Barack Obama, Mexico City, Apr 2009

Barack Obama came to Mexico City. It's traditional that new presidents visit Canada and Mexico in short order; this was perhaps his third international visit (Canada, G20, Mexico). There was an embassy `meet-and-greet' at a hotel during his two-day visit here, which we went to.

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Barack Obama visits Mexico City (woo-hoo!)

This was an embassy function, not a public event. (But these photos are mine, not the embassy's, as are my opinions. I'm not employed by the embassy or the government.)

Presidents often come up in conversations I have taking taxis around, so I know what the taxistas think of Obama -- they seem to like him, although they don't know much about him. However, they almost universally have two cemented opinions about US presidents: that they love Hillary Clinton and would have voted for her (and they liked her husband too), and that they have a strong dislike for Bush (both of them).

After we get that out of the way, they'll often ask about 9/11 conspiracies, which are oddly popular.

Heidi was working the door, so Piper and I took a taxi down. Here is her sketch on the way down of what Barack Obama looks like.

`Henry, I don't know if he has black hair or brown hair. Do you? No? Well, I guess I'll have to check!'

And here's one of the White House!
That's Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama there. (We explained later that they weren't married to each other and Hillary has her own house.)

Interestingly, Piper met Clinton a few weeks ago when she also visited Mexico City. I wasn't there, since I was at a meteorites conference in Houston.

Here are some police hiding behind shields.
When in Mexico, the president stays at the Presidente hotel. How handy to remember in case he gets lost. He and his group rented out the entire building -- every single room -- no joke.
Piper dressed up in tap shoes, so she dances a bit before we get in line.
This security guard is -- I am serious -- fake! He is made of plaster!

However, there still was sufficient security, and since both the US and Mexico claimed responsbility for the event, we got to go through two metal detectors, two pat-downs, etc.

Piper's friend Mia.
There was a little kid zone.
But Alejandro preferred to stay with his parents. Here he looks a little like a monkey.
And now they both look like cute anteaters.
The kids made a little poster for him.
This is what a group of 400 diplomats waiting for their boss looks like. He was talking with Mexican President Felipe Calderon just before this, and took two Blackhawk helicopters from Calderon's house to the hotel (so says my non-embassy neighbor who saw it).
He spoke for approximately two minutes. He said that "we're gonna thank our kids, because they're cute!" and then talked to the kids, and then thanked the diplomats for being diplomats, and said he was going to do his best (regarding the world) "not to screw it up," and that was about it!

Well, but he's so good, and so smooth, that I was just as happy to listen to him for two minutes as for 90.

This is what a room full of diplomats taking photos of their boss looks like.
Piper was right up front but I didn't get any photos of her. She has a purple dress and if you look around you can find her to his right.
He walked around and shook hands for about 10 minutes -- 5 times longer than his talk.
Books to sign! (No, he didn't...)
Photos are compared.
The camouflage makes this marksman nearly invisible next to that bush. How sneaky!
We pick up our car, parked outside the Iglesia de Scientology (which oddly enough bears a crucifix in Mexico).

Easter Egg hunt

Well, this isn't Obama. It was two weeks ago and it was the Easter egg hunt, and it was at the ambassador's house. Except there is no US ambassador to Mexico right now, so the house is empty except for guards and gardeners. (Tony Garza, previous ambassador, was a Bush appointee from Texas and left the job when Obama began. Garza is staying in Mexico now and living with his new wife, who is Mexico's richest woman and heir to the Corona beer empire. It's not unusual to be ambassador-less for some time, and people were hoping that Obama would say something official about a new one today, but he didn't.)

In any event, in case you were wondering what the backyard of a US Ambassador looks like, now you know.

No Name Tag = No Easter Eggs.

Henry Throop

Last modified Fri Apr 17 14:21:35 2009