Ticket-Holders Thrilled to Attend Obama’s Speech

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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio— Hundreds of people braved the weather for a chance to see President Barack Obama, who will pay a visit to northeast Ohio on Wednesday.

Archie Howard, 97, was the first person in line at the Shaker Heights School Administration Building.

Howard arrived around 1:00 p.m. Tuesday to get a free ticket to see President Obama speak in the high school gymnasium.

"I'm glad that he was elected to be our first, you know, black president, and like I said, I'm anticipating that he would serve a second term," Howard said.

Hundreds of people waited for hours in a line that snaked through the administration building's parking lot.

They were braving the bitter cold for tickets that were made available, on a first come-first served basis, at 6:00 p.m.

"I'm really excited to be at the front of the line, we are actually surprised, there was like, maybe one other person around besides us when we got here," said Shaker Heights High School alumna Kirsten Gassman.

"It hasn't been, like really rowdy, it's just been real easy going, but it's just been cold, cold and long," said sophomore Brianna Owens.

The White House said the president will speak about the economy.

This is not Mr. Obama's first visit to Shaker Heights High.

He also visited in the summer of 2009.

"He's gonna run again and he's also coming to talk about the economy. I've heard a lot from him, it's nothing specific. I just want to go and see what he has to say," said junior Darnell Walker.

"I'm pretty excited, I'm interested in hearing what he has to say and I think a lot of it is gonna be geared towards the seniors just because they can probably vote next election," said junior Will Naugle.

Shaker students and staff said the president's visit is exciting and historic.

"Now we have President Obama twice, and of course, he is a historic figure in himself as the first African-American elected president of the United States. He's somebody our students are really interested in, really look up to and they are just so excited, they're beside themselves with excitement to welcome him back," said Shaker Heights School District spokeswoman Peggy Caldwell.

All Shaker Heights High School seniors received an invitation to the president's speech.

So many people showed up to get a ticket Tuesday evening that hundreds of people near the end of the line had to be turned away.