Bacon & eggs with Goodyear plant employees...and a stagnant monthly jobs report...
UPDATE: President sends condolences after restaurant owner passes away hours later
Ahead of a busy day rolling through Ohio and Pennsylvania aboard Ground Force One on Friday morning, President Obama stopped to fortify himself with breakfast at Ann's Place, a diner in Akron. Fifteen locals awaited the President as he arrived at 8:06 AM for a meal of two eggs over medium, with a side of bacon, wheat toast and grits, enjoyed from a perch at the counter. He was joined by three longtime employees from Akron's Goodyear tire plant: Jim DiFalco, Rick Nixon, and Keith Ross. (Above: with from L DiFalco, Nixon, and Ross)
The President heads into his day on the campaign trail with depressing new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: The unemployment rate was unchanged in June, holding at 8.2%. The President did not mention the news as he worked the room. Speaking with a group of gentlemen, the President motioned to the press corps, and offered advice.
"Don't do anything wrong while these guys have the cameras on," he said. "They'll catch you."
Before sitting down, the President went around and shook hands with diners tucking into pancakes and eggs.
"This is a section they call the troublemakers," he said to the group in the photo, above.
From a campaign official, more info on the President's breakfast companions: Nixon is from Norton, and works in the mix center at the Goodyear plant. He has worked for Goodyear for almost 20 years and is the Political Coordinator for the UAW Local 2L in Akron. DiFalco is from Tallmadge, and was first hired at Goodyear in 1980. He was laid off in 1986, then re-hired in 1992 and has worked there ever since. His father and grandmother both worked for Goodyear. Ross is from Norton, and has worked at Goodyear for 14 years, where he makes NASCAR racing tires.
The President spent the night in Akron at a Hilton Hotel. His first official stop of the day will be a tour of Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Boardman. The massive facility makes private-label Italian foods. (Above: Chatting with his server)
President Obama's 'Betting on America' bus tour included three "unscheduled" food stops on Thursday in Ohio. In the evening, he spent Happy Hour at Ziggy's Bar & Restaurant in Amherst, enjoying a Bud Light with locals. Earlier in the day, he attended an ice cream social in Sandusky, stopped at Kozy Corners restaurant in Oak Harbor for a cheeseburger lunch, and made a stop for a rare purchase of local produce at Bergman Orchards Farm Market in Port Clinton. The President was accompanied by former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, one of his national campaign co-chairs, as well as White House aides.
Info: Ann's Place is at 1604 South Hawkins Ave, Akron, Ohio, 44320.
The President's motorcade caused a huge traffic jam on I-77 on Friday morning, according to pool, with north and south lanes shut down. Commuters stood outside their cars to photograph the motorcade as it rolled through. A video of the President's motorcade on 1-77, taken by citizen Brandon Campbell: