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Crowds gathering for Obama visit

SEATTLE — City police have blocked off one corner at First and Main while awaiting the arrival of President Barack Obama at the Grand Central Bakery.

Crowds are gathering across the street, cell phones and cameras in hand, waiting for Obama, who is due to arrive at  Boeing Field around 11:15 a.m. Meanwhile, reporters and photographers were ushered into the building after their gear was sniffed by a police dog. (Note to self: Always bring a towel to wipe the dog slobber off the camera after the security sniff.)

Obama is expected to be greeted by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Reps. Norm Dicks and Jim McDermott, King County Executive Dow Constatine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Murray and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, a former Washington governor, will sit in on a discussion of the economy with the owners of the Grand Central Bakery, located in a historic hotel building on the edge of Pioneer Square, as well as the owner of Tutta Bella Neopolitan Pizzaria in Seattle and the owner of the Inn at Discovery Coast at Long Beach, Wash. All have stories to tell of adding employees during the recession.

Republicans responded to Obama’s visit with a video contending it was a sign that Murray is fighting for her political life in this year’s election:

“President Obama comes to Seattle today because Senator Patty Murray is in the fight of her political life,” State GOP Chairman Luke Esser said. “After voting for bailouts, a fizzled “stimulus,” higher taxes, enormous debt, and bigger government, her popularity has dwindled and the president is coming to give her campaign bank account a bailout of its own. After the results of today’s primary election, Republicans look forward to uniting behind Murray’s replacement who will guide us towards less government, less spending and put us on the path towards economic prosperity.”

Murray is one of 15 candidates for U.S Senate on today’s primary ballot. She’s expected to be one of the candidates to advance under the state’s Top Two system. Republicans Dino Rossi, Clint Didier and Paul Akers are fighting for the second slot, with Rossi, a former state senator and two-time gubernatorial candidate, thought to be the likely nominee.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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