Follow the Gateway’s live updates surrounding President Barack Obama’s arrival and speech at Baxter Arena on Wednesday. Join in the discussion by tweeting us at @unothegateway using the hashtag #potusatuno
WATCH IT LIVE
To view a live stream feed from President Obama’s speech at Baxter Arena on Wednesday click here.
6:03 p.m. – Sam Murphy spoke with two University of Nebraska at Omaha international students following President Obama’s speech.
“It was very exciting. I just saw one of the most powerful figures in the world; to see how impressive he is and how well he speaks was just awesome.” -Laura Linartaite, an international student from Lithuania.
“He just knows how to present himself and talk to a large audience. He can make everybody agree with him, no matter what they believe.” -Amber Fehr, an international student from the Netherlands.
5:32 p.m. – Gateway contributor Sam Murphy spoke to Nicole Keeton, an Omaha woman who witnessed Obama’s inauguration in person in 2008.
“I love what he had to say, the way he greeted the crowd (upon entering), and how he visited a local woman’s house (Lisa Martin) to say how much he appreciated her writing to him,” Keeton said. “That’s a great man!”
5:27 p.m. – President Obama is now leaving Baxter Arena (via @meanstreetsomaha).
5:18 p.m. – President Obama is shaking hands of the crowd on his way out of Baxter Arena following the culmination of his speech.
5:17 p.m. – WOWT is reporting that two people passed out during Obama’s speech and were carried away on stretchers.
5:15 p.m. – The American people give Obama hope for the future. Finishes his speech on a strong patriotic note, and the crowd gives him a strong standing ovation.
5:10 p.m. – “We’re not supposed to be a nation where we discourage people from participating.”
5:08 p.m. – “I think we have to end political gerrymandering,” Obama said.
5:06 p.m. – “I have really enjoyed being President and I’m gonna squeeze every last thing I can out of it over this next year. But my biggest regret is that our parties are even more polarized,” President Obama said.
5:05 p.m. – Obama taking an open stance on political correctness. Says it shouldn’t restrict speech, but insults do not help anything.
5:01 p.m. – Obama thanks the University of Nebraska Medical Center for their efforts in the ebola crisis.
4:59 p.m. – Strong foreign policy, patriotic rhetoric from the President. “We can’t…take over every country that falls into a crisis. We have to have a patient…strategy.”
4:54 p.m. – Very positive audience response to President Obama’s speech thus far.
4:50 p.m. – via @UNOTheGateway “Around 8,000 people gathered inside Baxter Arena.” About 1,300 people watching remotely via live stream.
4:42 p.m. – The President quotes Warren Buffett “Nobody ever got rich betting against America.”
4:41 p.m. – President Obama playing the bipartisan. Recapping some key points from his State of the Union address last night while looking forward to the future of our nation.
Four big points: How do we make sure this new economy works for everybody? How do we make sure the spirit of innovation is used to solve out big problems? How do we keep this country safe without becoming the world police? How do we make politics that best reflect America?
4:37 p.m. – “America is at its best when we see each other as one people,” Obama said.
4:35 p.m. – President Obama really working the crowd, playing up his charismatic speaking style.
4:31 p.m. – Obama has been introduced and is walking on to the stage. “Go Mavericks,” -President Obama
4:30 p.m. – The live stream is up and running with a speech from a teacher at Papillion La-Vista – Lisa Martin.
4:24 p.m. – Anticipation is building. It seems as if the established speech time of 4:15 p.m. was little more than a guideline.
4:15 p.m. – Traffic controllers are reporting tremendous backup in the wake of President Obama’s motorcade.
4:13 p.m. – Gateway Online Editor Brooke Criswell has sighted President Obama roaming the halls of Baxter Arena. The speech is imminent.
3:56 p.m. – President Obama’s motorcade has arrived at Baxter Arena.
3:53 p.m. – Sources are reporting that the motorcade has exited interstate I-80 and is westbound on 72nd st. President Obama should arrive at Baxter Arena any moment now.
3:48 p.m. – According to many news sources and Gateway contributor Sam Murphy, President Obama’s motorcade is en route to Baxter Arena. 72nd St. is closed as well as I-80.
3:31 p.m. – University of Nebraska at Omaha seniors (l-r) Jacob Pulfer, Ben McKenzie, Adam McKenzie and Andrew Pulfer show their tickets to the event outside of Baxter Arena (via Gateway contributing photographer Kimberly Bailey).
3:22 p.m. – More shots of the exterior and crowd from Gateway contributing photographer Kimberly Bailey
3:11 p.m. – University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds is speaking to Baxter Arena. Some laughs sounded from the crowd because he was announced as “President”. The crowd was ecstatic to hear from Bounds, who said, “President Obama’s visit to Omaha shows that the University of Nebraska system is second to none.” (Photograph by Gateway Photo Editor Shannon Smith)
3:06 p.m. – Gateway contributor Sam Murphy talked to Omaha resident Matt Lewindowski on what it means for Obama to come to Nebraska, a GOP hotbed, as one of his last stops as President.
“Shows that Omaha is a lot more progressive than the rest of the state, and that Nebraska is not necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ state,” Lewindowski said.
2:54 p.m. – Some shots of the crowd, lines and atmosphere at Baxter Arena by Gateway Photo Editor Shannon Smith.
2:43 p.m. – Gateway contributor Sam Murphy has been speaking to students at Baxter Arena.
“I think it’s really cool that [Obama] chose to visit a little city in the Midwest that not many people know about. It’s nice to see Omaha’s progress during [Obama’s] tenure in office get noticed on a national level.” -Ashley Spurlock, University of Nebraska at Omaha senior.
2:40 p.m. – Protesters have been stationed outside of Baxter Arena and in Aksarben Village since late morning. The signs carried range from such issues as abortion to immigration.
2:37 p.m. – Some images of Air Force 1 at Offutt Air Force Base from Gateway contributing photographer Arthur Nguyen.
2:33 p.m. – Obama’s emergence from the plane is live streamed into Baxter Arena and met with cheers from the filling crowd.
2:24 p.m. – President Obama’s motorcade is together and moving (via @meanstreetsomaha).
2:22 p.m. – There is some confusion in regards to the lines surrounding Baxter Arena. Sources report that the northwest parking lot was standing in a stagnant line before realizing they were not in fact connected to the main line, and have now begun moving to the main body.
2:15 p.m. – President Obama has taken his first steps in Nebraska as President of the United States (via @meanstreetsomaha).
2:14 p.m. – Governor Pete Ricketts is shown on the big screen at Baxter Arena and is met with boos from the crowd (via @UNOTheGateway).
2:09 p.m. – Air Force One is wheels down at Offutt Air Force Base. Media are lined up waiting for President Obama to emerge.
1:58 p.m. – Gateway contributing photographer Arthur Nguyen has cleared security at Offutt Air Force Base.
1:50 p.m. – Students are lined up for admittance to Baxter Arena. Multiple sources have reported that attendees are being held on busses until the lines progress as there is not enough room to add more people to the queue.
1: 16 p.m. – Lawlor’s Custom Sportswear has unveiled a no. 44 Omaha hockey jersey made specifically for President Obama.
— Compiled by Gateway Staff Members and Contributors Zane Fletcher, Nick Beaulieu, Phil Brown, Sam Murphy, Shannon Smith, Kimberly Bailey, Evan Ludes, Arthur Nguyen, and Brooke Criswell.