Mayor Who? Tolbert Turns Obama Mistake on Brown By Michael R. Caputo














Exciting! Remarkable! Momentous! Memorable! Oooh shiny!

Pick your adjective, but no matter which one is your favorite they were all used by the gushing Buffalo media yesterday as President Barack Obama rolled into town for his bus trip across New York. Local media coverage was so "ohmahgawd!" I think I noticed one TV news reporter with something curious dribbling down his chin.

I managed to avoid all the presidential hoopla. When I worked for President George HW Bush, I took commercial flights after flying a few times on Air Force One. The only bigger pain in the ass than flying on the president's jet (predawn check-ins and baggage calls, waiting hours for the president to board) was being a resident in the city we were visiting. Traffic jams, roadblocks, cops on alert, streets packed with people from far and wide hoping for a glimpse of their commander-in-chief.

With all that in store for me every working day, I always found reasons to fly in earlier and depart later than the president. Life was so much easier - and Air Force One doesn't give frequent flier miles.

While the president never once mentioned that he has steered the American economy into abysmal employment statistics not seen since Jimmy Carter, he did manage to mangle a few shout outs. After he greeted "Mayor Brian Higgins" from the podium, the crowd corrected him and he gamely recognized Buffalo's real mayor, Byron Brown.

I've been there - that's a staff error. Some advance person wrote the recognition card wrong and the president simply read what he was given. He recovered quickly, and with his trademark charm.

One person who may feel a residual affect of the blunder: Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. Ahead of his Democrat primary rival Bernie Tolbert by a comfortable margin, most count him as a shoe-in. But Tolbert's team jumped into action and cut a Youtube video that seems destined for rotation on local TV channels. Check it out below.

Oh, and of course, there's the poor White House advance guy who thought the Mayor was our Congressman. He's walking home.




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