(CBS) — President Barack Obama arrived at the Gary-Chicago International Airport on Air Force One Wednesday evening and is spending the night in Chicago. The president will spend Thursday at a fundraiser for Governor Quinn and a speech at Northwestern University in Evanston.
Shortly after 7 p.m. President Obama arrived on board a 757, a smaller plane than the 747 usually travels in. The president was greeted outside the plane by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana).READ MORE: Architecture Titan Helmut Jahn Killed In Bicycle Accident In Kane County
President Obama had dinner at RPM Seak in River North with Valerie Jarrett, Marty Nesbitt and others.
“He was introducing himself and he was shaking hands and enjoying the environment as he does as the president of the United States,” said RPM patron John Arnott.
The Gary-Chicago International Airport was chosen so as not to disrupt air traffic at O’Hare, which is still dealing with the after effects of the fire at the Aurora Air Traffic Control Center last Friday.
If you weren’t a politician, you didn’t get to welcome the president up close at the Gary airport, but there were plenty of Obama fans who tried to get a glimpse.
“This is history, I’ll never get a chance to be this close to Air Force One or the president again in my lifetime,” said Gary resident Dave Matthews.
Some of them say they’re going to return Thursday when the president leaves to try to see him once again.