From Miami Herald ace reporter and pooler-of-the-day Jen Lebovich: Motorcade left Crowne Plaza Hotel about 8:40 CT. Headed toward Pensacola Beach. POTUS riding with Gov. Charlie Crist and Carol Browner. Handful of people gathered along the route, one holding Obama sign. Another: "Thanks for your support Mr. President. You still have mine." Boom set in Pensacola Bay can be seen along route. Passing through Gulf Breeze, people lined route, waved and took pictures... Groups of people waiting to see the pres motorcade standing all along the route to Pensacola beach. One person holding a sign reading "Kick Tony's ass for us." The motorcade has arrived on the beach...POTUS got to Pensacola Beach at 8:55 am, wearing blue shirt and black slacks. Walked down walkway with Gov. Crist (wearing yellow short sleeves and jeans). Both walked to the water's edge talking and pointing toward horizon. Three boats could be seen out in water. Adm. Thad Allen met them on the beach.The sand is white, water emerald green. A ways down the shore people are swimming in water. hundreds gathered about 200 yards away. People chanting "Save our beach. Save our beach."
The Republican Party of Florida had this to say about President Obama's arrival: It's unfortunate that it took President Obama nearly two months to realize that Florida, the fourth largest economy in the nation, is facing a serious environmental and economic impact from the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history.Considering that the Obama Administration couldnt even be bothered to invite Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum to a meeting of attorneys general from impacted states just two weeks ago, one might think that the President's sudden expression of concern for our state is related more to the negative publicity hes receiving in a political swing state, rather than authentic concern for the impact his lack of leadership could have on our beaches, tourism revenue, and fishing industry for years to come. Despite the fact that the President has chosen to address the nation tonight from the comfort of the Oval Office, when he should have mounted the courage to give his address to the nation facing those impacted across the Gulf region, we all hope his most recent public relations endeavor has finally resulted in a concrete plan to address this disaster, rather than a two-day photo-opportunity at the expense of the American taxpayer.