President Biden Visits Raleigh


On a chilly midday in North Raleigh, crowds gathered on Durant Road outside Abbott Creek Elementary School for a chance to catch a glimpse of President Biden during his visit to the Triangle. With police lights at every turn and helicopters whizzing overhead, the atmosphere unmistakably conveyed the proximity to the most powerful person on the planet.

Families huddled together to stay warm during the two-hour wait to witness the President’s motorcade, accompanied by a police escort. A diverse assembly of people, encompassing various ages and racial backgrounds, stood united in their support for the current administration. Notably, individuals donning “Let’s Go Brandon” hats on the nearby pavement added a touch of diversity.

Police officers blocked off traffic from both sides of the street while Secret Service agents at the entrances directed the crowd, shouting instructions to move one way or another. When a disabled person inquired about the incoming direction of the president’s motorcade, a policeman replied, “It’s classified – and even I wouldn’t know the answer.”

Meanwhile, other groups shared anecdotes about witnessing past presidents in person. A woman recounted her experience of seeing former President Barack Obama in Philadelphia, reminiscing about the encounter amid the rain.

For many onlookers, this was their first time seeing a president – or his motorcade – in person, and they were thrilled at the opportunity. Among them, a young girl eagerly asked, “Mom, where is the President?” The busy mother, engrossed in conversation, expressed the hope that her daughter would cherish the memory of being in the presence of the U.S. president, even if only for a moment.

Students were observed on the streets, either leaving school early or skipping the day altogether for the event. Some elderly women attempted to navigate Facebook Live to capture the motorcade on video. 

Loretta, a 70-year-old retired Raleigh resident, expressed disbelief that the president was in such close proximity to her home. Although she couldn’t attend the event, the mere possibility of seeing the President’s motorcade made her feel “very nervous but excited.”

A mother of two middle schoolers said she canceled her plans for the day upon learning of the President’s visit. Braving the cold for hours, she eagerly awaited the sight of his motorcade, emphasizing her satisfaction with his presence. She remarked, “I’m really glad he’s coming here. This won’t be the last time this election season.”

As the motorcade finally passed by, the crowd erupted in cheers and waves, witnessing the procession of over 20 black vehicles and police cars. A man displaying a Trump flag shouted, “God loves even you,” eliciting some fierce looks and a few comments. Undeterred, he asserted that he doesn’t harbor much affection for Republicans either.

President Biden’s visit aimed to promote his “Bidenomics” agenda ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. Democrats are investing heavily in the state, hoping to secure a victory for the first time since 2008 and only the third time in over half a century. The 2020 election saw Biden narrowly losing the state to Donald Trump by less than 75,000 votes, and Democrats are determined to turn the tide in 2024.

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