POTUS left his Hyde Park home at 7:30 (8:30 Eastern) sharp amid tight security, under great blue skies and a blinding sun. Motorcade sped along the lakeshore on emptied streets, dotted by a handful of onlookers. Soldier Field was reached 9 minutes later.
Choppers (the usual Sea King for POTUS, USMC Chinooks for the pool) were wheels up at 7:45, offering a commanding and stunning view of the skyline on the way to O'Hare.
POTUS chopper was wheels down there at 7:59.
Wearing brown khakis, a white shirt and a black zip up jacket, POTUS, looking serious and determined, climbed AF1 stairs at 8:01.
In tow were Robert Gibbs, Carol Browner, Jim Messina and Reggie Love.
Also, this from Ben Finkenbinder on today's schedule:
"The President (will) stop by a beach that is set up with protective boom up with Adm Allen before traveling to the Coast Guard Station in Grand Isle where he'll see gov jindal and senators landieu and vitter, cong melancon, gov crist, gov riley, adm allen and others... "
Heading to runway at 8:11. Wheels up shortly on our way to New Orleans.
White House Correspondent