President Biden leaves Seattle after first area trip since 2022

May 8, 2024, 8:30 AM | Updated: May 11, 2024, 6:04 pm

Photo: President Joe Biden landed in Seattle on Friday, May 10, 2024....

President Joe Biden landed in Seattle on Friday, May 10, 2024. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

President Joe Biden landed in Seattle on Friday and left on Saturday. The trip was designed to raise money for his re-election campaign.

The president landed in Seattle just before 5 p.m. after participating in two campaign receptions in the Bay Area earlier on Friday. He stayed at the Westin Hotel downtown.

Biden was scheduled to participate in a Biden-Harris Victory Fund reception on Friday, according to The Cascadia Advocate via an invitation by the Fund.

The Cascadia Advocate reported the reception’s organizers were hoping to raise millions. The lowest-priced ticket was $500 and the most expensive was $50,000. Those who donated $25,000 or $50,000 had the opportunity to take a picture with Biden.

Photo: Roads are being blocked in preparation for President Joe Biden's visit to Seattle.

Roads are being blocked in preparation for President Joe Biden’s visit to Seattle. (Photo: Jason Rantz, KTTH)

Biden also attended a fundraising event in Medina on Saturday afternoon. The president appeared at the home of Jon and Kim Shirley, the former president and CEO of Microsoft on Lake Washington.

According to The Seattle Times, the event was “a private Eastside fundraiser hosted by tech executives and other major Democratic donors, including Microsoft President Brad Smith, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky, former Microsoft President Jon Shirley and former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal.”

Reporters in the room where the president spoke said it felt like a museum, with several art pieces, tapestries and sculptures all around.

The White House Press Pool reported that Biden talked about Hamas, Israel and a possible cease-fire.

“Before I begin, let me answer a question related to the hostages. I keep getting asked by the press and all the other folks out there. You know, there would be a ceasefire tomorrow if Ira — Hamas released the hostages, women, the elderly, and the wounded,” Biden said at the event, according to the White House Press Pool.

Alaska Airlines told KIRO 7 that Air Force One was scheduled to arrive at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Friday. During that time, all airlines were potentially delayed, including Horizon and Alaska flights. Flights could have also been impacted when Air Force One left on Saturday.

Also on Friday, the Seattle Mariners were playing at home against the Oakland Athletics. The first pitch was set for 6:40 p.m.

Those going to the game probably dealt with heavy traffic as roads were closed for Biden’s arrival.

Biden last visited Washington two years ago, on Earth Day. He arrived in Seattle and then spoke at Green River College in Auburn.

Past coverage: Joe Biden to arrive in Seattle Thursday, will speak at Green River College in Auburn for Earth Day

He addressed initiatives to fight climate change, limiting price increases for middle-class families and his push to have Congress approve legislation to reduce prescription drug costs.

Kamala’s visit to Seattle

In August, Vice President Kamala Harriss returned to Seattle to deliver a speech on the climate crisis, the economy and what the current administration was doing to combat both.

Specifically, she was in town officially to mark the one-year anniversary of of the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law and how it’s helping hold down prices and climate change. President Biden signed the bill on August 16, 2022.

According to a pool report, during her speech, Kamala said the climate change clock was not ticking but “booming.”

She also noted solar panel infrastructure built around the country under the Biden administration and other investments in low-cost, clean energy.

More here: Vice President Harris visits Seattle, discusses climate crisis, economy

Also during Kamala’s visit, a Bellevue officer was injured while working in her motorcade. Bellevue Police Officer Kevin Bereta cleared a pedestrian from the road and was catching up to his colleagues when he was ejected from his motorcycle, falling 50 to 60 feet off the Michigan Street on-ramp, suffering severe injuries.

Bereta’s health benefits, through the city, were then denied but later restored.

Biden’s activities leading up to his Seattle visit

In other news, Biden was in Racine County, Wisconsin to promote the $3.3 billion Microsoft data center on Tuesday. According to The Associated Press (AP), Biden said the center will employ about 2,300 union construction workers to build it and then 2,000 permanent employees to staff it.

Microsoft’s president Brad Smith said in an interview with The AP that Microsoft had a “steadfast commitment to under-promising and over-delivering” and praised the Biden administration and the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, for economic policies that set the stage for the developments announced Wednesday.

But, according to The AP, Biden took the credit and used the opportunity to repeatedly take swings at Trump, arguing that his presumptive Republican challenger embraced the same type of “trickle-down economics” that Biden abhors and failed to revive domestic manufacturing during his four years in the White House.

Later, The AP reported that Biden met with about 50 Black supporters and volunteers at a community center in nearby Racine, noting that he first got into politics “because of the African-American community.”

He also briefly laid out the stakes for the election, warning of the potential risk to democracy and Trump’s threats to “get rid of all the stuff that we’ve done.”

Contributing: Colleen Long and Seung Min Kim, The Associated Press; James Lynch and Steve Coogan, MyNorthwest

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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