We’ve covered just about every point of view I could think of regarding President Obama’s visit and town hall meeting in Costa Mesa last week. Or so I thought.
It turns out that we missed some things in our coverage that still need to be addressed. Most importantly is to thank the President for bringing his plan for our national economic recovery toÂ our so called Red County. He didn’t have to come here. He could have just gone to Los Angeles.
For all our belly-aching over the ticket distribution process, the event layout, and even the placement of the press, I’ve really got to hand it to the White House staff and dozens of Orange County volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours to make the event happen. They didn’t have a lot of time to set things up and given those parameters it is a wonder that the event went as smoothly as it did.
Furthermore, setting up an event for the President of the United States is far different than setting up a campaign event. We had the good fortune of the President visiting us in his first two months in office. The White House staff responsible for coordinating these eventsÂ are just getting their collective feet wet, so with any event of this scale there are bound to be a few bumps along the road. There are literally thousands of logistical details that need to be implementedÂ when bringing a President anywhere. The huge task of identifying and clearing the volunteers to work the event, training those volunteers, and managing those volunteers is in and of itself virtually impossible.
Were there problems? Absolutely.Â
Did those problemsÂ have a negative impact on the overall success of the event itself? Absolutely not.
For the majority of people who saw the President’s town hall meeting in Costa Mesa on television or online, there were no noticeable problems. For the couple thousand people who attended the event, I’d say that most were glad to have had the opportunity to be that close to a sitting President and would not have traded that opportunity for any price. I count myself in that group.
So while we have brought you a few different perspectives over the past couple of days, I want to make a few things perfectly clear. We are all profoundly grateful that the President chose Orange County as the location for his first town hall meeting in California. We are profoundly grateful for the opportunity to attend the event in person and write about our collective experiences. And we are profoundly grateful to the dozens of volunteers who gave hundreds of hours of their time to make the President’s visit a success.