MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — A small crowd of onlookers erupted in applause, screaming out “Joe! Joe!” as President Joe Biden stepped off of Air Force One and onto the tarmac at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View on Tuesday afternoon.
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Susan Ellenberg, dressed in a gold satin pantsuit, and David Korsmeyer, the acting deputy center director at NASA’s Ames Research Center, shook hands with the president in front of his motorcade, chatting with him for several minutes before Biden headed over to greet the crowd.
The octogenarian president showed no sign of his age as he broke into a jog, kicking off another ovation of cheers on the tarmac.
Biden spent a few moments chatting with a young girl before taking someone’s phone and snapping a selfie with them. He rounded out his short visit with more handshakes and even a hug.
The president, who is in the San Francisco Bay Area for his third visit of the year, then departed for Atherton to attend a fundraiser.
Biden was flying in from Wayne County, Michigan, where he joined United Auto Workers on the 12th day of their strike against major car manufacturers — a move labor experts said might be the first time a sitting president has joined a picket line.
Air Force One’s touchdown at Moffett at 3:17 p.m. Pacific time marked the start of a whirlwind week where California is thrust into the spotlight on the national political stage, with both Biden and Republican presidential candidates vying for votes and campaign cash.
Immediately after his arrival, the president departed for Atherton to attend a fundraiser hosted by Peninsula-based philanthropists Mark Heising and Liz Simons. The sold-out event, organized by the Biden Victory Fund, was selling tickets priced between $5,000 and $100,000.
On Wednesday, Biden is expected to meet with the President’s Council on Advisors on Science and Technology. The 30-member group is comprised of professors, scientists, CEOs and tech experts, and works to advise the president on policy issues where an “understanding of science, technology and innovation is key.”
While Biden most likely won’t be fighting to sway more potential voters during his two-day visit to the highly blue state, San Jose State political science professor Melinda Jackson said his quick sojourn is about the dollars and cents.
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