Thousands expected for Bush

Sunday, September 5, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:22 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thousands of people are expected to attend a rally for President George W. Bush at the Boone County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for Bush-Cheney ’04.

Representatives at the Boone County Republican Headquarters, one of two locations giving out tickets to the event, said Friday evening that 1,000 tickets had already been distributed. However, the tickets are not expected to run out.

Gates at the fairground will open at 12:30 p.m. While there were no details about exactly when Bush will speak, Missouri Republican Party spokesman Paul Sloca encouraged people to arrive no later than 2:45 p.m.

The president’s visit to Columbia will come after appearances at Lee’s Summit High School near Kansas City and at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

Bush will be traveling by bus, according to a spokesman for Bush-Cheney ’04. Details about the route of the president’s caravan have not been made public, nor has information about potential road closings.

Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said all local law enforcement agencies will work with the Secret Service to provide security while Bush is in Columbia. While Boehm was unsure how many officers would be on duty, he said 40 of his 141 officers were called in when Vice President Dick Cheney visited Columbia in July. The increased number of officers on duty will likely lead to overtime costs, but Boehm did not know how much those costs would total.

“That’s just part of our job, and we understand that during an election year, we’ll get some visits,” he said.

Boehm said that some of his officers have already begun meeting with Secret Service agents. They will determine which sites need to be secured and then visit those sites to make preparations.

Sloca does not expect the president’s speech at the fairground to deviate from his recent addresses.

“I think it’s just going to be an expansion of the themes of the convention,” Sloca said.

During his speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, Bush focused on the recovery of the economy, the war in Iraq and America’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“We have seen a shaken economy rise to its feet,” Bush said during his address. “And we have seen Americans in uniform storming mountain strongholds, and charging through sandstorms, and liberating millions, with acts of valor that would make the men of Normandy proud.”

Bush’s record on jobs and the economy has been criticized by many Democrats in recent days, including presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

Christine Glunz, spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said she disapproves of the ways Bush has handled issues such as health-insurance coverage, the cost of college, the cost of prescription drugs and overtime pay.

“Hopefully, he’ll come to Columbia and explain to all the (MU) seniors who will be graduating in May why they will not be receiving overtime in their future jobs,” Glunz said.

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