What a coincidence! Obama just happened to find three friendly veterans in a booth at a Portland diner this week.
It was a “surprise stop.”
At least, that’s what local King5 told us.
Oregon Live also covered the “unscheduled stop” at the diner.
PORTLAND, OREGON – June 24, 2012 – President Barack Obama visited Portland Tuesday greeting diners Mark Peterson, center, and Thomas Foeller, right, at the Gateway Breakfast House in an unschedueld stop on the way to fundraisers at the Oregon Convention Center. Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian.
“No, they were not regulars.” The waitress who served President Obama, Mary, told me the veterans with whom the President discussed “health care” were not regulars. “Well, maybe one of the guys came in here before…”
In fact, the Obama Campaign even had a copy of their bios on hand.
And, one of the veterans just happens to be an Obama for America volunteer!
The roundtable participants, as provided by the campaign:
-Dean Dilley from Portland
Dean enlisted in the U.S. Army 1972 when he was 20 years old. He served for three years, from 1972-1975 as a supply specialist. He retired from American Honda Motor Company in 2009, where he worked as a stock and material handler and is currently a volunteer for Obama for America.
Dean says that health care is the issue that is most important to him, particularly as he is getting older. He is also focused on veterans-related issues and says he is grateful for the President’s commitment to supporting veterans like himself.
-Mark Peterson from Portland
Mark is a retired veteran. He served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for 27 years, from 1966 – 1993. In the Air Force, he was rated as a Navigator and flew B-52s as an Electronic Warfare Officer and in the Air National Guard he was a Weapons System Officer in F-4s and F-101s. Following his service he worked as a CPA, and retired around 2006.
Mark is focused on health care and foreign policy. He is thankful for his military benefits and Medicare coverage, but as the father of two disabled children, he knows a lot of people who have had problems with coverage, so he knows how important it is to have access to quality, affordable health care.
-Thomas Foeller from Oak Grove
Tom is a retired Vietnam War era veteran. He enlisted in the Navy Reserves in 1967 during his junior year at Portland State University because he wanted to serve his country. He left the Navy Reserves as a lieutenant in 1976. He served for a total of nine years; four of those were active duty. He was a member of the Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit and spent six months stationed in Japan, then six months in Guam while on call to deploy to Vietnam. His unit never received the call to deploy.
Tom retried from a career in the housing industry six years ago. At the time of his retirement, Tom was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer, during a routine physical. He believes that had the Affordable Care Act – and the emphasis on preventative care – been in place a decade or two ago, he would have caught his cancer earlier and could have saved tens of thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.
What a complete surprise.
It was all manufactured – just for Obama.
UPDATE: Dan Riehl has more on this manufactured media story.
UPDATE: Reportedly, the veterans declined to go on the air today with a conservative host.