Bush's departure brings more traffic snarls

President Bush shut down sections of Kansas City this morning as he made his way around the metro area.

The president and Air Force One left Kansas City International Airport just before 1 p.m. On his way to the airport after speaking to the 108th national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, traffic was stopped along the route to allow his motorcade to pass.

It was the same story this morning when Bush made his way from his hotel on the County Club Plaza to the Corner Cafe in Riverside.

Bush left the Intercontinental Hotel about 7:50 a.m. today. He drove through the Plaza, then onto Southwest Trafficway, past downtown Kansas City and the downtown airport as he made his way to Riverside.

The president's 30-vehicle caravan -- which includes ambulances, police cars and Secret Service vehicles -- shut down dozens of streets and backed up interstates leading into the downtown.

Some Kansas Citians came out to wave at the motorcade. The president encountered no protesters along the route, but one man near 39th Street and Southwest Trafficway raised both arms and gave the president an emphatic thumbs-down.

Bush took some of the patrons at the Riverside cafe as he stopped in for breakfast. He shook hands with some patrons before making his way to a back room for private meeting.

Inside the cafe, the president met with a dozen area residents, including George Brett, Carl Peterson Tery Dunn and Ann Dickinson. Also at the table were U.S. Sen. Kit Bond and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, both Republicans.

"I'm just visiting with some of the area's finest," he said, adding that the group had talked about business, sports and culture.

One of those patrons was Glenda Blackburn of Riverside, who was having coffee when the president walked in.

"It was pretty exciting," she said. "It made my day."

She said the president looked better in person than he does on TV.

"Cameras don't do him justice," she said. "A very pleasant and very down-to-earth man."