CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - From the Buffalo Niagara Airport to Alumni Arena, security was very tight while the president was moving through Western New York. Snipers were perched on rooftops and Secret Service agents fanned out across town.
When President Obama landed, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the governor's two college-aged daughters, Congressman Brian Higgins and Mayor Byron Brown were there to greet him.
Air Force One roared into the at exactly 10:15, amid heavy security on rooftops, and even in the form of plows and dump trucks which formed a barricade around the west end of the airport fences.
Sacred Heart Academy freshman Madeline Carter was one of about 40 invited guests who got to meet the president after he landed.
"I'm going to text all my friends, like, 'Oh my God, I just met the president!'"
The 14-year-old added, "I felt like he was a real man. Like whenever I see him making speeches, I think he's like a robot, but when you meet him you realize he's like there and has feelings and stuff."
Cheektowaga resident Dan Dallman also met Obama.
"It was a wonderful experience. I shook his hand, I got chills, I still got chills. It's just amazing."
NFTA Commissioner Margo Downey said, "We shook hands and then I let him pet my seeing eye dog and he said that Boe and Sonny, [the Obamas] two Portuguese Water dogs, said to say hello and I said, 'Well, you tell them hello from Arrow and me, too.'"
Mayor Brown handed the president a Buffalo pin and a key to the city pin after he disembarked. Congressman Higgins chimed in and said, 'Don't let the Secret Service catch you with that.'
With the president now on a two-day bus trip, Air Force One was free to take back to Washington. But Congressman Higgins and the other dignitaries hopped aboard Ground Force One as it headed to Alumni Arena in Amherst.
"I had an opportunity to speak with him on the way here. We had a lengthy discussion about waterfront development, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the Buffalo Bills, and it was very productive and he said that Buffalo has gained a national reputation in the progress that it has made on the waterfront and the medical campus and Roswell Park Cancer Institute over the past five years," Higgins said.
As the motorcade moved away from the airport, the crowd on Cayuga Road was captivated and police had to push people back. You could hear the cheering down the road as Ground Force One carried the president to UB.
After spending almost exactly two hours in Western New York, including his approximately 40-minute speech at Alumni Arena, President Obama got into his motorcade and headed for Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton.
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