Politics define President Obama's welcome to Cushing

CUSHING, Okla. - Hundreds of people gathered on main street to see the president's motorcade as it drove through downtown Cushing on Thursday.

People waited for hours to catch a fleeting glimpse of President Obama. After all, it's not everyday that a sitting president visits a town as small as Cushing, Okla.

"I'm so excited! I'm exhilarated," said resident Barbara Littlejohn, "Because of the opportunity for him to visit our state!"

"Oh, we are so excited," resident Trudy White said. "I wish I could get a close up for a look or even shake his hand!"

But not everyone in the crowd shared the same excitement. Some came to send the president a message.

"I didn't necessarily want to see the president," said Leeann Hobben, "but I wanted him to see me. Because I want to represent the people who need medical care. It's getting more and difficult for them everyday."

The pipeline is the backbone of the Cushing economy. That is precisely why Obama selected the town as part of his tour to present his energy plan.

"Obviously he is doing something right," Eli Grayson told 2News. "I'm not one who is going to be in denial about it. He's been really good for this state. People need to wake up and realize it."

Others say he has only slowed the progress of the Keystone XL pipeline by vetoing approval for the northern leg of the project that would run from Canada to Cushing.

"He refused to acknowledge the real facts on the ground," said oil field worker Jeff Hunt. "I've worked in North Dakota. I've worked in Texas. And now I'm here. It's the same problem everywhere. We can't get the oil to where it needs to be. And it's a frustrating deal."

"He's decreased our dependency on foreign oil," said Obama Supporter Robbie White, "He is opening up pipelines. You don't hear much about that in Oklahoma. But he's doing it."   

Obama visited Oklahoma during his first campaign in 2008. But this is the first time he's been back since he was elected.

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