On his historic recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural railroad ride to the White House this weekend, President-Elect Barack Obama could be making an unexpected and unlikely stop in Harford County along the way.
Obama’s much-celebrated trip begins Saturday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, continues to Wilimington, Delaware (where he will pick up his vice president-elect Joe Biden, and continues to Baltimore, before rolling on to Washington D.C. But sources this week have indicated the Obama team was contemplating, and possibly even preparing for, a stop in Edgewood.
Even before speculation began brewing about a potential Obama stop in Edgewood, a contingent of local elected officials were preparing to greet the president-elect by gathering at community train stations to wave at the Amtrak caravan as it rolled by.
Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie plans on gathering with constituents at the Edgewood MARC Train Station on Saturday afternoon at about 2 p.m.
On Tuesday evening, Guthrie was not aware if Obama would be stopping at the Edgewood station, slowing down to greet the crowd of supporters, or merely passing by on his trip south.
Information provided by county council staff indicated Obama’s train is supposed to be traveling at about 50 mph, which is slow compared to the normal speed of the trains coming through Edgewood. Evidently, the reason for the low speed is because Obama will be riding in President Harry S. Truman’s caboose at the rear of the train, from which he will be waving.
As far as whether the train will be stopping in Edgewood, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office will be providing deputies and has allegedly been told, as of Tuesday afternoon, to proceed as if there will be a presidential stop and speaking engagement at the train station.
Others speculated that Obama wouldn’t actually be stepping off the train in Edgewood, but merely giving a short speech from a platform on the train. Another theory supposes that the president-elect may be planning to stop and speak in Edgewood only if encouraged to do so by a large turnout at the train station.
Guthrie has encouraged anyone interested in greeting Obama as the train rolls by to meet at the Edgewood Train station at 2 p.m. on Saturday with signs showing their support for the president-elect.
Additionally, the presidential train wave will also have a group meeting along the tracks behind Havre de Grace Middle School and Community Center led by County Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti and another group led by Aberdeen City Councilman Mike Hiob at the Aberdeen MARC Train Station on Route 40.
great there goes the neighborhood
Is this part of the 11 million dollars that MD is forking out? In case you live under a rock, this inaugural gala is costing MD, VA, and DC a whopping 75 million dollars thus far. That 11 million dollar tab, which will increase by weeks end, comes out of the already cash strapped MD wallet, the wallet that the tax payer fills. Perhaps the federal government will reimburse MD (installments I’m sure) and maybe Harford County will see a little bit of money returned. Yes this is historic and yes Harford County should feel fortunate and yes the federal government should be footing the bill.
I guess this his idea of helping the economy! I heard that after the inaugeration,
he will fly home to Chicago and take a train back to DC while stopping at every major city on the way. Does he not understand how much his little trip will cost us?? All that security at each city!! Here we go…the democrats way….
Spend foolishly and tax the public!!!
Sattelite 5 says
They wanted to stop in Aberdeen as well but had to scrap that when they found out how many active and retired military there are here. He is not too terribly popular among that demographic.
Brian Young says
I happened to be in Pittsburgh when George W. Bush was starting his train tour for 2000. The train stopped on the tracks and they had everyone fill in behind the train, and the speech was given from the platform of the train. That’s how I would expect it would be done, and has been the tradition since train campaigning started.
As an aside, they had pre-made signs they handed everyone to waive. People were supposed to stand and hold the signs facing the future president. The story is humorous because, not surprisingly, all the cameras were facing the speaker on the back of the train. Only the future President could read what the signs said.
Anyway, security for a train tour is comparably cheap. The President needs to tour the country…fireside chats won’t work this time; public faith in the office isn’t what it was in the 30’s even with Obama’s popularity. It’s not a bad idea, other than that international policy will need to be handled from Washington before he will be able to work on the recession.
vietnam vet says
Sattlelite 5 it would appear George Bush was busy’ removeing veterans benefit’s on a very wide scale. don’t know for sure about o’bama. I do think it’s wrong. to do our service people this way.
I fall under the grandfather clause so I still have full medical benefit’s. support our troop’s.
Gary Owen & Semper- Fi
Why are you guys complaining about Democrats? The Republicans would have done the same–just like they did with Bush riding a train through the route he took. It’s not a party thing. But some of you will take a cheap stab at the other party whenever you can.
Personally, I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping to be among the crowd Saturday. It will be a moment to remember in the years to come.
kloh- We all wrung our hands and gnashed our teeth when the Chairmen of the Big 3 showed up in DC to ask for money in their private jets. We all cried “off with their heads!” when AIG had a posh corporate retreat after getting a huge federal bailout.
It’s not a partisan thing when states, counties, and municipalities are all “out of pocket”, paying for a wholly symbolic and unnecessary exercise at a time when everyone’s budget is in the red.
How about the president-elect front some dough from his inaugural budget to pay for all of this? He’s taken in over $27 million, a mere bag of shells.
g maurice says
Bundle up it will be a cold day!! I will be working to help make his train ride a safe one through the County!
Confirmed. Obama and Biden will be making a stop in Edgewood at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday:
Not sure.... says
Then why does it say “The Maryland Emergency Management Agency said the train may slow down, but no stops are scheduled.”
Not sure.... says
On WBAL’s website
From the information provided by the Obama team at the link provided above:
“President-Elect Obama and Vice-President Elect Biden will make the Edgewood Train Station one of very few whistle-stops on their historic train trip from Philadelphia to Washington DC. You can be a part of the crowd of supporters they will greet from the back of the train.”