WATERLOO, Iowa | Already heavily invested, Patricia Saffold, of Waterloo, did not mind dedicating a few more hours to achieve her ultimate goal.
She was nearly first in line Saturday for tickets to President Obama’s campaign stop today in Waterloo. And she showed up before 3 p.m. today to be among the first 40 people outside the RiverLoop Amphitheatre in downtown Waterloo.
“I just want to shake his hand and get a nice little picture,” Saffold said.
The opportunity was historic for her personally.
“This is the first time I’ve seen the president, so I am like way excited,” she said.
LaJuana Hicks of Waterloo, though, was a bit ahead of Saffold in line, passing the time with her 1-year-old daughter, Kassadie. They got in line about 2 p.m. and the logic was not complicated.
“To make sure I get in to get a seat and to see my president,” Hicks said.
Corine Jones and a cousin, Diane Wise, both of Waterloo, were just as enthusiastic but not as fortunate. They waited several hours but organizers had run out of tickets before Jones and Wise got to the front of the line Saturday.
Their optimism remained, though, and they were scouting out vantage points where a view of the president might be possible.
“That’s why we’re here early, to scope out the landscape,” Wise said.
“I hope to get a good spot so I can hear what he’s saying,” Jones added. “I voted for him, and my plan is to vote for him again this year.”
Eric Dowell, branch manager for US Bank at the corner of West Park Avenue and Cedar Street, intends to keep the doors until 5 p.m.
“It’s been business as usual,” he said.
The bank is adjacent to the RiverLoop and in fact will become part of the area secured once the president arrives. Snow fence already surrounds the property and will be close off entirely once bank employees leave.
“It’s pretty unique, definitely,” Dowell said.
The commotion outside was very evident out the bank’s windows.
“The Port O’ Potties went up, and there’s a lot of people walking around,” Dowell said.
President Obama is scheduled to speak about 7:45 p.m. today.