June 26, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
A supporter shouts ‘four more years’ as President Obama speaks at an Obama Victory Fund Reception in Atlanta
President Obama is welcomed by Rep. Frederica Wilson after arriving at Miami International Airport
Here’s a world exclusive preview of what Mark Landler will (probably) write in the New York Times tomorrow:
“It was a demoralizing day for President Obama on his bus tour of North Carolina and Virginia, some of his lowest points, captured by our photographers, demonstrating just how much distance there now is between him and the people who once supported him.
From the moment he took to the stage in the morning to speak at the Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, it was evident how jaded and down he is, no spring in his step, no sign of the energy that he once displayed at these events:
Grim-faced and unsmiling….
….. his speech was so uninspiring it even prompted one member of the audience to start reading the book he’d brought with him just in case he was bored:
After the speech, the President displayed yet more of his professorial aloofness, failing to connect with his audience or show any human warmth:
It got worse later in the day when the President visited Bluestone High School in Skipwith, a group of teenagers (Jon Huntsman supporters, according to Mark Halperin) giving him an angry and hostile reception when he arrived:
There was a particularly ugly exchange with a student in pink:
…. which resulted in Secret Service having to step in:
On to Reidsville, N.C. and Brodnax, Virginia, where the President was confronted by several enraged women, two of them actually attempting to strangle him:
Stunned, the President ran for shelter in a Reidsville restaurant, where he hoped to find a warm and fuzzy reception, but there was to be no respite from the hostility, two enraged seniors confronting him, rather venomously:
The President, by now a broken man, left for Emporia, Virginia, where he gave another speech to a half-empty hall of largely unenthusiastic one-time supporters at Greensville County High School:
Once again, he ignored the issue that is, clearly, the most important to Americans – unemployment:
…. which might have explained the ugly incident that completed his day, when a young black man – possibly a Tavis Smiley and Cornel West fan – attempted to assault him by hitting his hand really hard:
Frankly, it’s hard to know how the President can recover from such a demoralizing day (#VoteMitt).”
President Obama talks on the phone as he greets people outside the Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C.
Pool report (thanks Jovie): …. For lunch on Tuesday, President Obama and his entourage stopped at Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C…..
….Outside of Reid’s, Obama emerged carrying a plastic bag stuffed with styrofoam food containers and worked the ropeline. He dispensed hugs, talked Panthers football, his shoes – and he talked to grandma.
Laketta Hussain, a 33 year-old from Eden, N.C. was on her cell phone as the president approached. Hussain told Obama she worked in weatherization and held out her phone, “My grandma says hi, too,” she told him.
“Hey grandma,” Obama said, taking the phone. He pulled it away to examine it. “This is an old style phone, though,” he said, holding it out for everyone to see. The pool report said it looked like a cordless phone. “I haven’t seen these in a while.”
“Alright. Grandma?” POTUS said, with the big phone back to his ear. Then he proceeded to talk to grandma.
“I appreciate you. How you been doing? You doing good? … OK. I’m doing good too. Except your granddaughter needs a new cell phone. She’s got one of these big old ones,” he said. “Ok. Alright. I’ll talk to you.” And he handed the phone back to Hussain, who told her grandma, “I had to do it.”
There were some excited women along the ropeline. “Oh my God,” one of them said to Obama, throwing her hands above her head. “I love you.”
“Well, you get a hug for that,” the president said. A woman he had passed by earlier with a handshake said she wanted a hug, too. “What about my hug?” she demanded.
Carl Schmuhl, 36, told Obama he works at Miller-Coors, a brewery in Eden. “You got some samples?” POTUS asked.
Briefing reporters in the pool van, White House press secretary Jay Carney confirmed the obvious – Obama is “clearly enjoying himself,” he said.
President Obama greets diners at Reid’s House Restaurant in Reidsville
President Obama visits Bluestone High School in Skipwith, Virginia
Students react after one of them asked President Obama if he knew singer Justin Bieber during his visit to Bluestone High School in Skipwith.
“Do you know Justin Bieber?” a girl standing in front of him piped up.
Mr. Obama, amused, said he does know Mr. Bieber and he’s a “very nice young man.”
“But,” he added, “I think he’s got a girlfriend.”
President Obama greets people who waiting along the bus route in Brodnax, Virginia
President Barack Obama, flanked by Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs Rob Nabors, left, and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Bruce Reed, eats lunch at the Good Stuff Eatery, Aug. 3
President Obama leads members of his economic team back to the White House after taking them out to lunch