President visits Derby City to talk technology
It took seven years to make his first visit as president, so, in the grand scheme, folks at a Louisville tech company didn’t seem to mind waiting an extra three hours for President Barack Obama to come to Louisville.
The president was in the Derby City to applaud job-training efforts at Indatus, a technology company that provides cloud-based communication applications as well as hardware and infrastructure.
‘What’s happening here is essentially America, and we want to lift it up and we want people to see what’s possible in developing innovation and job creation here in the 21st century,’ Obama said during his 11-minute speech.
Dignitaries with the president included Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (who flew in with Obama on Air Force One), Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Jerry Abramson, Louisville’s former mayor who now serves as Obama’s liaison to local governments.
The president joked that he was thinking about remodeling the White House to make it look ‘hip and cool.’
‘But the reason I’m here is not just because it looks hip and cool, but because what’s happening here is essential to America, and we want to lift it up and we want people to see what’s possible in developing the kind of innovation and job creation here in the 21st century, knowing that we can succeed,’ Obama said. ‘This company and the network that’s been developed here in Louisville are helping to prepare people of all ages for the higher-paying, in-demand jobs of the future. And we need to get more of that done.
‘Our economy has grown since the crisis, but, when you look at what’s happened, middle-class folks, their wages, their incomes just haven’t gone up that much,’ he said. ‘And a lot of folks are still struggling to get by. And our economy works best when everybody has a stake and everybody is getting ahead.’
The president’s arrival from Washington, D.C., was pushed back so he could hold a press briefing in the Rose Garden regarding treaty negotiations with Iran over nuclear energy.
Iran would reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and significantly scale back its number of installed centrifuges, according to the plan. In exchange, the United States and the European Union would lift sanctions.
During the Rose Garden speech, Obama said the framework of the plan would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.
Because of the late arrival, traffic in Louisville was gridlocked for the duration of the president’s visit. Traffic on Interstate 65 was gridlocked as Obama’s motorcade made its way downtown from the Kentucky Air National Guard base at the Louisville International Airport.
According to Louisville dispatchers, a call came in at 5:13 p.m. about a woman who was about to give birth in a car. A nurse who also was stuck in traffic assisted the woman through the delivery. The baby boy and his mother were taken to a hospital and were reportedly doing well.
After the president’s speech, he returned to the airport and spoke with Kentucky Adjutant Gen. Edward W. Tonini and Col. Barry Gorter, the commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing of KANG, before jogging up the steps to the door of Air Force One and leaving with a smile and a wave.
Obama was in the air at exactly 7 p.m. and headed to Utah, where he was to stay the night and speak again on his push for new tech jobs.