How Asheville’s Twitter users covered President Obama’s visit to Asheville

Below is a compilation of the Tweets before, during and after President Barack Obama’s Asheville visit on Oct. 17. And below that, the live Twitter coverage continues in two feeds: moderated and unmoderated.

The president flew to the Asheville Regional Airport, where he addressed ticketed members of the public at 10:50 a.m. After that, he will travel by bus to Hickory and North Wilkesboro.

Photo by Robert Stoutamire © 2011. On Twitter @robstout1

@McRaeHilliard:   • A good place to try to see Air Force One landing is from the Lowe’s parking lot on Airport Road.
@Buncombian:   • Just saw @CNCarterNC and the lovely Kimberly! They are sitting in the bleachers directly behind where will be speaking.
@democratunc:   • @susanfisher2010 at @BarackObama rally at @flyavlnow   http: //
@McRaeHilliard:   • Unusual helicopter noise in Arden. How long before we hear the fighter jets?
@AWMooneyCNN:   • POTUS in his bus-touring attire…brown slacks, button down shirt. Just departed South Lawn.
@ORGANICCA:   • @McRaeHilliard helicopters just flew over our house!.
@WataugaRoads:   • Report that Pres will come up 321 from Lenoir. Lenoir firemen to help block roads on that route we’re told.
@Buncombian:   • I’m to the left of the #avlpotus podium, about 4 people back. It is PACKED and the excitement is palpable. Clearly this is 1st time 4 many.
@gordondsmith:   • Some ppl got here early enough to get grandstand seats. http: //
@jatkin02:   • NOTAM designating airspace restrictions around #AVL for the President’s visit: http: //
@newsradio570:   • Presidential Helicopter just landed accompanied by Chinook helicopter escort.
@DineandCook:   • @foodtopia Any word on where POTUS might eat in #Asheville this time around? Inquiring minds would like to know
@kimruehl:   • The Bluth Family airplane stairs have been moved into place just beyond the line of snow plows (?).
@gordondsmith:   • 9:41am Mayor Bellamy is here with her family. http: //
@fobes:   • Everyone must be out of Watauga High School by 1: 30pm http: //
@fobes:   • .@THM_18 But if #avlpotus is likely to be at Watauga High not too long after 1: 30pm, how can he have lunch in Avl?
@Buncombian:   • Cecil Bothwell & Gordon Smith from city council are here. Carol Peterson, county commish also.
@jclieberman:   • According to @880revolution #avlpotus ‘copter has landed-all I see is Capt Jeff Augram&lots of men n dark suits&dark glasse
@SenatorHagan:   • On the way to @flyavlnow to join the President as he touches down in NC
@philgoodstory:   • It’ll be a few more hours til #avlPOTUS is here, but 1st distinguishable wave of Secrt Srvce pulled in- & they roll deep
@kimruehl:   • Huge black bus. Who knows what’s inside?
@fobes:   • .@THM_18 Why not? If #avlpotus has to keep moving to Watauga, he could get carry out TwelveBones for the bus ride!
@fobes:   • Photos of line in West Wilkes of folks waiting to see Obama when he gets there http: //
@kimruehl:   • My guess is that’s his tour bus. DC plates. People taking photos of the exciting unmarked plain black bus.
@casey_electra:   • Crowd is cheering for what we assume will be Obama’s NC tour bus
@newsradio570:   • bus which #POTUS will depart on trip across state just arrived to cheers from crowd http: //
@phetched:   • Dudes on hangar roof unloading what looks to be giant rifle bags.
@democratunc:   • Secure bus for @BarackObama at @flyavlnow for the bus tour http: //
@OrangeMaNPD:   • Snipers are here. #potus
@McRaeHilliard:   • More choppers over Arden.
@JakeFrankel:   • Just arrived on the scene at #avlpotus http: //
@JakeFrankel:   • Just arrived on the scene at http: //
@kimruehl:   • Secret service just doubled. Sharpshooters on roof. One sniper is a lady. …
@democratunc:   • 9:56am Snipers in position   http: //
@Buncombian:   • County Commissioner Holly Jones!  http: //
@casey_electra:   • Secret service is getting big cheers on the roof of a building next to hangar 7, helicopters now circling too
@Buncombian:   • #avlpotus helicopter?? http: //
@gordondsmith:   • Command Center behind the grandstand.  http: //
@JakeFrankel:   • Just arrived on the scene at #avlpotus http: //
@JakeFrankel:   • Feels like a relatively intimate affair, an unusual chance to be so close to a sitting Prez, everyone huddled around the podium
@gordondsmith:   • Coal lobby handing out “Coal equals Jobs” hats. http: //
@880revolution:   • Security now on roof over looking #POTUS podium. On constant lookout around area.  http: //
@jatkin02:   • Black bus one of two owned by Secret Service for POTUS & other dignitaries….
@samyoungman:   • my guess is that by the end of this bus trip, we’ll have a better sense of just how close POTUS wants 2 b to OWS
@jclieberman:   • podium just uncovered-the crowd is getting restles
@JakeFrankel:   • Just got told by a PR handler that i wasnt allowed to cross the media barricade to mingle with crowd. #lame
@WestWingReport:   • Air Force One rolling 9: 35 and wheels up for Asheville #avlnews avlpotu
@asheville:   • C-T reporter Jon Ostendorff & photographer Erin Brethauer r part of national press pool. They will be w/ #avlpotus all da
@JakeFrankel:   • Just walked by a young woman as she was vomiting near press area. Now getting medic attention. Hope she’s OK.
@DynamiteRoastin:   • There goes Marine 1, flying east over I-40. , #avlobam
@McRaeHilliard:   • 10:08am Huge unmarked plane, looked like a re Fueling plane. Just Buzzed Lowes Parking lot.
@gordondsmith:   • The Chairman, David Gantt. http: //
@WataugaRoads:   • CNN confirming “off the record stops” today http: //
@McRaeHilliard:   • About 200 people in the Lowes parking lot to get a glimpse of Air Force One landing.
@JakeFrankel:   • Sen. Hagan just walked up, shaking hands with folks http: //
@light_writer:   • Interesting to note how light the air traffic is over WNC right now.
@jyenne:   • CNN says speech will be @ 10: 50
@jatkin02:   • Dulcet tones of fighter jet in the north #AVL sky preceding the President’s arrival.
@WataugaRoads:   • @fobes officially it says Millers Creek but they are confirming off the record stops, just not saying where
@JakeFrankel:   • John Boyle w AC-T here pretending to work, doodling cartoons and calling college buddies to talk football http: //
@Ashevegas:   • soon time for folks to come out and warm up the crowd. 
@880revolution:   • Benediction, Pledge of Allegiance, and National Anthem being done.  http: //
@WataugaRoads:   • Motorcade in Watauga [10: 04 update] http: //
@Buncombian:   • BCFD color guard at #avlpotus http: //
@gunterhoos:   • Stars Spangled Banner sung and all await #POTUS arrival
@JakeFrankel:   • And now it’s time to play “I spy @jonathanammons !”  http: //
@democratunc:   • Buncombe County Fire color guard   http: //
@McRaeHilliard:   • 2 commercial flights have just taken off. I thought airspace was closed.
@Buncombian:   • It’s like an air show out here. We’re getting to see all kinds of aircraft up close & personal.
@McRaeHilliard:   • 10:31am Black & gray chopper just buzzed the runway. Security sweep?
@Buncombian:   • Standing next to Rep. Patsy Keever who is logging on to twitter as we speak.  @keevercampaign
@JakeFrankel:   • Anyone spotted Rep. Shuler? Is he here?
@McRaeHilliard:   • 2 white trucks just drove length of runway.
@bernardshuford:   • Did I just see AF1 go over Candler?  4 engine swept wing. Can’t imagine what else would be at 10K feet ASL
@880revolution:   • Crowd begins to chant “Lined Up, Ready To Go!”
@KathiPetersen:   • Chanting crowd! 
@light_writer:   • Air Force One just banked in over my head in Flat Rock. 
@amyburritt:   • Honored to have been able to sing our national anthem for the #avlpotus visit @flyavlnow. #av
@kimruehl:   • 10:39am Here comes air force one!  #avlobam
@McRaeHilliard:   • See the plane. Hear sirens.
@KathiPetersen:   • Here they come!!  #avlobam
@casey_electra:   • Just attached the official Presidential seal to the podium, crowd chanting “fired up ready to go”
@jclieberman:   • Secret service just came by& told those of us on front shake hands no long hugs w #avlpotus #nervouswreck no
@IngridNews13:   • Obama has landed at the airport.
@JakeFrankel:   • Big cheer as Air Force One touches down exactly on time.
@drewreisinger:   • Air force one touches down in #Asheville 10: 40am.  #avlobam
@Buncombian:   • #AF1 *squee* http: //
@jclieberman:   • #avlobama lands in Asheville http: //
@gordondsmith:   • Mayor Bellamy and Senator Hagan walking across the tarmac to greet the #potus.
@KeeverCampaign:   • @JakeFrankel #Shuler out of country
@hornnc:   • Only in Leicester do I get to hear AF-1 coming in AND gunfire in the woods at same time. Love living in the country!
@Buncombian:   • Sen Kay Hagan & Mayor Bellamy go out to meet
@McRaeHilliard:   • Touch down.  http: //
@flyavlnow:   • http: // now arriving at AVL!
@samyoungman:   • part of #avlPOTUS trip is highlighting need for airport $. Hope AF1 doesn’t tear up Asheville runway. It has happened be
@casey_electra:   • Air Force One approaching the stage, crowd chanting “yes we can”
@880revolution:   • Air Force 1 pulling up to stairs.  #POTUS http: //
@KathiPetersen:   • Short armed view #avlobama #toughbeingshort http: //
@casey_electra:   • 10:49am Obama’s off the plane, looking calm and approaching the stage

Photo by Robert Stoutamire © 2011. On Twitter @robstout1

@Ashevegas:   • everyone has a camera @avlobama
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama about to be greeted on the tarmac by Sen. Hagan and Mayor Bellamy.  http: //
@Ashevegas:   • Mayor Bellamy, Sen. Hagan and President Obama walking up. 
@ctcarol:   • Off the plane sporting a business casual look. No tie, lots of waves
@Buncombian:   • A very tiny #avlpotus (from my vantage point) http: //
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama walks with Hagan and Bellamy to podium, crowd chanting “4 more years!”
@Ashevegas:   • President Obama jobs up to the podium. 
@JakeFrankel:   • 10:52am Obama: I love Asheville! … I should be on the tourism board!
@Buncombian:   • #avlpotus jogs towards the stage http: //
@Ashevegas:   • I think I should be on the tourism promotion bureau of Asheville. 
@Ashevegas:   • Hello Asheville! It is good to be back in Asheville North Carolina. I love Asheville. 
@Ashevegas:   • It’s always nice to get out of Washington and breath some of that mountain air. 
@fredontv:   • President’s speech in Asheville, NC has started. Live now on @wspa7onyour side and
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama calls Bellamy “lovely and intelligent. … She’s doing an outstanding job”
@Ashevegas:   • Obama gives a shout-out to Sen. Kay Hagan, Mayor Terry Bellamy. 
@Buncombian:   • #avlpotus jokes that he should be on the Asheville tourism board.
@BlogAsheville:   • Betting “Asheville” is trending briefly as #Obama kicks off tour #avlnews #throttled
@Ashevegas   • I think I should be on the tourism promotion bureau of Asheville. 
@Ashevegas:   • Obama says Asheville airport runway needs repair, and taxiway in wrong spot. We could put people to work, he says. 
@Buncombian:   • #avlpotus talking about construction #jobs and the need for runway improvements at the AVL airport.
@WLOS_ABC13:   • You can also watch the President now live on News 13 or your smart phone.
@WataugaRoads:   • Motorcade in Watauga [10: 54 update] http: //
@kimruehl:   • That’s what America used to do best – we used to build things…we should be building in the USA.
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama: “We could be doing work right here at the Avl airport” cites runway “that needs to be widened”
@ctcarol:   • Lady in obama gear has her cell phone up to speaker so friend faraway can hear the speech. Gotta heart technology
@Ashevegas:   • and Obama says the GOP jobs bill wants to repeal health care. 
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama: 64% of Americans support my jobs bill but 100% of Repubs voted against it. Doesn’t make any sense.
@newsradio570:   • This bill will put people back to work and boost our economy right away
@newsradio570:   • We need to make it easier for small businesses to survive
@Ashevegas:   • Obama says Repubs have a jobs plan, too..says it boils down to gutting regs, let Wall St. have its way, drill more
@Ashevegas:   • I appreciate the ‘four more years,’ but I’m thinking about the next 13 months, Obama says to chanting crowd. 
@Ashevegas:   • Obama says some of you have been mad at me for trying too hard to cooperate w/ Republicans. 
@kimruehl:   • Obama: “You’re chanting four more years but I’m thinking about the next 13 months. A lot of people can’t wait…”
@Ashevegas:   • Obama says sometimes it’s not always all about politics, it’s about getting something done. 
@ctcarol:   • How can he see the teleprompters in this sun?  http: //
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama: I don’t think anyone would say I haven’t tried to find compromise with the GOP
@hopicecream:   • #AVLPotus Speech streaming here http: //
@Buncombian:   • #avlpotus tag line “right now” is resonating with crowd.
@drewreisinger:   • Picturesque Obama in Asheville, NC. #ncpol http: //
@kimruehl:   • I think that was an implicit shout out to the 99 percent #ows
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama on GOP legislators: “Maybe they couldn’t understand my jobs plan… They’re going to have to answer to to you”
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama urges crowd to “give members of congress a piece of your mind”
@newsradio570:   • I need you to give Congress a call. Send them a letter, Tweet them…
@Ashevegas:   • Let’s meet this moment. Let’s get to work. President’s speech is done. 
@kimruehl:   • We’ve got to step up. We’ve http get to work right now. Crowd answering “right now.”
@880revolution:   • 11:13am President wraps up after about a 20 minute speech. Shaking hands with crowd now.
@kimruehl:   • And that’s all. POTUS shaking hands etc. People shooting photos. Very quiet polite crowd this morning.
@JakeFrankel:   • Obama wraps up 20 minute speech w/ a call to action: “let’s get to work right now!” Shaking hands as he moves towards vader bus
@gordondsmith:   • Off the plane and onto the bus. http: //
@kimruehl:   • Right now is the new “Yes we can”?  #avlobam
@880revolution:   • Cameras raised and arms outstretched as #POTUS greets supporters.  http: //
@WataugaRoads:   • Getting more reports of lots of police and sheriff vehicles staging in Lenoir right now
@BlogAsheville:   • And the #Obama livetweeter MVP award goes to @Ashevegas. Nice work.
@PushProduction:   • As usual, Pres. Obama donned a minimalist relaxed look; long-sleeved collar button-up, top buttons undone, brown belt & slacks
@PushProduction:   • Obama’s best contribution yet to fashion in politics: Lose the blazer, lose the tie.  #streetstyl
@McRaeHilliard:   • I 26 on ramp at Long Shoals is closed.
@ncjonyoung:   • Don’t get on I-26 west, traffic is stopped for the Prez http: //
@gmayer:   • My favorite part? The fighter jets at 40,000’ prolly f-16
@IngridNews13:   • Picture of Obama live http: //
@jyenne:   • NC state patrol and AVL FD were gathered at I-26 WB and 191…got thru just in time #avlobam
@lesliesloan:   • All traffic heading south on Hendo and Sweeten Creek is blocked for #bestofluc
@KathiPetersen:   • Happy crowd leaving … All smiles
@lesliesloan:   • All traffic heading south on Hendo and Sweeten Creek is blocked for #avlpotus #bestofluck I should clarify, out of Biltmore village traffic is blocked
@McRaeHilliard:   • Where is the caravan?  #avlobam
@NewsWithNicole:   • String of Secret Service cars have already arrived at W. Wilkes HS. Preparing for @BarackObama’s visit this pm
@tupelohoneycafe:   • Tupelo Honey provided breakfast for press crew at Obama’s speech this… http: //
@Buncombian:   • #occupyairportroad http: //
@trampabroad:   • Fyi do not drive anywhere on 321 today. I’ve seen well over 50 state troopers in prep for POTUS. Plus fire/rescue
@kjridley:   • Tipton’s got their catering order from #POTUS last night. The guy who runs the smoker was up all night..
@ssspoonah:   • Hendersonville Rd north is a parking lot. Air Force One just flew over.
@lesliesloan:   • 11:50am 240 E/74a/40 e all at a standstill. I hope preschool teachers have a sense of humor

Article originally posted on 2011-10-16 10:53:29 PM
Moderated and unmoderated Twitter feeds for the president’s Asheville visit are below. Be aware that the Twitter feeds below do not “auto-refresh,” so be sure to refresh your browser window to see tweets that come in after you arrive on this page.

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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2 thoughts on “How Asheville’s Twitter users covered President Obama’s visit to Asheville

  1. Wibl

    What time is President Obama set to leave the airport on the bus? I have to safely pass there to get home and I don’t want to get locked up in traffic!

  2. Viking

    Why wasn’t Heath Shuler at President Obama’s AVL event today? The question speaks for itself.

    When was Shuler’s last public event where we could pepper him with uncomfortable, personally challenging questions?

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