AUBURN, Maine — Just a few hours earlier than President Joe Biden arrived to talk Friday at an Auburn manufacturing facility, Jason Aldean’s “Strive That In A Small City” drifted from the radio contained in the Rolly’s Diner kitchen.
The nation tune that Republican presidential candidates have embraced because it has grow to be a culture-war situation resulting from its music video served as a reminder that the swing metropolis of Auburn is just not certainly one of Maine’s Democratic strongholds regardless of Biden’s Friday go to.
His journey to town of about 24,000 was not marked by large crowds of detractors nor huge crowds of supporters, other than the staff, their households and elected officers who stuffed the Auburn Manufacturing Inc. facility off First Flight Drive on the outskirts of city to listen to the president tout his financial agenda.
Extra notable was how bizarre the Friday morning progressed in Auburn. The nook of Mill and Fundamental streets was abuzz round 8:45 a.m., however not within the type of any onlookers. The noise got here from a building crew pounding away on a piece of the highway.
Inside close by Rolly’s Diner, an area landmark, almost each desk and counter seat was taken as prospects loved espresso, toast and one of many day’s specials, the Girl Slipper Skillet, that includes hash browns, cheddar, tomatoes and poached eggs alongside toast and occasional.
Just a few diners stated they had been conscious of Biden visiting however didn’t care a lot someway.
“Some individuals aren’t blissful about it,” a server stated, earlier than shortly asking a reporter if Biden was coming to Rolly’s. “I don’t actually get political however overhear issues.”
Equally, Darren Douin, proprietor of Joyful Days Diner, stated whereas loads of prospects focus on politics within the morning, he solely discovered Thursday that Biden was coming to city and had no clue the place the president was talking.
Taking a smoke break outdoors his diner throughout the road from Rolly’s, Douin was extra keen on speaking concerning the building that he stated has not been good for enterprise.
Extra anticipation for Biden’s go to and any opinions on the Democrat got here 20 miles away within the midcoast metropolis of Brunswick, the place a rising crowd gathered outdoors Brunswick Govt Airport to catch a glimpse of the president and his visitors, together with three members of Maine’s congressional delegation, as Air Power One touched round midday.
“It’s a chunk of America,” stated Amy Voisine of Brunswick. “Simply with the ability to come and witness our sitting president visiting our stunning state.”
As soon as at Auburn Manufacturing, the president discovered a welcoming crowd that included Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, firm workers with their spouses and kids who held up telephones to seize photographs and movies of Biden.
Many additionally observed Lewiston native Patrick Dempsey, the actor finest recognized for taking part in Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd within the TV collection “Gray’s Anatomy.” One freelancer for a nationwide paper stated his editor was preoccupied with Dempsey’s presence.
The actor sat subsequent to Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, within the part to the fitting of Biden’s podium that additionally included members of Congress and Maine legislators. Brakey shook Biden’s hand after the speech and later tweeted he handed the president a notice asking him to grant clemency to Ross Ulbricht, the “darkish internet” Silk Highway web site creator serving a life sentence in jail.
After his Auburn speech, Biden headed to a high-dollar marketing campaign fundraiser at a Freeport residence. Neighbors alongside Wolfe’s Neck Highway held indicators saying “Welcome Joe Biden” and “Maine Made” because the motorcade handed.
“If it was my home, I used to be going to make an enormous signal that claims ‘Hiya Mr. Biden,’” Marion Mitchell, who gathered with associates outdoors her neighbor’s home, stated. “Or, ‘Thanks Mr. Biden’ and simply type of present … I do respect what he’s achieved in workplace.”
It was not simply Biden followers who got here out. At Brunswick Govt Airport, the place Biden would fly out of to Rehoboth Seashore, Delaware, Ashley Morrill of Brunswick sat with household and associates behind an SUV, all donning merchandise supporting former President Donald Trump, Biden’s 2020 opponent and potential 2024 rival, and garments that includes the American flag.
“I actually don’t actually care [about Biden coming],” Morrill stated. “We wish to see all the blokes in fits. We wish to see all the massive artillery and heavy equipment and large helicopters. We adore it. It’s a rush.”