A large crowd gathered outside Faneuil Hall this afternoon, hoping for a glimpse of President Obama, who came to Boston to deliver a speech at the historic site defending his health care overhaul law.
Anne McCarthy was let out of work early because of all the expected traffic and stopped by on her way home.
“He’s preaching to the choir here,” she said, noting that she supported the law.
Michelle Disharoom, 39, works in Faneuil Hall and was let out an hour early. But she didn’t want to miss a chance to see the president.
“Even if it’s just a shadow of him walking” she said.
Mary Deren, 23, was skipping class at Suffolk University in hopes of seeing Obama. She had tried before on Obama’s previous Boston visits but to no avail.
“I’m not giving up” she said as she stood on a lamp post, her arm draped around it for balance.
Becky Leshley, 64, was in town visiting from Oregon and had waited two hours to try to see the president. She said she did catch a glimpse of his motorcade
“I figured this was the closest I’d ever get,” she said. “It’s kind of exciting.”
Obama was slated to travel after the speech to a fund-raising event in Weston.
Obama landed at 2:46 p.m. at Logan International Airport. Before going to Faneuil Hall, he got a preview of a Bill Russell statue on City Hall Plaza that is slated to be unveiled Friday. Bill Russell himself joined him to inspect the statue.
Obama acknowledged the fact that Boston is abuzz today because of Game 6 of the World Series.
“I am well aware that a presidential visit is not the biggest thing going on today in Boston,” he said as he began his speech. “I tried to grow a beard,” Obama said, referring to the Red Sox’s good luck tradition this season. “But Michelle, she wasn’t having it.”