Mess in the City: If You Were President
This isn't a Democrat thing or a Republican thing. Everyone gets excited to some level when the leader of the free world lands in your town. Everyone also knows that visit is going to equal some amount of frustration. Freeways are shut down, entire sections of the city are blocked off, and businesses in those areas suffer because customers can't reach them for hours at a time.
Certainly we're not arguing against the need to protect the most powerful man in the world. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the attempt on Ronald Reagan it was clear that the president would always have a target on his or her back.
The greater question here might be whether a campaign fundraising stop, where the only people who get close to the president paid money to be there, really needs to take place in the heart of Portland. Where the president landed, the Air National Guard Base, there are a number of larger facilities that could accommodate any size group wishing to see the president. There is also built-in security with checkpoints before anyone can even get on the base. Holding the event there would eliminate the need for any traffic to be shut down, and greatly reduce the costs for local police forces when it comes to covering such a visit.
Of course the other side could be the need for a president, especially one seeking re-election, to not appear disconnected from the general public. Popping into a local eatery for a bite of lunch and stumping at the Convention Center are key parts of looking connected with the working class.
Time to put yourself in the president's shoes. Where do you hold your fundraising event when you come to Portland? And as a voter, would you ever vote against a president based solely on the gridlock caused by their visit?