Updated at 12:52 a.m. And it’s over. A 16-minute speech, by the clock. I’ll generate more details on the speech itself in a bit.
Updated at 12:40 p.m.: President Barack Obama was bang on time. He waited through a small portion of the crowd – then singled out Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is a Republican, and Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, who is not.
No mention of the Senate filibuster, and he’s deep into energy details, so it won’t happen here. On why energy refurbishing of homes is a good area for producing jobs: “It’s very hard to ship windows from China,” Obama said.
Obama noted that Georgia’s 10 percent unemployment rate doesn’t include those who have been reduced to part-time jobs.
The most ironic note so far: Obama noted that he’s sending a record amount of federal cash to community colleges, such as Savannah Tech. But up in Atlanta, lawmakers are about to slash spending at the same Georgia institutions.
Updated at 12:05 p.m.: We are in a quiet mode. Unusual for a crowd of 300. The only thing to be heard is Doug Richards doing his noon stand-up.
We’ve been told that President Obama might address the one-man filibuster being conducted by U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky. That’s a “might.” Not a certainty.
If Obama does, he’ll get a good reaction from the crowd, which is mostly a hand-picked collection of Democrats.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston so far is the most prominent Republican at the Obama event. He’s at the other side of the room, so I haven’t been able to reach him. Just got a call from U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson’s office. They want us to know that Johnson flew down on the plane with Obama.
Competition to get in here was fierce. State Sen. Lester Jackson of Savannah, a Democrat, said he submitted a list of 47 for invitations. Only four received them. And he was one of the four.
Just spotted House Democratic Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin, the only candidate for governor here that I’ve seen. The mayor of Savannah just walked in, too. So Obama is close.
Savannah – Just got checked in and seated for the noon appearance of President Barack Obama at Savannah Tech. One magnometer, 500 or so VIPs, a boatload of press, and ran. Not a good situation.
The president is presumably on the ground, or at least that’s what AP reports, but there’s no sense of urgency at this invitation-only event. Not exactly a town hall situation. It’s a quiet place, no waiting music. And that’s a good thing.
Outside, Obama has brought everyone together: Nuclear protestors and NRA demonstrators, tea partiers and health care reform boosters. But the first sign was I saw had to do with none of these: “Tobacco or higher education? Which do you support?”
That’s a state budget issue.
At least two members of Congress are here – John Barrow of Savannah and Sanford Bishop of Albany, both Democrats. U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, we’re told, will be here as well. Gov. Sonny Perdue is to meet Obama at the nearby air base.
On the state level, Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond and Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin are to be here, too.
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