Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

August 22, 2013

LEFFLER: Another encampment in the trenches

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Inside there was much wandering. And kabitzing. The media is a funny bunch. We all want to be first. We all want to be best. And we all want the other outlets to fail miserably. But when we’re together we’re like dysfunctional cousins at a family reunion.

At my end of the media riser, we watched each other take selfies. We talked shop. We mocked whoever wasn’t in earshot. A reporter from the Olean Times Herald photobombed a selfie Channel 2’s Mary Alice Demler was taking. This lead to much discussion and group photos. It was a party atmosphere.

At the other end of the media riser it was all work and no play, Heather tells me. That’s where all the camera people were. Camera people apparently don’t kabitz. Or take selfies. Although I know better.

So we’re waiting. And waiting. And UB President Satish K. Tripathi speaks. Followed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Then UB student Silvana C. D’Ettorre. And finally — although only a few minutes later than originally projected — President Obama.

The crowd went wild. It was my third time seeing President Obama so I was all cool and professional. But really, it’s cool to see the sitting president. If you get the chance, go do it. It’s like the difference between watching a Sabres game on TV or at HSBC. There’s just something about the experience.

In three words, the president inadvertently dissed Congressman Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Those three words were “Mayor Brian Higgins.” Oops. After some jeering from the crowd, he fixed his error and make a joke at his own expense.

About two-thirds of the way through his speech, some idiot stood up in the back and yelled “Traitor!” followed by something unintelligible and then a second “Traitor!” He was hauled off.

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